Monthly Archives: December 2014

Home Projects That Make You Money


brown houseNo one wants to throw money out the window without seeing at least some kind of return on their investment. Whether you bought a fixer upper, plan on selling your house or just want to add value, choosing projects that actually bring money back to your pocket book is not as challenging as it sounds (or in some cases as expensive). While some projects sound like they bring value, such as that home office you’ve always wanted, here’s a list of projects that actually can make you money:

  • Updating kitchen hardware & countertops/full kitchen remodel. If you are on a tight budget or have fully functional cabinets, replacing the hardware on your cabinets and countertops yield a new, updated look that adds value to your home. Have cabinets that won’t close or are poor quality? Consider a full kitchen remodel that is functional and aesthetically appealing. If you are selling your home and want to give yourself an edge, update your appliances to complete the project.
  • Modernizing your bathroom. Blue toilets and goldenrod tubs don’t sell houses or increase your home value. If your tub is still functional, consider reglazing a tub, which can be cheaper than replacement.
  • New windows. New windows are a selling point, and a sure way to add value to your home. When your windows are ready for replacement, having quality windows installed can save you money by lowering your utility bills and giving you other key benefits.
  • Finishing your basement. Extra living space=extra value. Add an extra bedroom or rec room for your use or for resale value.
  • Deck. A well-done deck can bring back 70%+ in value to homeowners, not to mention a great hangout and grilling space.
  • Adding a bedroom in the attic. While this is not possible for all homeowners, an unfinished attic space is untapped potential. If your attic has headroom enough for a bedroom, finish off your attic for extra space and value.

If you have any questions about readying your Wisconsin home for sale, contact an experienced, local real estate agent. In addition to giving you information, your realtor can also give you an estimated value of your home so you can plan ahead and make strategic investments for your future sale. In addition to your projects, also plan on investing in these seven must-haves that ensure you get top dollar. With a little research and elbow grease, as well as education so you don’t make the most common home selling mistake, you can prepare a home that’s appealing to buyers and recoups your investment.

7 Things to Do BEFORE You Put Your House on the Market


3591When time is on your side and you can prepare your home for sale, your efforts pay dividends—both in sale price and time on the market. Buyers want a turn-key home—a clean, fresh home that doesn’t need extensive repair. By focusing your efforts on seven key areas, you can give them that, and give yourself a higher sale price and a quick sale:

  1. Paint, and paint neutrals. As much as you love that hot pink room, now is not the time to be bold. Paint over bold colors with neutral colors such as a light grey or tan. A new coat of paint can go a long way to making a home feel new and clean—exactly what your buyers want.
  2. Deep clean, or replace, that nasty flooring. A professional carpet cleaning or hard floor cleaner can often give new life to that old flooring, but if you can’t get the stains out, shop around. Carpet remnants are an inexpensive way to make hallways, offices and small rooms look new without breaking the budget. Or upgrade your flooring by installing new laminate or hardwood floors, two kinds of flooring that often adds value to your home.
  3. Do all the repairs you’ve been putting off. Holes in your walls or ceiling do not give buyers a favorable impression. Now is the time to patch the drywall, repair water leaks and replace faulty electrical fixtures and leaky water faucets.
  4. Maximize curb appeal. When it’s muddy or frozen this seems like an impossible task, but this is where advance planning pays big. Contact contractors to get those broken sidewalks repaired, wood trim painted and the driveway sealed in the summer now before anyone else. Then tackle the projects that can be done, even during the coldest months of the year. Keep sidewalks clear and clean, and power wash your home to make it look its best. Make sure that all bulbs are replaced in your outdoor light fixtures.
  5. De-clutter. You don’t have to throw everything away, but you may have to put some of your items in storage. Make sure that potential buyers get a clear picture of the space in your home by clearing out any extra knickknacks or items on the floor. Too much furniture or décor in a room can backfire and make your home look smaller.
  6. Upgrade where it makes cents. Certain upgrades, such as high end countertops and hardwood flooring, add value to a home and can be a deciding factor for potential buyers. Talk to your real estate agent about what upgrades are right for your home and your area.
  7. Clean, clean, clean. Buyers want homes that are clean, even if the house needs a few upgrades. Give your home a deep clean, or hire a professional cleaning service for a thorough cleaning that buyers appreciate.

Want to avoid unpleasant surprises during the sale process? Hire a home inspector to do a full inspection before you put the home on the market. An inspector can identify problem areas that could deter buyers, and give you time to fix the issues. An experienced real estate agent can refer a local home inspector, as well as contractors that can make repairs or install upgrades before you put your home on the market.