Start with a Plan to Increase Condo’s Resale Value
The fastest way to increase the resale value of your condo is to make a plan. Often, with a home listing, potential resale and family relocation on the horizon, our thoughts jumble into this daunting cloud of projects, numbers and details. Step out from under the cloud, and sit down with a pen, paper and a readiness to brainstorm.
Make a plan
Write down a list of all the home renovations -- big or small -- that you would like to make. Include the practical and the dreamy, the easy fixes and the long-term projects.
Compare the list with your potential moving date, and cross off the items on the list that cannot be completed within that window of time.
Categorize the remaining items according to cost, including both time and money. Run this updated list by a local realtor, who can advise on the prioritization of projects based on necessity for resale and expected investment return as well as an appropriate renovation spending based on comparable homes in your area.
The Big Stuff
According to estimates by HomeAdvisor, the kitchen is still king. Buyers of all kinds have historically focused on the condition of the kitchen and for the newest wave of first-time homebuyers, a “modern/updated” kitchen topped the list of ideal home features. However, you don’t have to rip your kitchen down to the studs; a reasonable investment can deliver great returns. Do a mini-remodel. For as little as $5,000, you can install a fresh suite of stainless steel appliances, new countertops, backsplash tiling, flooring and paint.
Several of these updates can be cost-effectively completed yourself. However, budget time for practicing a bit before diving head first into any DIY home renovations, in order to save yourself the time and money required to redo it later should a mishap occur.
For instance, when installing tile, buy an old table a thrift store, lay down some guide rods (wooden dowels do the trick) and practice laying it before installing it. Or, when painting rooms, start with the smallest area first to see how the paint color looks and to gain some hands-on training before moving on to the kitchen or living rooms.
Another hard-working and investment-returning room is the bathroom, the workhorse of your condo. Since your bathroom endures great wear and tear, ensuring its efficient function and attractive appearance goes a long way. For an estimated 85 percent return, upgrade the shower with a double or rain head and stone tile, and the vanities with granite countertops and undermount sinks.
The Little Stuff
Details make the difference. For a small amount of money, make a big impression on potential buyers by adding unique, unexpected character to your condo.
Add architectural detail to an otherwise boring room by installing crown molding or carved corbels.
Increase the functionality and convenience of the kitchen workspace by replacing an old sink faucet with a new, extendable version. Additionally, make it work double duty by fitting an under-mount sink with a cutting board for more meal preparation room. Simply trim a piece of butcher block to size with a jigsaw. Finish off the space by wall-mounting a row of hooks over the sink to keep dish towels and other tools at the ready.
Lastly, prioritize the cleanliness of your condo. Stay on top of maintenance, spotting potential issues before they become big or expensive, and rid yourself of unnecessary clutter. You get one chance to make a first impression on a buyer.
A good plan will free you of the home-renovation-anxiety cloud, keep you motivated to complete projects and get you on your way to your next home after having profited from the increased resale value of your current condo.