The resale values of some houses these days are high in some areas. If you are selling your property, remodeling it beforehand can have a good return on investment. Those little changes that might not seem so obvious can have big impacts when it comes to reselling your house.


In hotter markets, doing some updates in your house will give as much return as its cost. Not unless it is in a rapidly inflating location. The lesson here is not to avoid remodeling, but to rethink your expectations. Try to ask yourself first if you want to enjoy the updates for some period of time or do you want to make it immediately appealing to homebuyers?


If you are remodeling your house, updating has a reasonable purpose which is unquantifiable. For example, when you increase the area of your house, update its systems and fixtures, or rearrange the traffic flow, you are improving the functionality of your home. You may also change the wall colors, window coverings, and flooring in order to add beauty to your home. If you’ll decide to sell it later, you'll already have an advantage that will attract homebuyers.


However, it is not the same case if you're remodeling for the next buyer because you will not be able to know if the elements that you choose will appeal to the next buyer. But there are some parts of your home where renovation have to be done. For example, you may replace your roof for approximately $20,000. According to Remodeling Magazine, it will only yield a return of approximately 72% of the costs. However, a new roof could make the difference whether or not an FHA or VA buyer will buy your home. It is also a way to pass the government inspection.



On the other hand, there are a number of small updates that can have big impacts in terms of curb appeal. It is affect the safety and building integrity of your property. Take a look at the top five cost-to-value projects that earned the most return in 2015 along with its corresponding percentage:

- Replacing the front door with a 20-guage steel door – 102%
- Manufactured stone veneer -- 92. 2%
- Fiber-cement siding -- 84.3%
- Garage door replacement -- 82.5%
- Wood window replacement – 78%


With the following information, you’ll see that the most rewarding projects for resale were all about curb appeal. Try to attract your buyers on the exterior to favour your home over the other properties.

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When you are selling your home, its smell and odour also play an important in attracting buyers. Just like the look of your home, the fragrance factor should also be considered. Here are five smells that you should avoid as it could make your home into a stinker:


A lot of homeowners caulked, blown insulation, weather-stripped and sealed their homes for greener utility bills. Sure, this will your home more energy-efficient, but the disadvantage of this is that you lock all odors in. It is goodfor a home to havesome air. If not in winter season, try to open the windows and feel the aromatic delights of fresh-mown grass and flowers. Also, rooms that aren’t used much typically have musty odors. Try to check the guest bedspreads, long curtains, and old carpets that are rarely replaced or opened.


If you have pets in your house, you have to deal with poop and pee. You have to deal with feeding as well. In times of selling it, these are the things that you should prioritize looking into. For dogs or or pets with fur, groom them. Maintain them properly by bathing and brushing their hairs. They might also get on your furniture or other items where they shed piles of fur. One great idea is febreeze these things. A thorough steam cleaning might also be needed of all fabric surfaces.



Food, smoke and grease odors
There are some foods that are really stinky such as cabbage and fish. When you're marketing your home, avoid such foods for a while. Meanwhile, if you like to cook, clean your oven, burners, and any other equipment and check for burned food or spills.


Dampness, mold and mildew
As time goes by, pipes may leak and gutters might clog. These will result in some moisture that later on will be turned into a smelly rot. Also, damp spaces in your home are liely to grow mold. Thus, if your bathroom smells like a wet, dirty dog and you don't have a dog, you might have some leak or mold in your walls or under the floor.


Human raging hormones
While we have secretions that make us attractive to sex partners, these can be offensive if the smell is too noticeable. Usually, these are common in bathrooms, bedrooms and laundry rooms.




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Home-buying is a challenging task. For you to be able to end up with your dream property and to avoid future issues, there are a number of factors that you have to take into account. Take note that when purchasing a real estate, it involves making a number of decisions which combine to address the essentials of a successful real estate ownership. For you to have a successful home-buying decision, here are some insights that are worth looking into:


Here, you have to find out the value-appreciation potential of the property. Try to think of its resale value to reveal current value deficits. Take note that you have to pay the mortgage and the costs for maintaining and improving the property over the years ahead. You want to recover these and make a profit to finance for your next plans in life. You can’t also say that it would be your ‘forever home’ since the future is full of surprises.


Also take a look at the lifestyle values that your chosen property emphasize. For example, if you want to spend your time, money, and effort on accumulating stuff, a bigger area, lots of storage, and a bedroom each is a good choice. You may also want to take a look at the surrounding community as well as the local amenities.

