Home Selling in 11235>Question Details

Janine, Home Seller in Brooklyn, NY

what improvements or upgrades would a house need to bring up value?

Asked by Janine, Brooklyn, NY Sat Aug 7, 2010

We are thinking about sellling. There was house on my block that was sold. The same house as mine, but that house hasn't had any work done to it in about forty to fifty years. Being, that I have the same house with alot of work done to it and upgrades in the last 3 years. What would be the difference in value?

Help the community by answering this question:


GREAT GREAT GREAT question. Get some STATISTICS to understand this. I have included a link to a chart from Zillow. Basically, only kitchen and bathroom upgrades recover very close to 100%. Everything else generates various levels of loss. Remember even if you upgrade, everyone else has a different taste -- so you can't hope for more than "cost recovery" under the best circumstances. You won't make a profit unless you have specific things that are flat out broken and you are doing a true fix-it-upper job -- like for a truly messed up house. Does not sound like your situation. So just go ahead and sell and don't worry about upgrades. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
I see you have received a lot of great information already. My main concern would be how long ago the other unimproved home has sold for and how much your market has appreciated/depreciated since then.
I can't give you specific numbers, I can't even ballpark it because I haven't seen your home and/or the home that has sold, nor do I know any specifics about your market. Improvments do have different values in different areas. Example: a pool in Florida might add x amount to the value of a home, whereas it might actually lower the value if the poolhome was located in Alaska.
As already suggested, an appraisal might be a good way to go or you might also want to contact a Realtor to give you an overview of your local market specific to your neighborhood and style of home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
In the buyers' market we're in, few upgrades are going to significantly improve value. Instead, they will improve the ability to sell a property faster.
Web Reference: http://www.golftobeach.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
Hi Janine. I've not read any answers below, so I'll come at this fresh. First let me say, I think the best approach would be to get your home appraised. They will take into account specific condition/upgrades as well as comparable sales in your vicinity. That will be the best way for an accurate pricing should you choose to sell your home

Bathroom and Kitchen upgrades do tend to bring up value. Check the site included below. It is Miller Samuel, the pre-eminent appraiser in New York. His site if very informative and I hope it gives you some insight. Good luck.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 1, 2011
hi Janine,
At this point it is really difficult for us to say and give you some app. numbers. We do not know what it is that
you did to your home, nor WHEN, it is best to get a Realtor or two to come to your home, have a look and
discuss it with you. Sometimes as a homeowner one does all the right things so that the home is upgraded, updated and competitive in today"s market, although more often than not, do we do things to our homes, that WE as the homeowners either need or like, which not always may be what new constructions and current trends indicate to be looked for. Therefore Realtors who see a lot of homes in your area, will have a better feeling and as they will compare your home, by its location, style, size, they will also add or subtract from the initial list or potential sale price, what they think upgrades your home and what requires by the new owners some doing.

There are always advantages to completely updated kitchens and baths, new or newer roof and windows and then some of the other items, like hardwood flooring, nice tiling and the decor or space of a home and the floor plan itself depending on style of home.

Good Luck to you and I am sure that any one of your area Realtors will be able to give you a lot of input
and explain the plus and minus points of your property.
Edith YourRealtor4Life
Your Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
Hi Janine. Monir is right, kitchens and baths are definitely #1. I was a general contractor for almost 15 years and I can tell you that they add the most value. Imagine the faces on buyers visiting your home the first time and seeing the original kitchen and bathrooms. What do you think goes through their minds?

Refer back to the link I posted for you from Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value to see what statistics are for your metro area:


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
Hi Janine

As far as the list of upgrades go, here are the basics:
Paint in and out, carpet, clean or new drapes or shutters.
Crown molding and baseboards.
Actual wood doors.
Kitchen and bath upgrades.
Coat garage floors and paint in the garage too before the rains, as one has to empty out the garage.
Lighting and fixtures throughout.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
It depends on the type of work you had done and how you did it. Some sellers do improvements but they customize it to their own taste and or do renovations that wasn't done well.

I personally find that the most important renovations, upgrades or reparirs are the kitchen, bathroom, heating, windows, plumbing, electric, roof and any structural damage. If you can have these things in order then you will increase your property value significantly. These are the things that inspectors will look at with a keen eye to report to the bank and the buyer.

Since I don't know your exact area and house type, I cannot give you an exact value, but the things mentioned above will skyrocket the value. If you plan to do anything else to the house take it easy on how much you spend because in most cases you will not get back as much as you put in due to this buyer's market.
Web Reference: http://www.KandHhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Hi Janine

Depending on the quality of the upgrades you can get 15 to 20 percent higher.
Not of course if the market tanks when you list say in late fall, then it gets tough.

The prudent thing to do would be to call a Realtor and find out what are the Comparables and what's are the trends, also a lot depends on the location of your property etc.

