Home Selling in 92604>Question Details

OC92708, Home Buyer in Fountain Valley, CA

How much value would an investment on cosmetic upgrades to the house and landscaping add to a house during resale?

Asked by OC92708, Fountain Valley, CA Wed Sep 12, 2012

For example, would a 200K investment in a new stone patio, patio cover and full outside kitchen add 200K to the value of the house? What about upgrades to the exterior of the house for better curb appeal (i.e. custom stone work)? If we were to do this, we would be looking at a fair value 5 ~ 10 years from now. Thanks for the feedback!

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No matter how much money you put into a house, when you want to sell your property, you can not be too off from the comparisons in your market area! Then of course this depends on the market at the time of sale. If it is like today's market, you may be able to get more than a market value for your house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2013
Wow, there are a wide range of opinions here. Before you do anything you need to consider how your home stacks up to the neighborhood. It's the value of similar properties that ultimately dictates the value of your home. If you are already at the top of the neighborhood, then you don't want to spend a lot of money, but that doesn't mean there aren't things you can do to make your home irresistible. Here are a few tips:

Lavender is a smell that sells! A light scent accompanied by some soft listening music sets the stage for a wonderful experience from the buyer. It is proven that a buyer will remember 50% more of the details of your home over the competition with this well kept secret :)

Paint with warmth - Instead of using white, which can seem cold, use pale colors like soft taupe or off-white. Painting is actually the most profitable improvement you can make.

Clean up your kitchen - Clearing the countertops will make a kitchen more appealing. Adding a few new appliances will modernize it. Remove child-proofing clasps on the cabinets. Spending $300 on cleaning and de-cluttering your home, according to a HomeGain survey, and you could add $2,000 or more to the sale price.

Light it up - Light makes rooms appear bigger and more welcoming. Open the curtains and blinds. Turn on lights, even in daylight. Shine up those mirrors. Wash those windows, inside and out.
Clean the floors - Buyers, like everyone, prefer to see clean floors, whether it's hardwood, linoleum or carpet. You can cover stains in the carpet with a nice new rug. Ikea is a good place to find rugs for under $500.

Landscape your outside ENTRANCE - Add a few new flower pots, small shrubs or hanging plants to spruce up the outside. Spending just $400 to $500 on fresh landscaping, according to the survey, can boost your home's value by $1,600 to $1,800.

Refresh your bathroom(s) - Quick fixes like replacing old tiles, fixtures and shower curtain will make the bathroom appear more updated. Bleach and scrub in between tiles. Add a vase of flowers to cover bad odors or just add a warm touch.

You MUST get rid of clutter and clean -- these two things are absolutely necessary. Then you have to live that way until the home sells -- it's a pain to keep the counter tops totally clean, but it's a must.

Survey information from http://www.HomeGain.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 13, 2012
200k is a masive amount to spend on upgrades.

I have found that an updated kitchen and bath are the two items that spark buyer's interest the most. You can do a great job updating your kitchen and bath for far, far less than 200k.

Custom stone work should be done if you want to enjoy it for yourself. I do not advise you to spend 200k on upgrades with the expectations of recovering that amount when you sale the home.

Best of success to you!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012

Best reconsider this size of investment.....

This is a common misunderstanding the many home owners have regarding money spent on home improvements. Generally, you never recover the full value on these upgrades/repairs and should consider yourself fortunate to realize 50-60%.

Owners should carefully weigh the pros and cons of making such adjustments knowing full well that they will be selling the property in the near future.

Another way of viewing these improvements in addition to money recovered is to realize that eventhough you don't recover full value, these changes could make your home sell easier and faster. Over a 5 to 10 year period, the value of these repairs should also be considered in terms of your quality of life as well.

Hope this is helpful.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
It's unlikely you would ever recoup 100% of your investment on landscaping upgrades. Make sure any money spent on the outside of your home goes towards curb (and yard) appeal and your own personal enjoyment for the time you plan to spend in the home.

For curb appeal, invest some money in hiring a professional landscaper and keep the hardscaping to a minimum. A reasonable amount of money can be used to make a stunning looking home with just a few trees, some plants and a well manicured lawn. Keeping costs down on this and doing a great job might actually make this an area where you can see a positive return on your investment. Unless your home is an eye-sore and a fresh coat of paint won't bring it up to snuff with the rest of the neighborhood, I wouldn't worry about stone work or anything else along those lines if you are only going to be in the home for ~7 years.

When considering your personal enjoyment, cost and time in the home are big considerations. Like previously stated, a pool is a huge investment that buyers might not appreciate and you will certainly not get $40,000 worth of enjoyment out of it in less than 10 years. I've seen some homes with a nice outdoor fountain situated where it could be seen and heard through a window inside and enjoyed outside as well. Something like this is a moderate investment, minimizes any nearby unwanted road noise, and can provide a WOW factor for people seeing your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 6, 2012
Q: For example, would a 200K investment in a new stone patio, patio cover and full outside kitchen add 200K to the value of the house?
A: Personal opinion, exterior amenities are so predicated on personal taste and there is such a wide variety of options, it’s almost impossible to answer this. Some people never go into their back yards and wouldn’t have a clue what to do with an outdoor kitchen … therefore, if you install a complete exterior kitchen, you’ve just eliminated a whole group of buyers. Same with a pool. In many cases, you can spend $60,000 on a pool and not get a single penny back in return when you sell. People don’t typically see rear yard investments as substantially increasing home values unless you go over the top and create a rear yard resort … but even then, you will never recoup the full amount you put into it. As suggested below, it’s better to focus on interior improvements that people will expect to see.

Q: What about upgrades to the exterior of the house for better curb appeal (i.e. custom stone work)? If we were to do this, we would be looking at a fair value 5 ~ 10 years from now.
A: You won’t get your money back, but you might get a quicker sale. And again, it depends on exactly WHAT you do … some custom stone work is extremely dated, and could actually detract from your value. Remember when lava rock was all the rage? When people see it now, they deduct the costs of removing it from the price of the home.

It sounds like you want to improve your existing home, but don’t plan on staying more than 5-10 years. I’d hold off on spending significant money on anything out of the ordinary until I was in the home I planned to be in for a long time – then I’d spend what I needed to make the home a place I’d love to live in for a long time. And that might include a full exterior kitchen …
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 13, 2012
I'll agree with all three of the agents below .
Do not spend a whole lot. $ 200,000 spending on upgrades will not give you much retrun. You will be able to sale it sooner than those homes without the upgrades for sure.

DRE # 01896912
Tarbell Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
there are many variables to home improvement return on investment such as base price to start, values in neighborhood, quality of work done, etc. that it would be hard to say, but putting $200K into the yard is not going to get you $200K more in price if the neighborhood isn't higher end. Curb appeal is important but don't over do. Inside the house improvements have the best return on investment with kitchen and bathroom upgrades. Buyers want granite, stainless steel and spa like bathrooms.
Check out this for more information http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2011/costvsvalue/division/pacif…

Sorry I know its LA not the OC but we get lumped in with them...

Lori Hanson
OC Homes Realty
714-585-5236 Cell
DRE 01405146
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
Some studies have shown that when comparing two houses side by side, all things being equal other than the landscaping, buyers tended to be willing to pay anywhere from 6-15% more for a home that was nicely landscaped vs one that one was not. Here is a link to one source..

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
It's really hard to answer this question without knowing more about the rest of the property and specific location. I would find a local expert to preview the property and give you their insights with regards to local market metrics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 12, 2012
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