20 things that can alter the value of your Chico home
When you’re house-hunting it’s important to be able to identify the things that increase the value of a home and those that actually detract. The seller and his agent, after all, will try to convince you that rail line that runs through the backyard is good because it provides extra green space.
Here are 10 features that can add value to your home, and another 10 that could reduce the sales price:
1. An updated kitchen. “Kitchens are critical,” says Robert Irwin, author of “Home Buyer’s Checklist.” “Today, people like a big kitchen with a lot of workspace.
“They look for solid surface counters and high-quality flooring, such as wood, laminate, tile or stone. And they want newer appliances in working order.
Even if it’s not huge, it should have “countertops that are serviceable that aren’t going to have to be replaced soon and cabinetry in good condition,” says Alan Hummel, past president of the Appraisal Institute. “It has to be well-appointed and large enough to fit your needs.”
And it doesn’t hurt if it opens onto another room. “A lot of families are looking for that openness,” says Hummel.
It helps to have a window over the sink, says Don Strong, a remodeler with Brothers Strong Inc., a Houston remodeling firm.
Be wary if renovations are out of character with the community, such as granite countertops in a subdivision where plastic laminate is the norm. “Will you sell faster? Yes,” says Hummel, CEO of Iowa Residential Appraisal Co., in Des Moines. “Will it sell for more? Not if the appointments you’ve done are significantly higher quality that the rest of the neighborhood.”
2. Modern bathrooms. Buyers are looking for “master baths that give a little room to roam,” says Hummel.
A big asset: spa or whirlpool tubs. “I’m always entertained by the people who have them in the master bath and don’t use them,” says Ron Phipps, principal broker with Phipps Realty & Relocation Services in Warwick, R.I. “But it’s a big feature.”
Some other features buyers are seeking: separate showers with steam and/or multiple jets, double sink, separate room for the toilet.
And make sure the plumbing and hot water heater can handle the job. The pipes have to be large enough to carry an adequate volume of water and the hot water heater has to be big enough to accommodate it. “You need a bare minimum of a 75-gallon hot water heater, and most of my customers have 100 to 150,” says Chicago-based home inspector Kurt Mitenbuler.
“You don’t want to see that false economy of a $30,000 bathroom but nobody spent a few thousand dollars to upgrade the pipes,” he says.
3. A well-appointed master suite. “People are really excited about master suites,” says Hummel. The wish list: a luxurious bathroom, lounging areas and walk-in closets.
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