(We write a regular article for our local newspaper that appears every week in the Real Estate Section, this is a copy of our most recent article.)
Your's is an interesting dilemma that is directly a result of our times. When the Market was smokin' hot it was easier to sell and buy what you wanted without the time and nuisance factors involved with a remodel. Sellers were able to maximize the profit when they sold, and minimize the move up with great interest rates. The latter can be done now, but it is not as easy to sell quickly for top dollar ... enter the remodel.
Remodels were hard to do until recently primarily because of the lack of professional craftsmen to do the job. The construction industry was consumed by the abundance of new construction, and there were very few ... very, very few contractors willing to do remodel work. That has changed. Some of the best contractors in the region are soliciting remodel work. This is a prime opportunity for homeowners.
There are a number of things to consider when you are evaluating a remodel project. First, establish why you are remodeling. Do you like the neighborhood, the neighbors, schools, etc.? Is it an alternative to having the bigger loan you would have on a new house, or are you remodeling your free and clear house and staying debt free? Are you getting the "granite and stainless" look that you like, but staying in the floorplan you like? There are many reasons ... be sure you identify them properly. Talk to your agent about your options - the good agents won't coax you in to selling if remodeling is your better option. Professional real estate service often means telling a customer not to sell when it is in their best interest.
A very import factor is the scope of the project. Be careful not to create so much utility for yourself that you build more than the neighborhood will bear when you ultimately sell. A 3,000 sq.ft. home in a neighborhood of 1,100 sq. ft. homes may give you a lot of enjoyment and pleasure, but is likely not a prudent financial investment. As you proceed make sure your changes are universally appealing. Putting a different color carpet in each bedroom to please your children will diminish, not enhance your value. If you insist on esoteric features for your personal pleasure, make sure they are done in such a manner as to easily facilitate a change back to the conventional before you sell.
Our Advice: Until recently it was impractical and nigh on to impossible to do a remodel, but the times have changed. Remodeling your home can give you many years of enjoyment for a relatively nominal cost. Whether adding a room, bathroom, or a garage, etc., or simply freshening with new counter tops, tile floors, cabinets, etc., you are enhancing both your living environment and your investment. There aren't many opportunities in life where you can get emotional and financial return on your investment. Done right remodeling will do just that. Invite a Builder over to look at your home. They are creative and know what they can do for you. Be careful who you pick - not all understand remodel work. It can be full of surprises as they open up walls, and you need someone that knows more than just new construction.
Remodeling can be fun and very satisfying if done right. Between your wish list and your Builder's input you will undoubtedly be satisfied with the outcome.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs ... Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781- 5472. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.carsonvalleyland.com