Whether you’ve purchased a fixer-upper or are tackling projects to get top dollar when you sell, “doing it yourself” can save money. But home improvement projects carry risks—some more than others. Consider these factors before you DIY. Don’t Make a Shocking Discovery Before you tackle any electrical job, you need to shut off power to the circuit you’re working on. Otherwise, you risk getting a nasty shock or worse. Make sure you can access the breaker box and verify which switch controls which area of the house. If you can’t safely work on the circuit or have any doubts at all, call a professional. Test the Waters Plumbing jobs can lead to leaks and flooding. A good first step is to test the water shutoff valve. Sinks and toilets usually have their own valves, but you may have to shut off water to the entire property to work on tubs, showers, and other fixtures. If your project doesn’t turn out as planned, you may need to shut off the water and leave it off until you get assistance. Know Your Limits You can find instructions for thousands of home improvement projects on the internet. But a YouTube video that shows how to build a deck doesn’t make you a carpenter. Before you start any DIY project, be honest about your ability and have a backup plan if things don’t go well. Certain DIY projects can improve your home and save you money. When you have real estate needs, however, trust a professional: Work with a REALTOR®.
It’s exciting to update a kitchen, remodel a bathroom, add a master suite, convert a garage to a workout room, or add skylights. However, homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn how remodeling projects affect a home’s price when it comes time to sell. Consider the Personal Value You Get If you plan to live in your house for some time before you sell, don’t overlook the enjoyment or utility you will get from a remodeling job. Regardless of the eventual sales price, that may reason enough to embark upon the project. Appraised Value Matters, Too When a homebuyer applies for a loan, the lender usually requires an independent appraisal to determine if the value of the home is in line with the purchase price. That can be when the seller ultimately finds out the return on the project. For example, a pool that cost $85,000 to install could add only $30,000 to the appraised value of a home compared to a similar home nearby without a pool. Remodels May Improve Marketability Some improvements don’t raise the eventual sales price of a home but may still make the home more attractive to buyers. A remodel may even be the difference between not receiving any offers and getting multiple offers on a property a short time after it goes on the market. Don’t Assume a Dollar-for-Dollar Return Some projects add more value to a home than others—a new front door often tops the list—but a host of factors can influence how much any specific remodel pays off. Variables include the quality and appeal of the finished project as well as how it compares with similar features of other homes in the neighborhood. In many cases, a home’s sales price will increase but not by as much as the actual cost of the project. Your REALTOR® can help you understand how remodeling projects can affect marketability and sales prices of homes, and can offer guidance on all your options when considering buying or selling a home.