Today’s home buyers are often young parents, trying to find enough hours in the day to meet all their commitments. Many are responding to this challenge by having live-in help to assist with childcare and household chores…and that means needing an in-law suite. In some cases, you may be one of the fortunate home buyers who find caregiver accommodations ready-made in your new home. Other homeowners may go with the DIY approach. Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when planning your spac
Determine the Lifespan of this Need
An effective in-law suite will be appealing to your caregiver, while at the same time giving you some privacy. The challenge is to do that without putting too much strain on your pocketbook. A good benchmark to help you determine what improvements are worth doing is to measure the cost against the expected lifespan of the expense. For example, putting in a 4-pc bathroom can be costly, and may not be worth doing if you only see it being needed for three or four years until the kids go off to school. In a case like that, rather than adding a full bath, you might consider a compromise of adding a sink and counter to a bed-sitting room, that could later evolve into a den with a wet bar.
Remember Resale Value
On the other hand, if you can see the caregiver’s space being used long-term as a permanent in-law suite or used as additional living space as your family grows, then you’ll probably feel the cost is well worth it. Remember too, the number of bathrooms is an important factor when determining the resale value of your home. If you do it right, you have an excellent chance of re-couping some, if not all, of the expense when the time comes to sell. I will be glad to advise you on how such improvements may impact a home’s future value.
Privacy and space are important issues with an in-law suite. Your caregiver will probably appreciate a lock on the bedroom door, or at least a cabinet that can be locked. As for decorating, keep it simple. Light colors, mirrors and recessed lighting will all help make a small space seem larger. Keep it bright with extra task lighting, including a reading lamp. Choose inexpensive window treatments such as mini-blinds that let in lots of light, but still allow for privacy. Add a large framed cork board for photos, notes and other mementos which will allow your live-in help to personalize their space without it looking cluttered. Include a writing area, either a small table or desk with a lamp and chair.
Plan your room layout in advance, and don’t forget to take wiring and other facilities into consideration before you start painting. For example, you may want to install a cable TV or internet outlet or add a phone jack, or a baseboard heater.
A little planning can help make your space a pleasure for years to come.
During the home buying process, most individuals keep their eyes peeled for flaws and features that may make or break their decision to buy the property. After all, few people are willing to purchase a home that will cost them thousands of dollars to repair. Before anything else it is important to realize the following…
No House is Perfect!
However, when buyers find flaws, it’s important to differentiate between features that should be ignored and those that should be addressed.
Understanding the difference between the two can prevent buyers from passing up their almost-perfect dream homes. Conversely, it can help decide when it is right to just walk away.
Features to ignore
There are several cosmetic characteristics that buyers should overlook when making the decision to purchase a home. This is primarily because new homeowners can make the changes themselves quickly and efficiently, and may benefit from personalizing their new purchase to their own tastes. For example, old or unappealing paint or wallpaper is a quick fix that can transform the way a home looks. Repainting a home, whether buyers choose to hire a professional or take on the task themselves, is also cost-effective, and individuals have several options when it comes to colors and textures.
The same holds true for other small fixes and improvements, such as doors, closets, cabinets and fixtures. These features are inexpensive to replace and most are do-it-yourself projects. In addition, home improvement stores and warehouses are typically stocked with a variety of options and materials owners can choose from to individualize their new purchase and give their home a more modern look.
Features to address
Home buyers may choose to address flaws that will be expensive to replace to avoid being forced to take on the task themselves. For example, outdated furnaces, air conditioning systems and electrical outlets can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace. Home buyers may choose to either ask current owners to replace these systems prior to closing on the home or negotiate a discounted price for the property. In addition, buyers may request that owners make updates on kitchens or bathrooms that are significantly outdated and in need of renovations.
Lastly, buyers should hire a home inspector to pinpoint significant and costly repairs, ranging from foundation and structural issues to mold, mildew and water damage. These repairs should always be addressed and negotiated before closing on a home.
Thinking of selling your condo? Whether you live in the condo or own it as an investment property, if you’re ready to sell your home, it’s time to talk to a qualified real estate agent in your area. By evaluating several criteria, including regional markets, time of year, features of your condo unit, as well as your specific needs as the seller, he or she can create a customized marketing plan for your condo. Here are five important topics to discuss with your real estate agent if you want to sell your home:
1) Best Time of Year to Sell Your Condo
The specifics of your area do more to determine the best time to put your home on the market than whether you’re selling a condo or a house. While the conventional wisdom is that spring is the best time for selling a home, this belief simply doesn’t ring true in every locale. In recent years the historic patterns have eased, and in some cases, totally disappeared. Still, different parts of the country have periods when sellers can be more aggressive with their pricing. And your real estate agent may suggest a distinct timing strategy for condominium sales, especially if your condo is in a resort destination.
2) Open House Strategy and How to De-Clutter
A condo that shows well will sell faster and bring a higher price. Small cosmetic touch-ups can make a big difference. Buyers often suspect that more serious problems may exist if they notice the need for minor repairs. If you want to sell your home, it’s important to make sure your condo is clean, tidy and free of personal clutter. Clear sinks and counters of dishes and toiletries. Neatly stack office supplies and organize storage areas. Replace dim light bulbs and clean windows. Even though your garden area may be commonly owned, do your best to create curb appeal by cleaning front steps and porches, and clearing lawns of toys or equipment.
3) Features to Accentuate
One of the best features to accentuate when selling a condo is the lifestyle of ease that comes with condominium ownership. Many buyers are looking for the hassle-free living experience that they can’t find with a single-family detached house. Another important attribute of any condo is the amenities of the association, which can include a hot tub, fitness center, owner’s lounge, covered parking and even concierge services. If you’re considering selling your condo, take the time to walk through it methodically with your real estate agent. Together you can point out which features of the actual condo unit should be accentuated. Does your unit have a wonderful view? Perhaps the location of your condominium is unique and desirable. Your real estate agent can help accentuate these features in sales and marketing materials.
4) Desired Price and Bottom Line Price
When setting the home price for your condo, it’s important to identify your desired price and your bottom line price. By assessing recent condo sale and listing statistics in your area, your real estate agent and a licensed appraiser can estimate your house value and recommend an appropriate target price range. Working with your agent, you can set an initial asking price, as well the absolute lowest home price you would comfortably accept. One advantage of selling a condo is that by assessing the prices of other units in your association that have recently sold or are currently listed, your real estate agent and the appraiser can determine a very accurate house value.
When selling your condo, you may be obligated to disclose problems that could affect the property’s value or desirability, as well as to disclose HOA minutes and costs of common insurance and utilities. In most states, it is illegal to fraudulently conceal major physical defects in your property, such as a water heater that leaks severely. And many states now require sellers to take a proactive role by making written disclosures on the condition of the condo unit.