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Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Bubbleinfo Readers, Bubbleinfo TV, Remodel Projects | 12 comments | Print Print

ProfHoff Before and After

Once you accept that every house needs at least $25,000 of repairs and improvements, select the house with a premium location and minimal expenses.  ProfHoff and her husband Tom took four years to find the right house, so shopping hard for another six months to pay the right price, for the right upgrades, was nothing:


  1. awesome work!

    I really like the cabinets. They did a killer job on them.

    You know some people might have the time but lack the construction skills to do the simplest of projects. Most people are afraid of failure and never attempt to do anything. The best way of getting experience is to try a project. You will probably make some rookie mistakes but you learn.
    Most of the people that are good at something have made the rookie mistakes before and built on them. Just hope that if you hire someone they have got their rookie mistakes out of their system.

  2. Nice looking place….didnt not find much value in in upgrades. Floors, lighting, paint money well spent. Cabinet staining, and low end furniture from ikea does not make it pop. House already had good bones, loved the herringbone elongated trav. Would have tossed that $5/sq ft granite and replaced granite backsplash with something else ( $5k)

  3. Very good. May also want to warn people that sometimes HOA requirements require certain improvements be done in a timely matter after purchasing a house – budget that accordingly.

  4. Agreed that furniture from Ikea is not going to pop like something more authentic, but this is a getaway home to relax and for now, Ikea is good enough.

    We did splurge on the bed in the master and the two guest rooms look pretty good.

    We still have a long way to go – more art, more stuff, but it’s comfy and we don’t have to worry about the steady stream of visitors wrecking anything.

  5. Re: the granite – we hate the granite, but we were committed to doing the minimum to make it habitable and nice.

    The experience of our primary house is burned into our brains like a bad dream – bought at the peak, gutted it, sunk a small fortune into a total custom redo and now will never ever ever be able to sell for anything close to what it cost. So, our main objective was – let’s not do that again and Jim promised he wouldn’t let us get out of control on the beach house.

    He kept his word…

  6. Yes, this was a very specific package.

    The previous owner sealed off the TV niche, which visually made the family room even smaller. Notice the slight difference now – it feels like there is at least more depth to the room. Add the smaller ikea furniture (which was deliberate) and it works great in a room of this size. If you used the typical sofa/loveseat combo instead, not only does the family room get gobbled up, it kills the kitchen too.

    We weren’t looking for pop – we were looking for a complete package: Best location with turn-key house that we could sell within 17 days once I find them the next home.

    This is a standard tract neighborhood where you don’t want to get carried away if you are going to resell in the next 2-5 years.

    Water’s End has seen 22 closings this year, which is astronomical. The highest is $795,000, and ProfHoff bought a premium lot for $740,000. Keeping a budget of <$25,000 is smart - if it keeps going and they get back into the $800,000s by summer, they will enjoy good appreciation and won't mind selling quick to get into the destination home.

  7. Re: specific package

    I see…in that case strategic spend on key elements money well spent. Place looks sharp…scale of modern furniture certainly transforms smaller rooms to be visually larger and more open. Would like to see net affect of 25k spend on sale price…

  8. Hey Jim,

    Is that all american hardwoods in action again re doing the floors in this video? Good Job on all in my books!

  9. Great bang for the buck there.

    “Don’t unpack, I’ll be back” – Classic JTR.

  10. the $25k remodeling limit is definitely sage advice. otherwise you can really go overboard once getting started. especially on tract homes like this, you want to make sure you have mass appeal when it comes selling time. and more doesn’t always mean better.

    when it comes to the cabinet vs granite. I think the granite looks perfectly fine, whereas the maple looking old cabinet really gave the house a dated look. that cabinet change was a good idea and it was pulled off nicely.

    well done!

  11. Agreed, and those are the same cabinets, just re-touched by our painter to look new/different.

    Most buyers don’t know what they are looking at, and neither do agents. They just want something snazzy-looking, so this is a cheap way to fit the bill.

    Will these improvements add dollar for dollar to sales price? I hate that idea because it matters more to time the sale around other good comps nearby.

    If you sell today, it would be $1 for $1. If they sell right after a couple of homes close in the low-to-mid $800,000s, the updated look should propel them to the top of the range, and you could say $2 for $1.

  12. that’s an excellent paint job! I was certainly fooled!

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