Renovations Street: Jimmy the Renovator

Renovations Not To Do in 2011

With so many television shows, magazines and Internet websites dedicated to home renovations, many people are taking on the challenge themselves. Investors buy houses now and attempt to renovate the houses. Some do a great job but there are a lot of people who should stick to their day job and put the hammer down. Here's some things not to renovate this year.

I can't say this enough no wallpaper. Wallpaper is a matter of taste. If you want wallpaper in your home, great. But if you ever want to sell your house, get rid of it. For one, its too personal, and two, it is aggravating to get rid of.

Don't do huge expansions. With the economic downturn, more people are buying smaller homes.

Don't price yourself out of your market with expensive renovations. Home theaters or major electronic systems, such as security for example, may not work in your favor when selling.

Talk with local real estate agents and go to a few open houses. If you are working with an agent, they will also be able to get you “comps” or the pricing of comparable homes in your neighborhood. I had grandiose ideas of renovations for my home when I was looking to sell my house a couple of years ago (this still holds true and even more so now). My agent helped me to see that I would have ended up with a house too pricey to sell in my neighborhood. You are better off fixing whatever needs to be fixed and doing smaller touches such as replacing hardware on cabinets.

Closed kitchens are out. There is a greater trend towards kitchens that a family can hang out and feel comfortable in. You may need to make some adjustments to the kitchen if you are looking to sell. You might put in a breakfast nook or put in a butcher block as an island to allow the new cook to socialize more easily.

In that same vein, no continuous counters in the kitchen. A continuous counter generally runs in an “L” shape, with the person preparing food facing a bank of cabinets. To allow the cook to be involved with the other people in the room or perhaps have a window to look out of, you may want to create a variety of work stations. Think of how restaurant kitchens have work tables strategically placed to promote better communication and oversight between the cooks.

When painting in preparation to sell, don't select bold, bright colors. Warm, soothing earth tones are trending right now.

Don't do much with your basement. The best you can do is to be sure you don't have dry rot and leaks. Resist the urge to put in a bedroom in the basement. Even though a house with more bedrooms is more likely to sell, having a bedroom up to code in a basement is costly and ultimately can be unappealing to a buyer.

Overall, think smaller renovations, more light-filled rooms, open floor plans, better windows and other energy savers such as insulation. Also, upgrade electricity and your homes ability to handle electronics.

See you later, Jim

Ernie Arrizza

Ernie Arrizza

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Kelleher Real Estate Inc., Brokerage*
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