We own a 2360 sq. ft. two level home built in 1989 located in Tualatin Oregon. Which in/out upgrades will help marketability and price most?

Asked by Steve Sorlien, Tualatin, OR Fri May 6, 2011

We are upgrading kitchen countertop to porcelain tile, new kohler sink and popular faucet. New kitchen recessed and rail lighting are coming too. Entire interior to be re-painted. The carpet is a premium pile carpet in good shape. All other interior lighting is upgraded. We will re-paint exterior and replacement old shake roof with textured asphalt before sale in about 4-5 years. We removed most components from backyard save for some small trees. Front yard has a small putting green shaped grassed area a few other components. What other upgrades should we consider to the interior? What additional cost effective additions should be made to the landscape to make it appeal to the broadest market? We have to do all this on a budget but we have some years in which to do it. Thank you.

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Jennifer Pet…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri May 6, 2011
Hi Steve,

Great job thinking about this a few years in advance! A lot of home owners do not plan for resale until they are ready to sell. You have some great ideas already. I would suggest, however, that if you do not need to replace the kitchen counter tops right away that perhaps you save up more money over the next few years and put in slab granite or at least granite tile closer to the selling date. Granite is becoming a much more standard remodel upgrade, so you would be competing with that at the selling point.

The very first impression any buyer will have on your home is outside in the front of the home. Therefore, it will be important for that to look polished and maintained at the time of sale.

As already mentioned, kitchens and bathrooms make huge impacts. Since you are planning to stay in the home another 4-5 years, I would suggest planning ahead for possibly replacing the carpet and putting fresh new paint throughout the interior just prior to listing your home. If you end up not needing those projects done, then you will have that money to help with moving expenses or projects for your new home. But typically, the floors and walls make the largest impact to make a home appear new and fresh again.

Thank you for the great question. It's great to see home owners being so proactive. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance.

Mandy Lewis
1 vote
Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Fri May 6, 2011
Bathrooms and kitchens are very important and make more sense for updating in this market along with simple but nice landscaping for good curb appeal. It sounds like you are going in the right direction...just make sure any upgrades you do are in line with what the surrounding area will cover. Most agents that work in your area may be able to give you a good idea as to what additions are best.
1 vote
Janie Davis, Agent, Beaverton, OR
Thu May 12, 2011
Hi Steve,

I read through the answers you've received and you've gotten some excellent advice! One suggestion I have that will answer your questions and make your decisions easier is to hire a home stager for a consultation. I provide a complimentary staging consultation with a professional stager on all the homes I list. The stager compiles a room-by-room checklist for the sellers and recommends the exact color and brand of paint, fixtures, carpet, tile, etc.... it's a tremendous resource!

I use Room Service Home Staging (http://www.roomservicehomestaging.com/) and highly recommend them. Feel free to let Laurie know you heard about her from me. I can give you about 100 client referrals for her, and at least half of them are homes I've listed in Tualatin. :)

Best of luck making your home more desirable to future buyers (and more enjoyable for you!). Feel free to contact me if I can help in any way.

Janie Davis, Principal Broker
Linda Zimmerman Real Estate

0 votes
Dave Sutton, Agent, Portland, OR
Sun May 8, 2011
One very handy tool is the Cost vs. Value Report at http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2010/costvsvalue/national.aspx

It will describe major and minor remodels for all parts of your house, list typical costs (by region of the country) and then show how much of that cost would likely be recovered at resale.

That's no substitute for purely local knowledge but it's a great starting point.
0 votes
Kris Simpson, Agent, Tualatin, OR
Fri May 6, 2011
Many of the upgrades you are planning will have positive impact upon resale but if your plan is to sell 4-5 years, your return on investment will diminish. Replacing the roof will be important and the longer the life span the better. With the trend toward green building and living, the better the sustainability of anything you put in or on the house the better. Use materials and paints that are "earth friendly". As far as landscaping, use plants that are native to Oregon, those that do not require a lot of watering outside of what they receive during our rainy months.

You can get a lot of good information from http://www.earthadvantage.org. Click on Programs, Residential Remodel. They also offer some financial incentives to replacing old furnaces, water heaters, toilets, etc. Earth Advantage Institute is an Oregon based organization.

You can also find information on my web site (link below) under Seller Info, click on the Remodeling Return on Investment link to see what the ROI on different remodeling projects you might do in the house, the costs, etc.

I hope this helps. Good luck and please let me know if I can ever be of service to you with a real estate transaction.

Kris Simpson
Premiere Property Group
0 votes
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