General Article

Buying Homes and Renovating to Add Value

Posted

The local news just announced that home buyers are still in the bird seat. Many owners have held onto their properties waiting for the market to change, but the promised upswing is still nowhere in sight. Today, house hunters are looking for values, but may be disappointed when they discover aging homes which were built for families one or two generations ago. There are still many great values ‚Äč‚Äčavailable, but they may not be exactly want shoppers envisioned. Smart home buyers choose to look past what already exists and imagine the new house that they can create through renovations.

Some savvy investors are now buying homes and reinventing them. At first glance a 1950's three bedroom, two-story house may appear outdated and obsolete, although a few interior and exterior improvements can transform it into a modern residence that will not stay on the market very long. These renovated homes often have the look and feel of new construction, but costs less and are located in areas where new homes may be difficult to find.

Homes often look dated due to interior surfaces that have faded or gone out of style. Wall paper, linoleum, and paneling can make a room look and feel dilapidated. Tearing up the old carpet or replacing linoleum with wood and stone tile floors has an almost magical affect. Consider adding natural stone, glass, or ceramic mosaic tiles around kitchen islands, entries and mantles to add a fresh, contemporary look.

Older homes are notorious for lack of storage space and bedrooms. Renovated basements and attics may be an easy way to increase both bedrooms and storage without major room additions. The slanted walls in the attic can often be used for storage or kept as is to add character to the rooms.

If light is a problem, adding a sunroom or a skylight can brighten things up. Home buyers are also smart to assess the old windows and replace them with energy efficient ones. If the rooms feel small, vaulted ceilings can open up crowded rooms and make them feel open and expansive.

Modern exterior improvements like siding and a wooden deck will instantly improve the house's curb appeal. Many of these whole house renovations take a high level of expertise, and are more than weekend projects. Home buyers, who know what they want, can try making the improvements themselves or look for renovators that specialize in reinventing these older properties.