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Remodeling with an eye towards resale

Dear Phyllis,

We are thinking of renovating our house over the course of the next couple of years. We hope to remain in our home for the next 10 years. Remodeling with an eye towards resale is important, it’s primarily for our pleasure and convenience.

May, in La Crescenta

Dear May,

When remodeling with an eye towards resale, keep the style of your home in mind. Spanish homes are known for arches, decorative tile (often small mosaic tiles), rich woods, etc. Mid century homes often feature large windows and an open floorplan. Traditional homes typically offer built-in nooks in dining and/or living rooms. Remember to keep the window and molding styles consistent throughout. Often homes that retain the flavor of the original architecture have a better flow. And a better flow will bring more resale dollars.

While kitchens and baths often cost the most to remodel, they are the rooms most likely to pay for themselves. Often, minor improvements, such as a kitchen or bath “facelift” can also yield major resale dollars. Keep the type and cost of improvements in line with your home and neighborhood. A smaller home may appeal to the next buyer because of its affordability; if your home remodel is too costly (high end), it could lessen the buyer pool at time of resale.

When remodeling with an eye towards resale, “think” neutral. Many highly customized features and wild colors will be a drawback to future buyers. If you your favorite color is a bit wild, perhaps you might consider using it in paint, rather than hard surfaces which are more expensive to change. Kitchen and bathrooms should have similar themes (cabinets, flooring and color schemes); white or cream toilets, sinks and tubs can work with nearly any decor.

Remodeling with an eye towards resale

We have all seen the new buyer, who prior to moving in, is ripping out carpeting, fireplace mantles, etc. Remember no matter how much you love your home, unless you are planning on living there forever, don’t expect the next buyer to love your favorite colors and style as much as you. At the time of sale it will be great to recoup your remodeling dollars, rather than have a very personalized remodel detract from the value of your home.

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