The real estate market has indeed experienced a bit of a rebound over the past decade or so; however, the market is still in a slump as compared to a decade or so ago. As a result, an increasing number of people have chosen not to sell their homes and decided to remain right where they are. Unfortunately, those who have decided to try to sell have experienced long market times waiting for a sale to happen or lackluster final sale prices when and if their homes do sell.
Once people or families decide they are going to wait out the storm in the real estate market as opposed to selling, they realize a remodel or, at the very least, renovation is required to make their home what they want it to be. Home improvements can serve a variety of purposes, including increased overall home size, better home heating, and cooling, reduced home heating expense, and improved overall comfort.
Unfortunately, many home improvement projects will not add value to your home; however, some can add significant value to your home and improve its potential sale value when the time comes to try and sell. So, which projects are beneficial, and which may not be? Below are a few home improvement projects that can add value to your home while improving the overall quality of life for your family.
In many families, the kitchen is where everything happens. It is where the family comes together to make meals and where the day often begins or ends. It is where memories are made (think cooking with grandma), and the occasional culinary disaster occurs. In some cases, it is also where the family comes together to eat together and talk about their day. For these reasons, updates and remodels to kitchens often pay off in the long run. If you don’t go overboard in your expenditure, you can expect to recoup a large portion of your investment. It is essential to remember; your kitchen should not be fancier or more “upgraded” than the rest of the home. For example, if your kitchen has granite countertops, smart appliances, and the most expensive cabinets available, but the rest of the house is still modeled circa 1875, it may be challenging to sell and recoup your expenses.
Things you should consider for your remodel are paint and energy-efficient appliances. A full kitchen remodel, when done correctly, can be expensive, but something as simple as fresh paint can go quite a long way in influencing the opinion of potential buyers. If your kitchen appears old and stale or dark and dingy, look to a professional to have updated and fresh colors applied to your walls. Something as simple and easy as paint can add years of life to this important room.
Appliances can also get old and eventually work inefficiently. Replacing older appliances with new energy-efficient models (Energy-Star rated) is not only an environmentally beneficial decision but a smart financial decision for you as well. These more modern appliances use less energy, and therefore your power bill (or fuel bill) will be lower. Potential buyers also look for updates such as these when shopping for a new home.
Add a new Bathroom
If you only have one bathroom in your home and more than two people are living there, you are familiar with the challenges this can pose each day. Adding a second bathroom can pay dividends both in your current living situation, and in the benefits returned when selling your home. But where do you put a second bathroom in your home? Look for unused or underutilized space. Do you have an extra bedroom that is being used only for storage? Do you have an extra-large closet or space under your stairs that could be repurposed? A half bath will require approximately 18 square feet, and a full bathroom (with a stand-up shower) will need closer to 30 square feet. A professional contractor can guide you in how to turn the existing unused spaces in your home into a great, functional second bathroom.
Add Energy Efficient Windows
The words Energy-Efficient are on the minds of potential buyers when they are shopping for new homes. This not only includes your appliances, heating system and hot water systems but vital household components such as windows and doors.
Many older homes are fitted with wood-framed windows (or something similar) and single pane glass. These older windows are often sources of heat loss as they are not of the same insulative quality as updated vinyl windows with glass designed to protect from heat loss. The Energy-Star web site states new Energy-Star windows can save you up to $500 per year in heating and cooling costs due to improvements in energy efficiency. Not only will replacing your old, drafty windows save you money in the short term and likely increase your homes value at the time of sale, you can also save money on your taxes through green energy tax credits.
The same applies to doors. Many homes from the early 1900’s (and older) have wooden exterior doors with lots of glass. While beautiful, they are often not very energy efficient, especially in a climate such as Anchorage, where winter weather can get very harsh. These older wooden entry doors often lack adequate seals as they have worn down over years of use and exposure to weather and temperature changes. Replacing these older wooden doors with a new energy-efficient exterior door can, like windows, improve your home’s heat retention capabilities and impact your overall heating costs.
Add a new deck
Outdoor spaces are becoming more and more desirable to home buyers. Taking the time to make your yard and deck spaces more appealing can increase the sale value of your home. The cost of adding a deck or increasing deck size can vary widely. A professional contractor such as Crighton & Cooper can help you to determine what will work best for you. Deck construction is not easy and often requires special tools that the average DIY homeowner may not own. Additionally, building and safety knowledge is essential as failure to properly tie the deck to your home or support the deck may result in damage to your home, injury, or a failed building inspection at the time of your home sale.
When you are shopping for a professional to help with your home, whether a remodel, renovation, or addition, it is important to do your research. Gather together a shortlist of prospects and take the time to speak with each personally. This will help you get to know the person or the company and help you determine if you are comfortable having them work on your home. If the contractor isn’t willing to answer your questions, you can be confident; they are not someone you want to hire to do the work on your home. Ask questions such as:
- Are you licensed?
- Do you have insurance? Will you provide a copy of your policy?
- Do you provide quotes?
- Have you don’t work like this recently?
- Will you provide references?
If you are looking for a qualified construction company in the Anchorage area for Home Remodeling Anchorage, contact Crighton & Cooper Construction. We will be happy to talk to you about your project and answer any questions you may have about how we can help you make your home more valuable now and in the future.