In a market with low inventory, short sales and foreclosures, many properties are selling “As Is.” Whether you’re buying an “As Is” property with plans to rent it, or simply planning to live in your new home while fixing it up, here are some renovation tips that can help you build equity while keeping money in the bank.
Find the Right Team
Many handy buyers, especially those who plan on living in their properties while renovating, like to do home improvements themselves. This is great for some projects, but not all. When it’s time to bring in the professionals, choose the right team to save a ton. Hiring large scale companies can be expensive. If you’re not in a time crunch, then find a one or two-man local handyman. “But do your research,” Mary Lynn Stone, President of Century 21 New Millennium warns. “Be sure they come with glowing recommendations.”
Strip Away Carpet
Hardwood floors are a timeless trend, so finding hardwood under that old carpet is a new homeowner’s dream. Remove the carpet and sand the floors down to completely revamp your living, dining or bedrooms with minimum effort and maximum results.
Improving the lighting in your home is inexpensive and guaranteed to improve the look and feel. Add new lighting fixtures to any room that seems dim, and be sure to focus on any room you put a lot of effort into remodeling. “Show off those new stainless steel kitchen appliances or that upgraded bathroom,” suggests Stone. “Nothing is more depressing—or less appealing to buyers—than a dark room.”
If you’re buying a property that needs work, chances are the roof may be in need of some TLC. Before you plan to replace it, find out when it was installed. “If you’re flipping for resale, a new roof may be a hot selling point. But if you plan on living in the home yourself, you may be able to make repairs and keep the current roof for another 10 years or so,” says Stone.
Reface Kitchen Cabinets
“An updated kitchen is one of the home’s most important selling points, and can create a huge lifestyle improvement, as kitchens are high traffic areas.” says Stone, “This means it’s a smart place to spend a large chunk of your budget.” Cabinets take up a large portion of your wall space, so you want them to look great. However, new cabinets can be pricey. Reface what you have and save thousands. Spend that saved money on new appliances.
Fresh paint, inside and out, is the cheapest way to make a large impact. Stick to neutral colors and get to painting. “Don’t forget the details,” Stone reminds us. “Paint the trim, the garage door—even the mailbox!”
CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster. CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. In addition to its newest Washington D.C. location, the Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Columbia, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park, Lusby and Waldorf. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.