|20 things that can alter the value of your home
Richard "Dick" Gaylord, president-elect
of the National Association of Realtors, agrees. "That's a
very big feature," he says. "I haven't sold many homes
that aren't bright and airy."
Good windows. "People are looking at exposures
and windows," says Phipps. "It's been a cold winter for most of the
country and energy efficiency is very important."
Insulated windows are always a plus, says Strong.
"Typically, they pay for themselves in five years," he
says. The cost for an average 2,600-square-foot home is estimated
at about $10,000 for new windows, he says.
skylights are also a good touch to add value, says Phipps.
Mature trees "are worth $1,000," says Strong.
And having outdoor spaces with touches
such as pergolas and Victorian garden swings "can be very helpful," says Phipps.
Appraiser John Bredemeyer remembers
one $250,000 home in Omaha that had no landscaping
at all. "It was stark," says Bredemeyer,
former national chair of government relations for
the Appraisal Institute, a professional group for
real estate appraisers. "It just stood out
Conversely, you don't have to spend a fortune on plants, either.
Just keep it "typical with the neighborhood," he says.
Lots of storage. Nothing beats an oversized garage,
some attic space and plenty of closets. "If you have a two-car garage, do
you have extra space for those things we all have -- bicycles, lawn mower, snow
blower?" says Hummel. "Space is important."
nice plus in the master suite? "His and hers walk-in closets," says
10. Basement. "If
it's dry, it's a plus," says Kenneth Austin, co-author of "The Home
Buyer's Inspection Guide." "But it's a negative if it has water problems."
A finished basement adds even more value. "Ten
years ago, nobody cared," says Mittenbuler. "Now everybody
|Here are 10 things that can reduce value to your home.
1. A pool. Forget
what you might have heard. An in-ground pool in most parts of the country doesn't
automatically raise the value of your home. "I would stay away from pools
if you can at all avoid it," says Irwin.
Having a swimming pool will automatically limit your
market when it comes time to sell, he says. "It's constant
upkeep, they get cracks, when the equipment goes down it's expensive
to replace and the liability is high."
consider it a mixed blessing. "For the people who want the pool, they're
willing to pay for it," says Austin. "But there are an awful lot of
people who don't want a pool."
Consider your home value and location. In a million-dollar
house, not having a pool is a detraction, says Irwin. "But they won't give
you much more" if you do have one.
garage or small garage. Unless you're
living in a condo, a retirement community, or historical or in-town
neighborhood most buyers will look for at least a two-car garage.
"If you don't have a garage, it's a real negative," says
Austin. "If you have a one-car garage, that's a problem, too."