How will this property benefit you and your family? For example, a lot of buyers prefer a location near select schools over those adjacent to their workplace.

Time management
Is the property away from the city center? Most real estate prices are lower in locations away from urban centers. However, try to calculate the expense of commuting to your workplace. Also include the extra hours that the distance will take from your family, interests, health, and fun. After determining how much this time is worth, you can then evaluate the value of buying a particular property further from the city center.




Property management
This one answers that cost and the time required in order to maintain the property regularly. If you opt for a larger house, be aware that there’s a corresponding higher taxes. Also, the bigger the roof, the more plumbing and wiring involved, and more space to heat and cool. These things must be considered when setting the budget for a purchase.

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If you are planning to sell your house, some renovations might be needed in order to attract buyers. To make a sound decision, it is important to know which items will bring in the best ROI or return of investment. This year, renovation trends are geared toward the exterior of the home. The logic here might be simple: if buyers did not like by what they see when they drive up, they might lose interest for that particular property.


Here are the top home exterior renovations that will yield the highest return of investment based on the latest Cost vs. Value Report:


Garage door replacement
If you have a beat-up garage door, it can make your whole house look bad to the eyes of the buyers. Try to spend $1,595 for a garage door replacement and you'll get a return of $1,410. That’s 88.4% of the renovation cost.


Manufactured stone veneer
Manufactured stone veneer can add character to a home, making it more desirable. It also pays back well if you are planning to resell your house. It has a cost-value return of 92.2%.


Steel entry door replacement
Based on the Cost vs. Value report, steel entry door replacement is a home renovation that more than pays back its investment as it leads to a better resale value for the property. The said report stated that as much as 101.8% of the cost can be recouped with this renovaton. In cost-value ratio, the figure will express resale value as a percentage of construction cost. If the value is higher than the cost, the ratio will exceed 100% as in the case of steel entry door replacement.


Deck addition
Having a deck in your house will contribute significantly in selling your house. A lot of buyers are looking to get some enjoyment out of a property with such outdoor trend. It may require you to spend around $10,048, but it can pay back for about 80% of that amount once sold.


Vinyl siding replacement
If your siding is warped, cracked, or peeling, buyers may lose their interest in your property. So, do not overlook this aspect when putting your renovation dollars. For about $12,013 renovaton cost, that might not sound exciting as a property owner. But it will help you to get your home sold and later, you are able to regain around 80% of that amount once your house is sold.

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Many home sellers these days visit online home valuation sites like Zillow and Trulia to find out the value of their properties. They are pleased when such values appear higher than what they expected. But a lot of instances, they are shocked when the value of their homes come in far lower.


You may wonder how these sites come up with valuations. For property taxing purposes, all property is registered with the city and county as well. What these home valuation sites do is they contract major title companies like the First American in order to have access to county tax roll data. And to obtain current listing data and recent solds, they try to become affiliated with local multiple listing services, which can be subsidiaries of real estate associations or owned by local real estate brokers.



Out of these tax roll data and listing data, home valuation sites then come up with their own algorithm to estimate the values of what homes in a given area are worth. While the results are precise sometimes, it can also be inaccurate. There are a number of things that alters the results given by the algorithm.


First, let us take a look at the transaction data. It has to be recorded with the county and it could take weeks. But the algorithm includes those properties that are not currently on the market. Such properties don’t contribute to recent market values as they have not been tested by the current marketplace.

Another factor is that algorithms may also include whether or not a home has been updated. If you think of it, these are subjective information that’s hard to quantify. These are things such as how well the house is being maintained, its curb appeal, interior design, window and yard views, as well as the neighbourhood popularity. With these reasons, you may regard online valuations as just a tool to estimate a particular home's value.


Still, one of the best ways to choose a listing price is to ask a real estate professional for a comparative market analysis (CMA). The recent listing asking prices and sold comparables he/she provides in your neighbourhood are likely to be accurate.



Therefore, if for instance, your home has been estimated for far less value on a certain home valuation site compared to what your real estate professional had shown, you may argue with such pricing to your potential buyers.

In the same case, if your home has been valuated higher at a certain home valuation site, you can’t also expect that that’s the real value. Again, recent comparables provide you a more accurate data regarding the current market.

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Moe Pourtaghi

"Nothing brings me more joy than seeing my buyers & sellers have success in their Real Estate endeavours. I hope you find the articles on my blog inspiring and educating in your ventures." - Moe Pourtaghi

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