Web Reference: http://Www.ruthandperry.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
A listing agent would have to have a
walk thourgh of the house,size of the house and lot size,the condition.
Where it is located and what comp's are on the market and what as sold.
Have an agent create your own custom
comparable market analysis (CMA) reports.
That way we will be able to provide a professional market
value of your home.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Janine ,When considering a remodeling job for your home in an effort to increase value, it’s hard to decide what should be done. Well, this isn’t exactly true. You don’t have to guess. Twenty-two years ago, Remodeling magazine, with cooperation from REALTOR® Magazine, began publishing an annual “Cost vs. Value Report.” This report covers 33 possible home remodeling projects over 80 cities.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
To get an idea of value regarding your property, you can either ask any agent(s) for a comparable market analysis, or hire a professional appraiser. As for the improvements--much will depend on your location, size of property, exactly what was updated, the quality, any warranties, etc., do keep in mind that not all improvements made, will get you back the full amount spent. When selling, make sure your property shows well--is neat, clean, clutter free, no leaky faucets, sparkling clean floors, remove or rearrange any bulky furniture, fresh paint if needed, exterior curb appeal, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Dear Janine:

Any upgrades or improvements you make to your home will add value. The more important questions is by making improvements will the value increase enough to justify the cost and/or effort to make such improvements. Usually when people make improvements to their home they get personal satisfaction while living in and using the home which is part of the value/reason for making such improvements. The fact that these improvements raise the homes value is like the icing on the cake.

If you are considering making improvements for the sole purpose of trying to get more money when you sell the house you have to be careful. You may not recoup your entire investment depending in the type of improvement that you do.

As an example, the best and most cost effective improvements to do when preparing to sell the house would be the following:

1) Paint the house! They say that $1,000 worth of paint will bring back $5,000.00 when you sell!

2) Changing old carpet and/or re-finishing hardwood floors. Again, you should get back double or triple the expense.

3) Landscaping! Mow the lawn and tidy up the hedges! Plant some pretty flowers. This will increase you so called "curb appeal."

4) If there is a blatant repair that needs to be done, just take care of it! You fixed the roof but never painted over that water stain on the ceiling...now's the time to do it!

Whenever an investor purchasers a home to "flip" they always do these things first because they have been proven to add value and bring back more than the costs. Any other renovations such as a kitchen, bathroom windows, etc. generally will not bring in the full cost so therefore are not worth doing (unless your a contractor and can get that stuff done for pennies on the dollar. Also the buyers may not have the same taste as you and may not be that impressed with your selection of color or materials. If you re-did the kitchen three years ago, that's great because you got to use it for three years and it will also add value to your home, even if it is not the full cost of the upgrade, at least you got good use out of it!)

There are additional things you can do which will not cost you anything but help, such as:

1) De-clutter your entire home and closets. Give the old cloths to charity. Sell or donate any furniture you will not be taking with you. Less is more, have your kids pick up their old record and video tape collections! You may even want to put some stuff in storage. You want to make sure there is an easy flow as buyer walk through your home.

2) Make sure your home is sparkling clean from top to bottom.

3) Remove all or most of your family photos from around the house. Buyer want to visualize it as their house, not yours!

If you want, give me a call. I would be more than happy to meet you at your home. Upon viewing your home and give you a full evaluation of it's value along with specific instructions on what you can do to help the cause. My office is located at 2922 Avenue R right off Nostrand Avenue. I sell homes in the area all day long, have been for the past 18 years. If I can be of further assistance let me know. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Janine, this will depend on the price range, as well as various other factors. the most important thing is that your house will sell faster, and for more money. Will the increase in value be the same amount as you put into the house, definitely not. One thing that I find improves the value more than expected is a finished basement. Other than that, it is somewhat an appraisers call what he will consider the condition of the house. If the house that hasn't been touched in 40-50 years is clean, and all things seem to be working, and it presents well, it will be considered in average condition. Generally, the only homes that are considered to be in Very Good condition are those that have been 100% renovated. the appraiser has to decide whether they will rate yours as good or very good.
The only thing, as mentioned, that will make a big difference is whether you have added bathrooms or square footage. Also, if you have a deck and they don't, that can also add a good amount of value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Absolutely. Remodeled homes always sell faster and for more money than the same home that is out of date. There is usually a shortage of homes on the market that need no work. It is difficult to tell how much value this can add though. We had a rehabbed house house recently that sold in one day for much more than asking and had a bidding war, all because it was like a brand new house. I would think on average if your home is totally new inside vs a home that is 40 years old inside, that it should add approx 10% to the value on average. Could be more, but only a good Realtor in your areas will be able to best guide you. I'm just going by my personal experience. Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Hi Janine:
It depends on the type of upgrades you did. While upgrades will certainly bring up the value of your home or any home, more than likely the value won't go up by the cost of the upgrades. A dollar in is not always a dollar out. I would also need to know more about the upgrades before making a judgment. Please feel free to contact me directly if I can assist you. Good luck!

Ralph Windschuh
Certified Buyer Representative
Associate Broker
Senior Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Princeton Properties
In the Top 2% of Century 21 Agents Nationwide!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
Hi Janine. The improvements to a home that consistently get the highest returns are always going to be kitchens, baths and additions. These 3 improvements are jobs that new homeowners would rather not deal with once they've bought a home. You'll get high marks for neutral color cabinets in the kitchen, along with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances. Additions add living space so they are always in demand.

Here's another source for you, too....Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value:



Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 7, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer