Monday, January 14, 2008

Now, Later or Never

Will you get it back?
A friend of mine is relocating and ended up putting his house on the market. Obviously this is not the best time for selling a house so the realtor offered some aggressive options to help sell the house quickly. The list went from the simple tasks like cleaning and de-cluttering to the more extreme, which included new carpets, new granite counter-tops, interior/exterior paint, new light fixtures and updated window treatments. The final bill was about $15,000 but the house looks fantastic. My friends only regret is that he will not enjoy these upgrades for long (hopefully!).

So I started wondering - should one invest in home improvement upgrades as soon as possible so you can maximize your usage of these improvements. Should you phase in these improvements or maybe leave some improvements for the last minute.

Do it now
High usage additions should be tackled as soon as financially possible. I want to emphasize my usage of the word addition since these features are lacking today and can add significantly to your life style. Additions I would invest in include - deck or patio (if you spend substantial time outdoors), finished basement (if you have young kids), adding any appliances (sump pump, radon mitigation system, water softener, humidifier etc.) and investing in your yard (trees take time to grow!).

Lets phase it in
This category is about aesthetics and upgrades. Not a necessity but if the house needs these upgrades before it goes on the market then maybe you should consider phasing them in. Counter-tops, kitchen appliances, window treatments, light fixtures, carpet and flooring etc. fall in this category.

Maybe in the end
Some improvements are better off just planning for the last minute. It's the added price you pay for putting the house on the market. These repairs and enhancement include painting, flooring (cleaning or replacing) and cleaning.

There is always a balance between financial well-being and quality of life. That balance is a personal choice but some prioritization can help in achieving that balance.

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1 comment:

ssdsp said...

A good post for a house owner who wants to improve the house. Well-planned home improvement can save lots of money. I agree with your and I think one should renovate the house at least once in 4 to 5 years. So whenever you want to sell, you can be in better position and can have fewer improvements.