Should I bother updating my house?

Asked by Jenny W., Battle Creek, MI Thu Oct 9, 2008

I bought a house on the northside in BC two years ago for 79,000. (It would probably be worth about 65,000 now due to the housing slump.) Should I update this house? I want to finish off a bedroom putting hardwood in. I have already spent about 2000 dollars updating a bathroom. Will I ever get my money out of it, since it's not in the best neighborhood in Battle Creek? And is the market EVER going to come back???

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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Oct 9, 2008
If you would be happier with the work done on your home, then by all means do it! If you are doing this work only to get a return on it, for an upcoming sale..then no. When will the market return? Sooner then most people think I say.
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Paul McIntyre, Agent, Portage, MI
Tue Feb 24, 2009
There are a lot of variables involved here. Very few updates bring you a full return on your investment upon completion. If you are planning on staying in the home for any period of time then part of the return will be the enjoyment you get from having these improvements as part of your home. That having been said, done judiciously (i.e. decent quality materials and craftsmanship in a DIY project) can net you more return than dollars invested. Check the link below for more information about the best projects to pursue.

As for when the market will recover, nobody knows. We do have a number of business activities that should bring substantial activity to the home buying market. Some analysis says we are at the bottom of the slump, others say it will take two years. The fact is if we are patient the market will recover, just as it has done many times in the past.
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Leigh Newport, Other Pro, Hamilton, VA
Fri Oct 10, 2008
Hi Jenny,

You didn't say if you wanted to sell right away, or were just thinking ahead. I think you should consult both your Realtor and also with a Home Stager before you make these decisions. Your Realtor can tell you how much money you can expect to get for your home. An Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) can help you determine which upgrades will give you the best return on investment should you decide to continue with renovations. Even if you decide against renovations, the consultation will provide you with specific instructions on what to do so that your home shows the absolute best when selling, even without the upgrades. An ASP can also provide you with economical solutions and/or sources for any updates you might choose.

I'd be happy to put you in touch with ASP's in your area or feel free to search

Leigh Newport
Staged by Design
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