For many if not most people, their home is the largest investment they will make in their lifetime. And while some are more “nesters” than others, a home is always something to be cared for.
A home’s value — to you and the marketplace — can fluctuate over time. In the last 30 years, there have been several times where home prices have risen so fast that people just wanted to get into a home and stay a short period of time and then “flip” it. What happened was that homeowners were flipping so fast that they barely put a coat of cheap paint on it and then cashed out. They barely spent three to five years in their homes.
Then for a period around the Great Recession, housing crashed and, no matter how much money you put into it, you could barely get out of it without losing on your investment. Since your home is such an important asset, consider the following principles when purchasing one:
Buy the least expensive house on the block. Although I definitely agree with this rule in general, there are some red flags that you should consider. Does the house have “good bones”? A house needs to be solidly constructed and have a good layout to start with. Consider the cost to get the house in comfortable working order and the amount of cosmetic dollars it will take to make the house your home. No one wants to be house-poor and struggle every month to pay the bills. Make sure the house is in good enough shape to put off some of the projects that you would like to do and still live comfortably. Be careful about the money that is needed to upgrade and repair, because that can exceed your home’s value even if it is in a desirable neighborhood.
Be prudent about the repairs you do make. Updated kitchens and bathrooms give you the most return for your dollar. Therefore, try to opt for timeless design, especially if you want to sell your home in a few years and not in 20. Although trendy colors are wonderful options for paint and fabric, they are much more difficult and costly to change than tile, stained floors, woodwork and kitchens. The trendier the colors and patterns, the faster they go out of style and immediately date the house and it’s style. The trend is to hold onto your homes for longer periods of time than in the recent past. When you upgrade, keep this in mind and renovate accordingly.
Landscaping is a costly must. A beautifully landscaped home with lots of curb appeal is a winner in the investment arena. It’s worth it to hire a professional landscaper to create a nice walkway, driveway, patio and garden area. Which brings us to painting and exterior design. Create a welcoming entry with a stand-out door in a welcoming color. Add a bench perhaps or pots of flowers to make guests feel welcome. Caring for your home and yard is important. Don’t leave debris around and clutter. This distracts from your yard and from your neighborhood.
A perfectly cared for home and neighborhood can bring years of lasting enjoyment for family and friends to share. With Covid still with us, thanks to its trickle of variants, people are treasuring their homes now more than ever. They are looking to stay in them for longer periods of time. They are also looking to make them more personal retreats, specifically designed to their tastes and needs.
If you keep your home tended and updated, it should command a great price when you decide to sell it. That’s when you’ll realize that the years of nurturing your investment have paid off.
For more, call 914-447-6904 or email Cami@camidesigns.com.