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Blue House

Last month I was tipped off by a few friends back in my old South Omaha neighborhood. Out of the blue, a quiet, unassuming neighbor purchased the adjacent home behind him, tore it down, built a pool, converted a shed into a full-blown pool house and topped everything off with a boulder retaining wall and evergreen landscaping.

This guy obviously had zero concerns about future sale value. The average sale price in the immediate area around $150,000.

Obviously that example is a little outrageous, but it does help answer a question I am often asked, will I get my money back if I do any improvements to my home.  What about replacing all the windows? Is it worth it to install granite counter tops? Do swimming pools add any value to a home?

Side view of blue pool house

The story about the South Omaha tear down sums up my first point about making improvements to a home. It’s your home. Do what you want. Not every improvement decision needs to be focused on future sale value. Do whatever is going to make you happy.

That advice turns a sharp corner when the improvements are looked at through the lens of an upcoming home sale. In that case it is extremely important to consider your return on investment.

If you are considering a move and want to consider fixing up some things in order to have an impact on future sale value here are three rules of thumb…

Pool side view

Add Your Heading TexHome Improvement Tips for Sellerst Here

First rule, less than a dollar don’t bother. For every dollar spent on improvement you should expect a $1.25 return. For example, if two-bathroom homes are selling for $10,000 more than the average one bathroom home and the cost to build that second bathroom is $10,000, do you hassle with the build? Heck no.

Second rule, improvements are costly, but repairs save. There is a significant difference between improvements and repairs. Worn out flooring, leaky faucets, dangerous electrical fixtures, even walls in desperate need of paint are items likely to ‘recapture’ or save significantly on potential sale value. 

My third and last rule of thumb when it comes to home improvements is to apply the herd mentality. If Formica countertops are in most of your neighbor’s homes, stick with Formica. Instead of dumping all your money on fancy granite countertops, spread out your updating efforts and you have a greater chance at appealing to more buyers and more buyers equals greater sale value.

As always, if you know of anyone considering a move invite them to click my new HOME SALE EASY BUTTON at www.BrianCarlinHQ.com

About the author…Brian Carlin is a carpenter turned Realtor who built the HQ for fixers + landscapers + DIYers + decorators + remodelers + home shoppers + homeowners. Watch, learn, and laugh as he shares his home improvement and real estate adventures at www.BrianCarlinHQ.com and his social media outlets.