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Here's a radical idea, keep it clean and neat and eliminate any odd colors in paint, repair what's broken and price it accurately. Unless you're talking high end, the rest of that article is nonsense.
And most of us aren't in the market for million dollar homes.
Here is the honest to goodness truth. I have been a Realtor for 16 years, an appraiser for 12. This is the real deal almost anywhere you are:
1. Bathroom - we can't all rebuild it to recess anything into the wall. Make sure grout is clean, a new toilet and vanity that fits the space, and the tub clean. New fixtures if need be and paint.
2. Floors - Can't afford hardwood? Put in carpet if your carpet looks dirty or has individualized colors (mauve. hunter green, etc). Beige is best and for God's sake DO NOT INSTALL LAMINATE! The ship has sailed on that stuff and frankly it's now seen as cheap.
3. Look at your home critically. Have the furnace serviced, paint rooms neutral colors, clean the vents, landscape, and remove debris inside and out. Work on your gutters and downspouts. Remember the savvy buyer is going to have a home inspection. The savvy buyer also wants a house that looks neat and clean.
Solar is if you're going to stay there and pools are really regional and seasonal. Most of the people who write these articles bit and piece from other articles and wouldn't know a footer from a ridge vent.
When I had our home built in 2003 I picked a design where I could later convert our attached oversized two car garage (with room over it), to a large family room, and then add a new garage on the other side of that one. I still think that will add overall value to my home. I'll still have a garage (the new one), in addition to a huge family room (with a new handicap accessible bathroom. For the interim, I plan on using the Family Room as a Mother-in-Law type apartment for my elderly mother - it will have two entrances to the main house, one directly into the kitchen, and one to the laundry room. She'll have her own heat (she likes it warm in the winter), and we'll be right there to help her out. When she does pass on, I'll have a very nice family room.
Here's some advice. Do not ever redo your home to sell it. It some rooms need touch up pain, especially baseboard and molding do that. Makes things look clean and great. Wash the windows and get your clutter picked up and closets organized. Thats it. Buyers will do their own thing. You will not make enough money in the sale. Make it look clean and lived in. After all you do live there don't you.
Been selling houses by owner for 40 years so I know what works. Keep it simple and cheap.
Granite (having a compressive strength of roughly 26,000 psi) should be doing actual work (i.e. in the foundation).
Wood flooring, provided it is REAL wood (with actual end-grain) is a good thing...unfortunately a bit on the pricy side though.
And let us not forget about basic materials theory, materials should be stacked in a building in the same order they're found in nature (msonry at the bottom, wood in the middle, and soft fibrous materials (leaves in nature) on the top.
But, when the market is up, houses are sold like 'hot cakes'... period.
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MSN REAL ESTATE
If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.