How Interior Home Improvements Affect your Home's Resale Value
September, 2008 - Issue #47
When it comes to making cosmetic improvements to potentially your largest financial asset, you want to make the right decisions. Narrow your focus to three rooms: the kitchen, master bedroom and master bathroom. Surveyed home buyers say that these are the three most important rooms when selecting a home.

Give the kitchen the most attention. The largest return on your investment here will be your countertops; they are the focal point. Counters can turn a drab kitchen into a spectacular one, so choose the material carefully.

The most popular choice is granite, but there are many other options that are more cost effective, like Silestone or Corian, which may offer the same look as natural stone.

After counters, cabinets require some effort. Instead of replacing cabinetry, you may want to inexpensively update them by adding paint or re-facing them with new doors. Either way, new hardware will add the "wow" factor and give them a brand-new look.

The last improvement to the kitchen, which can also be one of the most value-added items, is flooring. Tile and hardwood flooring remain the two most popular options, and among the best received by homebuyers.

You can apply these renovation tips to the master bathroom; a rule of thumb is to keep the improvements consistent throughout.

The last room to focus on is the master bedroom. Most of the changes will be paint and accessories. If you are eventually going to sell your home, choose a neutral paint color that will appeal to the masses. Add new window treatments, like plantation shutters or silk drapes, along with coordinating bedding accessories.

Remember not to "over improve" your home. Keep the improvements relative to the neighborhood in which you live, as you do not want to price yourself above the market to compensate when it's time to sell.
Joshua "Dr." Suess is co-owner of Focused on Your Family, a local real estate company 702-4640.

Average Sale Price at this time, 2007: $551,100
Current average sale price: $458,081
Bottom line: The average sales price is down approximately 17 percent from last year.
Average Days on Market of Sold Homes at this time, 2007: 108
Current average days on market: 78
Bottom line: Homes that have sold this year have been on the market 30 days less, or are selling 28 percent faster, this year.
Total Closed Sales at this time, 2007: 1,966
Year to date, 2008: 1,543
Bottom line: There have been 423 fewer sales this year, or 22 percent fewer sales.
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