Considering return on investment, where should you spend your remodeling budget?

Asked by Trulia Washington DC, Charlotte, NC Thu Apr 25, 2013

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Katrina Hill, Agent, WA,
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Nothing can turn a listing around like a fresh Kitchen and fresh Bathroom(s). Anything beyond that can be dealt with by staging, cleaning and perhaps paint and carpet. Next in line would be some attention to the exterior, curb appeal and the landscaping.

Katrina Hill
Washington, DC

Central Properties, LLC
1353 V Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Cell/Text: 202.409.8334

K. Ann Decor & Design Homes
Home Staging
0 votes
Miekeba Jones, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Hi Trulia, you want to do the kitchen and bathrooms first.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Excellent answer from Maureen.

Just a few extra thoughts: Examine the property and see if anything sticks out like a sore thumb. Most likely, it'll be the kitchen or baths. But sometimes there's something else that's also a real turn-off. For example, most buyers won't look past walls painted purple and the green shag carpeting to admire the new baths.

Spend at least some on landscaping and curb appeal. It's surprising (to me, at least) the number of potential buyers who reject properties without ever getting out of the car. Spend the money to get them out of the car and into the property.

And while the question is reasonable--return on investment--recognize that's not always the goal. Listen: Does ANYBODY need stainless steel appliances? Of course not. Same with granite countertops. But a large number of people will reject, out of hand, houses in which the kitchens don't have stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

So, do stainless steel appliances offer an attractive return on investment? No. But what they will do is broaden the market of potential buyers to include those who've put stainless steel appliances on their "must have" lists.

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Djana Morris, , Washington, DC
Thu Apr 25, 2013
It's no contest -- kitchen, bathrooms, and landscaping.
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Maureen Dwyer, Agent, Ashburn, VA
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Updated kitchens and baths will stand out in a listing. Typically the buyer is not interested in spending more money to improve kitchens and baths and will usually miscalculate the cost. They want that expense and any remodeling issues over and done with. Keep in mind how your property will stack up against the competition; a fourth bedroom converted from existing space but not necessarily a fifth could be a value add, opening a room by removing a non-load bearing wall is not expensive but can create a modern feel.
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