Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

5 Ways To Boost Your Home’s Value

Aside from anyone’s goals when it comes time to sell their home the one thing most wish to accomplish is to get the highest selling price. Even though the current market is yielding some record selling prices, it can be hard to forecast how quickly and for how much your home will sell for. However, one thing you can control is to make some smart improvements so that you can do your part with enhancing your home’s value. Here are some helpful tips.

Stage Your Home

Many studies and experienced agents will agree that staging your home will not only help with how fast your home can sell but also for how much. The good news is that this can cost little to no money out of pocket. Tend to your core rooms like the living room, kitchen, master and dining rooms. Arrange them for flow and to showcase space, not necessarily how you like them for your everyday lifestyle. Keep only the essentials on kitchen counters to show off space and do little touches like set the dining table for the home to look inviting. 

Showcase Space

Adding more space is always desirable as more square footage typically means a higher price point. However, doing a full renovation can get expensive so only consider it if it will reap financial rewards. Examples of smaller jobs that you can do include taking down a wall to open up a kitchen or the like. Otherwise, while decluttering and organizing won’t add square footage they will certainly make the home appear more accommodating in space. Clean out your closets, storage areas and minimize belongings in each room. Consider renting a storage unit if necessary just while you market the home for sale. 

Enhance Energy Efficiency

It may not look or sound as exciting, but many buyers will be thrilled with a home that is efficient and less expensive to run. The best way to tackle this is if you need to do improvements to the home for selling it. For example if you need to do some landscaping, do a design that is self sustaining. Perhaps you may decide that replacing the HVAC system with a new, energy efficient one may help with the sale if yours is extremely old.

Update Systems/Appliances

Just like energy efficiency, take a look at the appliances and systems in your home. If you have a very old water heater, dishwasher or similar appliance it may make sense to replace it with an energy efficient one as it will certainly be pointed out in a home inspection. Items that you replace you will want to highlight in your marketing efforts and have supporting paperwork available so that buyers can rest assured that they won’t have to worry about replacement or repairs. 

Leverage Technology

Finally, some gadgets that make a home more secure and convenient will be attractive to all. These perks can also be relatively cheap to add which is fantastic news. Items such as smart thermostats, locks and security systems all make for safety and convenience in everyone’s lives. 

When considering any of these improvements you may want to reach out to your real estate agent to discuss which are best for your particular home. I am happy to help with any questions!

Should You Renovate Before Selling?

Home preparation is important during any market when it comes time to list your home for sale. Some basics will never change such as the important decluttering, cleaning and staging. However, should you renovate that kitchen or bathroom before listing right now? In this market things could be different and here are some things to consider. 

Lack of Competition

When we are amidst a “normal” real estate market then we should have about 6 months of inventory of available homes. These days per a recent report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is only a 1.9 month supply so buyer competition is very high. 

While some dire repairs may be best to make, not all improvements may be worth your while in this market. The best way to decide what should be done is to do a home tour with your Realtor to get the best advice. Nowadays many buyers are willing to do some work just to be able to get the home they are after. Letting the future buyers renovate a bathroom may be best as many more are prepared to do so. Spend your time and energy making sure that your bathroom is fresh and clean instead by maybe painting, getting a new shower curtain and adding some colorful hand towels. Dated can be acceptable but clean is a must. 

Focus on ROI Dollars

A home tour with your real estate agent is always best to decide on which updates need to be done for your particular home during the current market. You may be surprised how well your home could be perceived in today’s seller’s market. A recent statement from Hanley Wood Remodelers said “The 2020 Cost vs. Value report shows a predictable increase in costs for all 22 remodeling projects but a consistent dip in the perceived value of those projects at the time of home sale, as estimated by real-estate professionals in more than 100 metro areas across the U.S. This results in a slight downturn on the return on investment for nearly all projects relative to the trends we saw in last year’s report.”

With this news, you should definitely scrutinize your home to see what is absolutely essential. Contact me today if you would like me to visit your Fort Lauderdale area home to discuss your home selling plans. 

Outdoor Kitchen Design Considerations

Everyone loves the outdoors and especially here in the beautiful Fort Lauderdale area. Spending more time outdoors is why we all live here and what better to dine outdoors than to cook outdoors. An outdoor kitchen offers another gathering space, just like how your primary kitchen often tends to be the spot where everyone convenes for your family and guests alike. Before you go making plans for adding one to your home, consider these helpful tips. 

Who You Need To Hire

Usually you will want to hire a general contractor for this type of job as they can make necessary arrangements for important things like plumbing and electrical work. Sometimes companies that sell outdoor appliances will even have names of resources. However, if you are adding a kitchen that is integrated into your landscaping, you may want to reach out to a landscape architect.

The Location

If you want to get the most out of it, you need to pick a location where it will be easy to use. Typically this will be near the most used exit of your home so that it is easily accessed. Aside from this, locating it near any focal point or area that offers lounging or seating may be a good runner up. 

The Design

The look and feel of the kitchen should be consistent with your landscaping and home’s style. If you add a pizza oven and cover with a tiki bar grass roof, make sure you tie everything together perhaps with a matching granite counter that is complementary. 

Appliances

The appliances can really dictate just how much of a full kitchen that you are looking to do. Some opt for more of a cooking station that offers a built in grill and counter space while others build theirs out plumbed for a sink and add an under counter refrigerator making beverages simple for serving. Take it one step further and consider what you will need for storage for your pots, pans and utensils.

