Jason Robie: Reasonable remodeling | Business

It’s getting exciting if you ask me (which you didn’t). We’re starting to see decisions being made about opening schools and colleges, the reality of college sports, professional sports, and other activities actually happening, let alone allowing us fans.

If you have watched any golf, MMA or baseball lately, you know precisely what I mean. It’s just not the same without the fans. And I certainly don’t envy those who have to make the call.

Either way you pick, you’re going to have some folks upset with you. I think we can all agree that nobody has all the answers. If they did, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. Let’s just try to support one another and support those in the position to make these decisions. Remember (back to my first sentence), nobody asked you.

Another topic — while not nearly as heated as the reopening — that generates some debate among sellers is what should I update/fix/replace before I sell my home.

The two sides (generally) being if I update something, the buyers may not like it and will replace it anyway. And, if I don’t update something, the sellers will be less inspired by the home and less likely to buy it in the first place. There’s really no easy answer for every situation.

Today, I’d like to share a few tips that are pretty standard as far as good advice goes, but also are a smidge more on-point in today’s climate of selling during a pandemic. You know — that whole thing.

The first room we’re going to focus on is the kitchen. It’s no secret we are all spending more time at home and spending more time cooking than ever before. OK, some of us are ordering pizza a lot more too, but that’s a topic for another day.

Space is key, so if you have the ability to open the area up, jump on in. Pushing back a wall or even removing a center island (if it makes the area feel cramped) will have a big impact. But don’t think you have to go crazy with a full kitchen remodel either. Simply painting the cabinets, replacing the cabinet hardware or even updating the sink and fixtures can all bring that “wow” factor to this increasingly important room.

The basement or attic, basically any unused or unfinished space in the home is the next area you should consider attacking. We are all spending a lot more time at home and I don’t think any of us see that ending anytime soon. Working (or schooling) from home is gaining popularity, pandemic notwithstanding, and having an extra space for either of those tasks is already topping the list of buyers’ needs.

“The beauty of finishing a basement or attic space is you are adding a livable room without the cost of putting on an addition,” Badger Realty agent Jeff Gagnon said.

While not an actual “room,” adding energy savings to your home before selling is one that I tend to ride the fence with.

On the one hand, you are going to attract buyers who value the efficiency of the home and have that high on their list of wants and needs. They might otherwise bypass your home in favor of a more modern and efficient model.

On the other hand, you will have to weigh the actual cost of the efficiency upgrades with the increase in listing price for the home.

Since you are selling, you won’t be able to take advantage of those efficiencies when it comes to power or heating bills over time. You are going to have to recoup that cost with the sale of the home. That’s a debate that continues to go on and you’ll need to do some figuring on your own to decide which path is right for you.

One addition that may not be the best investment if you are selling your home, especially if you live in New Hampshire or even New England, is a deck or patio. I think we can all agree that there are certainly occasions where a deck is awesome.

It’s great for entertaining (if the bugs aren’t too bad) and it is great for an extended dining area (if it’s not too cold). But since we’re not really entertaining much this summer and we are approaching the fall season anyway, your money will be far better spent on that basement or attic. Let the new owners add a deck of their own.

Lastly, for today, is the bathroom. This room is a great place for a more general and broad piece of advice that truly applies to every room in the house. Unless it is a full-on trainwreck (broken fixtures, peeling wallpaper, pink shower/tub) I recommend leaving this room alone.

Much like the kitchen, you can replace the vanity or the medicine cabinet, simple items like that. But don’t go hog-wild in here and invest a ton of money.

The new owners will more than likely have some ideas of their own and, the main gist of today’s article, you simply won’t get your money back from this investment.

Happy selling and happy remodeling (within reason).

Jason Robie works for Badger Realty.

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