by Sean Hess
Okay, last week we hit sellers with what is really an upgrade, and what is not an upgrade. This week: what’s a push. In other words, three things that Realtors pitch as “upgrades” but that don’t really affect the sale either way.
- Swimming Pools: Now a pool usually adds a little value to a home, on the average home probably $20,000. So it’s an upgrade, right? Not so fast my friend! If you’ve ever owned a pool you know how expensive they are to maintain and how little you actually use them. Or, if you have little kids like I do, the idea of a pool 24/7 is something that scares you. So it affects the sale of the home by reducing the buyer pool (no pun intended). You get a sale that’s a little higher than your neighbors, but it’s a sale that can take much longer to achieve, eating into your bottom line with carrying costs.
- Kitchen and/or bathroom remodels: Supposedly these remodels get the most return for the dollar, but the truth is they rarely will get you a dollar-for-dollar return. For example, you have a home worth $140,000 and you do a $10,000 bathroom upgrade. Now you can sell it for maybe $148,000 at a net loss of $2,000. The benefit? A faster sale that will improve your bottom line with reduced carrying costs. Three months less house payments and association fees could be a big deal.
- Zoned for horses: Look I’m not a horse person, but for the sheer amount of property that is zoned for horses, it’s just not a sales driver. Fenced and cross-fenced? Typically just not a big deal to the average buyer, and it’s usually the average buyer who buys these properties. Now, if it’s a large farm with barns and stalls (not a two stall shed and attached tack room) that’s a different story, and a different price range. But on your normal one-to-five acre lot the buyer is much more interested in what the property is not (NOT in the city, NOT besieged by traffic, NOT five feet from their neighbors), than what it is.