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By Tom Sommers | Agent in Lakeville, MN
  • 7 things home owners do that diminish their home’s value

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis  |  January 28, 2014 12:53 PM  |  190 views  |  No comments

    7 things home owners do that diminish their home’s value (when they go to sell.)


    Increase your chances of getting the most money for your home by avoiding these common mistakes.


    Owning a home is a very personal thing because some these people feel that this is the one place that they can make their very own. This is very true but unfortunately in the world we live in you always have to consider how it will be perceived by potential buyers when you go to sell your home. As a real estate agent who sees more homes than I can count in a year, you would be surprised by some of the mistakes I see made by homeowners on a very consistent basis. I'd like to clue you in on the 10 things to avoid that can severely hurt the value of your home when you go to sell it.


    1)Over improving your home for the neighborhood you live in.

    So you've always dreamed of having an outdoor kitchen? Is nothing wrong with putting one in but if you don't see them in the price range in which your home is in there's a very good chance it will never see the money back out of it. It is one thing to purchase the materials and do all the labor yourself, but it's another thing to pay full contractor prices for an upgrade like this. There are many wonderful improvements to home that will not give you your value back. Another one would be an in-ground pool. If you decide to put in an in-ground pool know ahead of time that for every buyer that wants one another buyer will look at it as having no value. If your house is worth $250,000 and you put $100,000 worth of improvements into it, unless there are comparable sales to give you that extra hundred thousand dollars chances are that's about how much you're going to lose. This is where real estate agent can be very handy to discuss projects while you own your home. Calling up an agent and saying I'm thinking about adding this space or changing the kitchen can sometimes help to get that outsiders perspective.


    2)Not fixing the small stuff When you live in a home for a number of years it's easy to start looking past minor problems and just live with them. You have to remember when it comes to selling a home; the buyers will notice those minor problems. These can include doors that don't shut right windows with broken latches, broken grout in between the tiles on the floor, broken light fixtures or any other minor repair you can think of. It's in your best interest to find a really good handyman that can come in and fix all of these items. Many of my clients can get these issues corrected and a half of the day. The money you spend to fix these minor things will far outweigh the cost of that handyman. When buyers are looking at homes they will at times nit-pick a home because there's more than one that they like and it's the only way they're able to choose one over the other. Plus when you have the minor issues fixed and they don't notice things that have a tendency not to look as hard. Do something that your competition is unwilling to do or has forgotten to do.


    3)Be aware of items in your home that make it look dated Buyers in all price ranges want to feel like they're moving into a newer feeling home even when it has a classic look. Some of the simple things you can do in today's market to make that happen without spending a lot of money is to change a few basic items that can make a big impact. For starters, if you have gold or brass handles, doorknobs, hinges or light fixtures removed them. Go with a brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. You can find products made out of these finishes in all price ranges. When you look at your fireplace does it have a gold vent cover? If it does go out and buy yourself a four dollar can of high heat spray paint and paint that grill a flat black. You will be amazed at what these small changes will make when a buyer sees your home for the first time.


    4)Stay off the “what's hot right now” bandwagon If you're considering doing upgrades in your home think about the longevity of that upgrade. Case in point off-white cabinets, trim work indoors have been in homes for hundreds of years. You still see that in new construction today. If you like this look changing cabinet and wood finishing is an upgrade. Just don't get stuck like so many people from the 50s did with a trendy blonde wood or that chocolate brown wood from the late 70s. If you're doing a backsplash in a kitchen think twice before you put a glass backsplash in over stone. I'm not saying that glasses bad I'm simply saying consider if it will be trendy and out in a couple of years? Think before you act consult with different people who work in the home improvement business. Many of them have a pretty good insight as to whether something is going to be trendy or not. You can never go wrong with natural stone and real wood. It's the man-made materials that can be suspect.


    5)Remodeling the entire house and doing all of the work yourself Unless you're a contractor and you know what you're doing, higher out the bigger jobs. It's very important that the home is consistent in quality on all levels. When you're remodeling the kitchen, a bathroom or any other large project you have to get the job completely done. If you start to cut corners the quality of the work suffers and in the long run if you don't know what you're doing, it will cost you more money to have a professional come out and fix it. This goes back to fixing the minor issues. If you think the buyers won't see these things and point them out you're kidding yourself. Not to mention they have an inspector typically coming out who will certainly find the issues for the buyer.


    6)Destroying the floor plan I'm guessing your first thought is how do you destroy the floor plan? Easy you do silly things like take a three-bedroom house and remove one of the bedrooms by turning it into a walk-in closet. Or you take a three car garage extend your family room and turn it into a 1 1/2 car garage. These types of changes to the floor plan can really hurt the value of your home by taking away some of the most basic must haves for most buyers. Before you make these types of changes, take a moment and call your real estate agent to discuss the possible implications.