Other Considerations

Once you have planned for all of the basic needs, now it is time to tie it all together. Other niceties that can help is adding fans to either posts or ceilings nearby for cooling. Additionally, make sure you factor in necessary lighting. Evening barbeques are great but you want to be sure you can see what you are serving!

The Updates That Buyers Want These Days

Getting the highest price is a common goal that most sellers will aim for other than wanting a quick and clean sale when selling their home. Getting your home in excellent condition but with the most desired upgrades will help pave your path for success. Here are some of the best home improvements that have a higher return on investment.  

Home Exterior Upgrades

Stone masonry – Basic or dated, stamped siding can be upgraded with adding some real stone work to really increase the elegance factor of your home’s facade. 

Front door – Among one of the most important features that makes a great first impression is your front door. Upgrade it to something that is architecturally pleasing and then paint it an eye-catching color for a winning look.

Garage doors – Just like your front entry door, garage doors can have a significant influence on your home’s look. Neutral colors and styles that match your home’s design are the way to go to make your home look more classy. 

Home Interior Upgrades 

Kitchen upgrade – Before you think about a full gut job, you may not need to completely redo it. Try focusing on updating the essential elements that may be outdated including cabinets, counters, appliances and giving it a fresh coat of paint. 

Bathroom upgrade – A good idea for a bathroom upgrade is to install a walk-in shower. A shower that is level with the floor will give a luxurious look but is also easy to access and handicapped accessible. Additional upgrades to consider include taller toilets and support bars. 

Windows – Most buyers nowadays are concerned with aesthetics but also desire efficiency. The quality of your windows is paramount for conserving energy, controlling monthly costs and of course lowering insurance costs if they are high impact. New windows are among a top investment that yields a great return when it comes time to sell. 

Finally, if you are not in a position where you have the time or money to invest in your home before selling then you can consider some very low cost upgrades to your decor. You can do things like adding ample lighting and illuminating dark rooms with floor lamps or add some interest to your living room with a new area rug and throw pillows on the seating areas. 

 

7 Indicators That You Are Ready To Sell

We all experience a time when you begin to think – am I ready to move? Maybe you have been thinking about a different location, a larger house or something else that triggers these thoughts. You may wonder if you are in the best position to make a move or if it is a good time to do it. Here are 7 signs that you are ready to sell your home. 

You have equity

For most people this is the biggest factor – having enough equity in their current home to comfortably sell. For many years now home prices have been on the rise and with demand being as such, there is a strong chance that you would have equity to be able to sell with possibly some money left over to put towards your next residence.

You are debt free

Take a good look at your current financial situation. If you have paid off all of your major debt (aside from your current mortgage) and have enough money leftover for a handful of month’s worth of living expenses then you are probably in a good spot. It’s worth mentioning that if you have enough equity then you may even be able to pay off some debt with that during the process.

You are emotionally ready

For most, selling a home can be emotional. It is often your most valuable possession, a place where many memories have been made and at the end of the day – it is your home. Ask yourself if you are ready to say goodbye and move on to another location to establish a new domain.

You can afford an upgrade

Your move may be tethered to a growing family or maybe even a new job that you want to live closer to. Whatever the impetus, do some math to ensure that you can comfortably afford it. Most will recommend that you keep your monthly payment to 25% or less of your take home pay.

You have cash on hand

Even if you have some good equity in your current home, you will still need money for closing costs on your new home along with incidental expenses such as movers. Your mortgage agent should be able to give you some rough numbers on what to plan for in the way of closing costs. 

You have market knowledge

While nobody has a crystal ball to predict the market’s future, we do still have data to inform us of trends. In case you haven’t had your finger on the pulse of what is happening around you in your particular market, a great resource for this data is your real estate agent.

You have a real estate agent

Finally, having a trusted real estate agent like myself is an excellent resource for you to review your thoughts on selling and moving. Share your living situation, financial footing and goals to get some good honest advice on what would be best as you start to plan.

Creating a Calming Zone at Home

The way we view our homes has slightly changed over the past year. Nowadays everyone is looking for things like more space, a place for working at home, perhaps a home gym and now a space dedicated to meditation or relaxation. This may be a corner of a guest room or even a shed in the backyard. Here are some great ideas for how you can create a calming zone like this within your home.

Identify the location

First, you must find the perfect location for this relaxation retreat. While the space does not need to be huge, you should definitely search for something that offers some privacy. This could be sectioning off a part of a guest room or finding a spot that is mostly unused in or outside of the home.

Keep it simple

You will want a space that offers comfort where you can sit or lie, but don’t crowd it with too much else. Keeping things minimal with a cozy chair and pillows is a good place to start. Then make sure it is kept tidy and free of distractions like harsh colors, mirrors and even family photos. 

Appeal to the senses

It is all about pleasant elements that make you feel happy and relaxed. Warm or soft lighting for what you see, soothing music or white noise like rain for what you hear and perhaps some nice scented candles for what you smell. Pillows or throw blankets that are soft to the touch can also be a nice add.

Leverage nature

If a semi outdoor location is an option that can be best as you connect with nature. If not, you can bring the outdoors inside. A room with a large window to the garden or having many plants around can create a more natural and calming environment. 

Add calming details

Other than these elements that make the room meditation ready, consider some personal touches that take it one step further. It may be that you make the room feel more like a spa if that environment makes you feel most relaxed. Perhaps if your home has a view of a nearby park that you like then you set up your room where you can view it best. Whatever elements that speak to you personally that are calming should be factored into your design.