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Category Archive: ‘Remodel Projects’

Kitchen Backsplashes

back

It doesn’t take much to turn your kitchen backsplash into a stunning decorative feature, without having to spend millions.  Here are some ideas:

https://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=126177

http://www.purewow.com/home/The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Backsplashes

https://www.pinterest.com/kitchenideas/backsplash-ideas/

Here is my tour of the local tile store:

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects, Vendors | 1 comment

Why Improve to Sell?

why paint

During the radio show I mentioned that in my latest survey of NSDCC sales, 42% of the home sellers had owned their home for 12 years or more.

These long-time owners grapple with improvements to sell – where do you start, and where do you stop?

I suggested beefing up the curb appeal, and new carpet and paint.

Improving the curb appeal is understandable; 1) the first impression is critical, and 2) landscaping and power-washing are quick, easy, and cheap.

But carpet and paint?  Why bother?

A common response is that sellers would rather have the buyers select their own favorites – especially with flooring, because there are so many choices.

Here’s why sellers should consider spending the money:

  1.  Any neutral color will work, and anything is better than the used-up, dingy, 12-year old look you have now.
  2.  Buyers typically don’t have great vision to see past old carpet and paint.
  3.  Many buyers just want – or need – to move in right away, and do improvements over time.  New carpet and paint looks move-in ready.
  4.  You’ll look better than the competition.
  5.  New carpet and paint not only look clean, they smell clean!
  6.  You will sell faster, and for more money!

If you don’t install new carpet and paint, the house will be labeled a ‘fixer’ in the minds of most buyers.  You will lose the buyers who can’t, or won’t, afford the necessary improvements (real and imagined), and those still standing will expect a discount off the sales price.

Because buyers aren’t that familiar with the cost of improvements, their idea of a discount will be larger than yours!

(Here is a link to the whole radio show)

http://livestream.com/espn1700/the-lunch-hour

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Remodel Projects, Thinking of Selling?, Tips, Advice & Links, Why You Should List With Jim | 2 comments

Coat of Nicotine

I was going through some old photos last night!

Back in the day, Mike Anthony and I bought a duplex in the College Area.  The lady in the back house had been there for 20+ years, and was a serious smoker.  We don’t think she ever opened a window – the nicotine on the walls was thick enough that we could scrape it off with a knife.

After we scrubbed it down, my brother Dave and his friend came over to paint with a rented spray rig – and it took three coats to cover it.

He and I had a dispute over him spilling some paint on the hardwood floors, and ended up in a fist fight in the backyard!

cancer1

cancer2

cancer3

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cadillac seville

The last photo is of my all-time favorite, the triple-black 1979 Cadillac Seville.

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in About the author, Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects | 5 comments

10% Range in Values

2015-06-11 17.54.08

Is there an easy answer to how much sellers should spend on repairs, to sell?

You see me on various jobs talking about projects undertaken by sellers – and the scope of the project are almost always related to the house’s age.  You want to bring houses up to speed, but items that are dated and hard to change (eight-foot ceilings, split-level, bad yard, etc.) make it a real challenge.

Where do you start, and where do you stop?

Work it backwards.  Those who live in a super-custom area (RSF, Del Mar, La Jolla, etc. where values can vary widely from lot to lot), have a wider range.

But those who live in tract neighborhoods can expect home values to range roughly 10% between the fixers and the cream-puffs.  The newer the tract, the easier it is to predict where you are in the range, because the improvements are more likely to be similar.

If your house is mostly original, buyers will expect to pay a minimum of 10% less than the comps that have been fully remodeled or have other positives (view, big yard, one-story).

If you can find a way to spend less than 10% to get your house from fixer to full retail, then do it.  Your renovated look could spur a bidding war, and/or provide additional benefits later like easier repair-list, easier appraisal, and less chance of fallout.

If the cost of needed improvements exceed 10% of your current value, then just sell it as a fixer, and have your price do the work – list for 10% under the renovated comps.

There are other variables – a bad agent can cost you 2% to 3%, and a great one can add 2% to 3%.  Quality contractors at reasonable prices make a substantial difference, and timing is everything!

Get Good Help!

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects, Tips, Advice & Links | 3 comments