    7)Filling every room of your home with furniture When you're selling your home, as you present it you want give the feeling that all of the rooms are open and spacious. One of the first things that destroy this feeling for buyers is when there's too much furniture in the room. Staging can really help to correct a problem like this and is well worth the value that the service provides. Just because there's a wall doesn't mean it has to be filled with a bookshelf, desk or other piece of furniture. You want all of the entrances to every room including the bedrooms to feel open.

  • Foreclosures and Short Sales are no longer the best deals in Real Estate!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Foreclosure in Minneapolis  |  December 9, 2013 9:37 AM  |  233 views  |  No comments

    Sounds crazy?  Perhaps but consider a few things before you disagree with me on this idea. Foreclosures and short sales have been slowing down over the last year as the real estate market has been recovering. Many housing experts believe the majority of them are now behind us. As prices start to rise on traditional real estate the same can be said for foreclosure properties. When you take a look at the total amount of cash needed to fix many bank owned homes up; it is becoming more obvious you can move into a home with all of the updates for the same amount of money and not have to do any of the work.


  • End Unit Townhome in Oakdale, MN- Just Listed, $129,900!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Oakdale  |  December 6, 2013 6:36 AM  |  200 views  |  2 comments

    Welcome to 7010 19th Street N. #8 Oakdale, Minnesota 55128. This end unit townhome was built in 1990 it has three bedrooms, two bathrooms with over 1300 finished square feet. The exterior is vinyl and brick with a newer roof. The home is maintenance free with a great association. The association fee is $160 a month and it includes the following- hazard insurance, snow and lawn care, professional management, sewer and water, exterior maintenance and sanitation.


    The main level has 730 finished square feet which includes a large living room with fireplace, main floor laundry that has a new washer and dryer, a large eat in kitchen with informal dining area, a half bath for guests and a utility room. All of the appliances stay with the home including- refrigerator, stove, microwave, washer and dryer. The main level is a very open floor plan which is great for entertaining.


    The upper level has three bedrooms and a full bathroom. The master bedroom is 15 x 13 and includes a walk-in closet and a pass through to the full bathroom. The home is in good condition and ready for the new owner to move in. Quick possession is possible, this is a traditional sale. Because it is not a foreclosure or short sale you don't have any hassles with banks. This is a great opportunity to own a wonderful and spacious end unit.

  • New Listing in Richfield, MN. Completely remodeled, from top to bottom!!!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Richfield  |  November 14, 2013 8:37 AM  |  193 views  |  No comments

    "Welcome to 6244 Bryant Avenue S. in Richfield, MN 55423.  This incredible 1 1/2 story home has been completely remodeled over the last 5 years by the current owners.  They have kept the classic feel of a Richfield home and updated it so it feels like new construction. There is nothing left to update, this home has it all. The homes location is unique in that you have quick access to Crosstown and Lyndale Avenue.  This makes for a quick commute to Downtown Minneapolis.  Plus you are..."


  • Home Owners Associations, What home buyers need to know.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Foreclosure in Minneapolis  |  October 28, 2013 3:20 PM  |  255 views  |  No comments
    Home Owners Associations, What home buyers need to know.
    "Understanding the role an association plays in the ownership of a town home or condominium is an important piece to consider before you actually purchase a home. Most of the information is pretty basic but very important none the less. The association will have an impact on you for the entire time you own the home.  Many of the documents are the same or very similar between a condominium and town homes. The biggest difference..."

    Read the entire post about Homeowners Associations
  • New Town Home Listing in Chanhassen, Minnesota! This is a must see.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chanhassen, Property Q&A in Chanhassen  |  September 30, 2013 9:45 AM  |  380 views  |  No comments
    582 Mission Hills Way W.
    "Welcome to 582 Mission Hills Way W., Chanhassen, MN 55317 this incredible townhome is available now and is move-in ready. This quiet townhome community is located close to highways 101 and 212, which makes this home a very easy commute from the Western suburbs. Chanhassen was just voted the number 4 Best Place to live in the country by Money magazine. The home was built in 1996 on a premier lot with a wooded backyard. This adds to the privacy of the home and there is no road noise. There’s a walking path directly behind the home with trails that extend around Lake Susan and the...."

    Read the entire article 582 Mission Hills Way W.
  • Home Buyer Mistakes You Can Avoid

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Foreclosure in Minneapolis, Property Q&A in Minneapolis  |  September 12, 2013 9:30 AM  |  635 views  |  No comments
    Home Buyer Mistakes You Can Avoid
    "If you are reading this I am guessing you are interested in buying a home but don’t want to make any mistakes if you can avoid them.  Sorry to say you will make mistakes, that is how you learn. the thing you can do is avoid making the big mistakes that can cost you a home.  Many of these will seem like common sense to you but I assure you they must not be to a lot of the home buyers out there.  I see these mistakes being made all the time and I want to help you to avoid them. These apply weather you are..."

    Read the entire blog Home Buyer Mistakes You Can Avoid
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