Time was, you could simply swap out the shag for some Berber, throw a fresh coat of paint on the walls, hang up your “for sale” shingle, and prospects would line up to make offers. But today’s buyers want the convenience of homes that are completely move-in ready. To be competitive, homeowners should carefully consider fixing up what ails their homes, fix your fixer-upper.
Appeal to the General Market
Follow current overall trends when upgrading. Specific improvements targeting niche interests (think: home theater) won’t necessarily be valuable to the larger market of buyers. Spend your investment dollars on the facets of your home that can make the biggest difference for the greatest number of people. In drought-stricken California, any water-saving enhancements you can make would be highly valued. Consider installing drip irrigation systems, a tankless water heater, water- and energy-saving appliances, and humble roof gutters that direct rainwater to a collection barrel.
Before swapping out your old carpets with expensive wall-to-wall replacements, check the state of your subfloor. It may be less costly for you (and more desirable for buyers) to refinish an existing wooden floor or install easy-care tile. Hard surface flooring is popular, and allows for easy decor changes by simply updating area rugs.
The demographic latching onto smart home technology has grown beyond early adopters. More homebuyers are seeking LED lighting over CFL, and are particularly keen on systems that interact with smart phones. Upgrading your lighting, HVAC, and security systems to smart home readiness could attract more affluent prospects.
Investors aren’t as quick to snap up fixer-uppers to flip for a profit as they once were. It’s more likely that the people buying your house will be living in it. So, fix your fixer-upper, upgrading your home in ways that will tempt turnkey buyers.
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