Friday, April 8, 2011

Guest Post from DIY Home Staging

Here's a wonderful article from Barbara, from DIY Home Staging Tips.  She is one of the sponsors on our blog.
A year ago Barbara was just another real estate investor, remodeling a condo DIY-style, to sell for a profit.  After the condo sold, she continued the blog by writing about what she loves doing: staging homes for sale.

Barbara, aka Pink Overalls, has written an eBook about home staging, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar.  She’s currently at work on an eBook about no-sew curtains, and another entitled Paint a Room Like a Pro, so stay tuned.   

Barbara is a 68-year old mother of three and grandmother of three, who lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband of 20 years and a beagle named Misty who does nothing but eat and sleep and sniff.   



Remodeling a House You Might Sell in the Future
You're a homeowner and you want to make some upgrades, but you don't want to do anything to make it difficult to sell your home someday. Let’s say you really want to add a tiled bathroom with a spa tub, hardwood floors, stainless appliances, an in-ground pool, and a professionally landscaped yard. 

Hold on! Consider what other homes in your price range have in the way of amenities. Ask yourself what is typical for your market and your home style.    
 

It’s a bad investment to add granite countertops if the kitchen floor has peel and stick tiles. Do your homework, and don’t over-fix unless you are willing to pay big time for the things you "just gotta have.”

So, what’s a homeowner to do if she wants to improve her home?

Don’t subtract a bedroom.

Don’t annex a bedroom to enlarge another room unless you are willing to let your home’s market value take a hit.  If you are plagued by a bedroom that is too small, consider how you might redecorate or rearrange things to create space.

Can you utilize the room you want to annex as a dressing room or sitting room, so that it serves as an addition, but retains its walls and autonomy? Can you find space in the walls between studs for shelving? Anything is better than stealing a bedroom. 

Don’t remove a closet.

Who among us has too many closets? The mark of a desirable, modern home is roomy, abundant, accessible closet space.  Converting a closet into customized storage space, display shelving, or a sleeping alcove is fine as long as the renovation doesn’t destroy the closet’s integrity.

Don’t tinker with basic infrastructure unless you are upgrading.

When it comes to projects that call for wiring, plumbing, HVAC, framing, and roofing, go with the building codes. You’ll have to get a building permit in most cases, but at least you'll know that what you are doing is safe and will pass inspection.


Do put your money where it matters.

It’s foolish to spend big bucks on things that aren’t nailed down. In other words, make those homey touches that express who you are, the things that you can carry with you to your next home. 


Energy efficient windows, energy efficient appliances, comfortable outdoor living spaces, modern kitchen and baths, low maintenance landscape, and better curb appeal: these are features home buyers are willing to pay for, and that you can enjoy whether you sell or not.

When you’re making home improvement decisions, steer clear of the trendy stuff, and you’ll be safe whenever your home does hit the market. Make changes that have quality built in, so they will stand up over time and still be valuable when you do sell.      

Do use professionals where it matters.

When you make changes to a property and you don’t have the skills to do it correctly, it’s never going to be right, and it’s going to hurt when it’s time to sell. Be realistic about the skills and tools you have. A home is an important investment.

Do make improvements match the rest of your home.

Whether we’re talking about adding a sunroom, replacing a window with French doors, building some custom shelving and cabinetry, or upgrading the flooring, make the changes harmonious with the style and quality of the rest of your home.

A new window should be trimmed to match the other windows in the house. An unattractive roof line is going to come back and bite you if it looks too much like an “add-on.” A small house with a different colored carpet in each room is not money well spent.  


Making the right decisions now will mean you'll love your new home now, and so will the next owner.    

Thanks so much, Barbara!  I'm also guest posting today on Barbara's site: A Checklist for Maintenance Problems.  I made a list of maintenance issues that should always be addressed when selling a home.
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