Remodel & Renovate in 80304>Question Details

Har, Both Buyer and Seller in 80304

Remodel/Sell in Boulder or just Sell?

Asked by Har, 80304 Mon Mar 8, 2010

We have an old house in the Whittier neighborhood, Boulder - It is 1865 sq/ft but the house has a few issues. It needs one corner pinned with structural helical pins, the basement floor has buckled, it has a weird layout, it has asbestos/cement shingles that needs replacement. We want to move but my wife wants to fix it up/remodel it THEN sell it.. I'd prefer to do some minor fix-ups then sell. How do we figure out what's best for us to make the best money on the sale. Is it worth the headache/stress of a remodel?

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Hi Har:

Generally projects that involve major remodels do not pay for themselves when you sell, so it generally is best to simply do the fix-up, paint-up clean-up projects that will make the house more appealing to buyers. You can take a look at the payback data from Remodeling Magazine at the link below.

However, structural issues are another matter. In Colorado you must legally disclose such issues. And you might as well, since they likely will be discovered during inspections anyway. There is no way to tell how a particular buyer will react to structural problems, but, in most cases, the buyers will want the issues fixed before moving in. As a general rule, they will want you to fix problems or reduce the price of the house by an amount roughly equal to what it will cost them to fix them.

As such, it often is better to handle these kinds of issues ahead of time so they don't result in problems during the contract period.

I would be happy to discuss this with you at length if you would like.

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Boulder, CO
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
We're mid-way into summer and home prices have moved up. I don't have anything to add beyond that.

Readers please do us the courtesy of a followup. I'm always curious if the questioner was helped by our advice. Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Hello Har,
There is small chance you are still in your home. But, you are welcome to contact me to discuss this, if not.

A lot of buyers are fond of older homes and they know that asbestos likely is present.

You may want to have an evaluation performed. While the health risks of exposure to asbestos are serious, it's the inhalation of the fibers that has given it the terrible reputation it has. Remediation by a professional usually involves making sure it is undisturbed. Removal should only be done by someone who is trained to do that. They have the proper gear and they seal up the work area.

It was on this Q&A that a homeowner had complained that a buyer who had submitted an offer brought his electric drill to an inspection and drilled holes in the owner's older home. The buyer withdrew his offer telling the seller that there was asbestos present.
I live by this rule: Never expose myself to hazardous materials.

Addressing these issues will get your home sold more quickly. It is true you do not recover the costs of the fixes you describe. You can look at it this way, though. What is it worth to you to have your home sold quickly. The market is improving as we approach summer.

Call, if you have questions.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 18, 2012
Fix the real problems. It will not pass an inspection and buyers want to know it is safe and solid. anything structural will hurt both the chance of anyone wanting it and the price greatly.

You might consider the upgrades if you do them yourself. Paying a professional to do them would cost you money but might make it easier to sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Har, I'm still worried about you....

Here is the cost value report for remodeling from the National Association of Realtors:…

Also, I can get you a 10% off (up to $10,000) from Lowes. Let me know if this would be helpful.

"Definitely" Dave
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
I always like to treat a renovation as a business decision. All that really matters is what will get you the most money in the long run.
1) Figure out what your home will realistically sell for in today’s market - not what you hope it will sell for or what your neighbors listed their house for but didn't sell. BE REALISTIC
2) Make an extremely detailed list with prices of everything you will do to your home. Add 15% to this cost.
3) There is an opportunity cost of holding onto your home for another year while you remodel (yes it will take a year from start to sold). What else could you have done with your time, what else could you have done with your money, and what are your holding costs?
4) How is the market for a fixed up home in Whittier vs. one that needs to be fixed up? How much will it sell for? Did you know that the luxury market is extremely soft right now? How are other homes selling for in your target price range?
5) Were will you live while doing the renovation? Living in the home could cause a lot of stress. Watch the movie "Money Pit"
6) Add up all the numbers and see what makes sense. I grew up in a family that fixed up houses and sold them every two years. It was fun, I loved it, and now I’m a Realtor. Don’t forget to add the fun emotional factor which is priceless.
P.S. If you will not enjoy the experience I recommend selling your house as is. There is a lot less money in fixing it up than you may think.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
Hi There,
I also live in an old house in Whittier. It's a great neighborhood but these old places can be tricky. I'd be glad to swing by and take a look at your house and your projects if you'd like.
Good luck,

Ben Oliver 303-803-7526
Fourstar Realty
Boulder, CO
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
The issues you mention would most likely result in inspection items if you tried to sell now, unless you price the house accordingly (low) and as-is.
Have you gotten any repair and/or remodeling estimates? These estimates plus a neighborhood market analysis would help you determine your course of action.
Hope this helps!
Laurie Clark
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
If you are planning on selling soon, only fix what needs to be fixed--make sure the house shows well on the interior and exterior for curb appeal--fresh paint where needed, gleaming floors, spotless kitchen and bathroom(s), neat, clean and clutter free, remove or re-arrange any bulky furniture if applicable etc., oftentimes cosmetics will do the trick over any remodel. Once you decide on an agent if you haven't already, he/she will best advise--Keep in mind that in today's market pricing and marketing are paramount.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
As far as structural issues, I would have them fixed. They will come up on inspection and the buyer might cancel the contract. I offer a free, no obligation, service where I will come to your home and then provide you with a list of recommended repairs with a return on investment ROI report. Let me know if you would like me to do this. You can reach me at 303.550.8563. Thanks, David
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 8, 2010
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