What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some Home Upgrades Do Not Pay When Trying to Sell a House

We recently sold our fifth house, bought a vacation home and moved into our sixth purchased house.  When it comes to buying and selling houses some home upgrades simply do not pay for themselves when trying to sell a house.  They may help sell the house faster but you won't recoup the costs.  The list of upgrades fitting into this category will depend on the location and the current real estate market.  For example, it would have cost us $30,000 to rebuild our dock at our last house and yet we still would have taken a loss on the house.  The real  estate market had softened to the point we could have spent $100,000 on the house and still see a loss.  'Twas the sign of the times.  In general, in our area the following will not help greatly when selling a house and in some cases may even hurt the sale:

  • swimming pool - In our area we pay taxes on an inground pool but no taxes on an above ground pool. Pools in general are not selling features in our area.  If you are lucky a pool can be used from June to mid-September.  They are expensive to operate and work.  We looked at two houses, one with an inground pool and the other with an above ground pool.  We chose the one with the above ground pool because it could easily be dismantled if we decide we did't want a pool.  In reality, any pool is not a selling feature unless you find the right buyer.
  • landscaping - Landscaping is expected but specialty landscaping (eg. formal garden with greenhouse, ponds, and etc.) is not a selling feature.  About 90% of potential home buyers will see this as a lot of work so won't even bother putting in an offer.  The reality is most home buyers will remove a good portion of the existing landscaping so when sell just make it neat and tidy, without emphasizing any additional work.
  • windows - Prospective home buyers expect windows and they really don't seem to care whether they are energy efficient or not.  Our real estate agent said this is just the way it is but I'm not sure why.  
  • carpeting - Many prospective home buyers are not impressed with newly installed carpeting.  The growing trend is to go with hard flooring, not carpeting.  If you have carpeting, rather than replacing it, have the carpet steam cleaned for selling purposes.  Chances are very good anyone who buys the house will rip out the carpet anyway so just make sure it is clean and stain free for the showings.
  • painting - A fresh coat of paint may make the house more appealing but may not necessarily help you sell your house.  If a prospective buyer smells fresh paint in the house, they may view it as a quick cover-up, hiding something so painting may actually hinder the sale of your house.  Unless you have a garish colour in a room, the best bet is to wash the walls to brighten them a bit then leave them alone when selling.  Any potential buyer is going to repaint anyway so save yourself the work.  

Garden Gnome