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Old 11-07-2014, 10:58 PM
239 posts, read 292,214 times
Reputation: 145


I bought a bigger house to have a good size home for my boys and if my great aunt wants to come stay with us but the truth is we might be empty nesters within 5 years do not sooner. I want to sell downgrade to a smaller house then but we just bought this house. We are trying to decide all the updates to do but no matter how I look at it, we will never get any of the money back. I want to make it feel like home without dumping tons of money in it, because Inalready think I paid too much for it. Everyone I talk to said I should have paid a lot less since it has NO updates. I already paid 8 percent less than they were asking. I am trying so hard to not think about what I out down on the house and just make it at home. but everyday I see things that I can't believe I didn't see before, is that normal?
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:19 AM
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,876 posts, read 65,676,511 times
Reputation: 34934
Originally Posted by Sunshinegirl7 View Post
Is it worth it to do tons of updates if I want to move within 5 years?
No. It isn't.

Focus on fixing ONLY what really NEEDS fixing.
Especially the high dollar items like windows, roof, HVAC etc.
Otherwise just keep it clean and neat and pretty much as it is.

Five years will go fast.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:14 AM
Location: Johns Creek, GA
13,438 posts, read 51,478,836 times
Reputation: 15873
Well, "tons of upgrades" is as descriptive as a Brick Wall!

Upgrades, remodeling, etc.- it all depends.

You say you bought for 8% under asking; but what percentage compared to comps? That's the number that's going to matter. As for your "wish list", talk to a RE Agent. (S)he can evaluate the current value versus what you want to do (estimated value) and give you a realistic expectation of "is it worth it".

As a general rule, major things are not an issue. It's the "purely" cosmetic items that can make or break a sale or profit.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:03 AM
Location: Coastal Georgia
39,184 posts, read 48,160,480 times
Reputation: 66699
I would happily do all the DIY projects I was capable of while I live there in hopes that my efforts would make the house more appealing, both for my family and for when I go to sell it. To me, my quality of life is what is important, not what I think some phantom buyer will want in the future.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:11 AM
4,675 posts, read 8,119,241 times
Reputation: 4874
Well, it depends on what you plan to do.

What feels like home to you, may not to prospective buyers 5 years from now.

I went to a new listing yesterday. On paper it sounded wonderful. Right age, development, utilities, pool, square footage, lot size, in-law arrangement. No interior pictures yet.

When I got there....OMG........................

This is New England. Nobody does 3500 sq ft of tile floors! To them, that felt like home along with the black and gold masterbath room..........

Ker-*****, ker-*****, ker-*****. And it's overpriced by 30%.
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:07 AM
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 39,185,898 times
Reputation: 39173
"Is it worth it to do tons of updates if I want to move within 5 years?"

What updates are you specifically considering?

I would do whatever I wanted to do, to make that house my home.
I have never remodeled for resale.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:51 AM
4,642 posts, read 7,835,404 times
Reputation: 14390
OP, take that home inspection report from when you purchased (or spend the ~$200 to have a new one) and address every concern in the next 5 years. The fewer issues a potential buyer can find, the less they have a leg to stand on with negotiation. It's my #1 priority (I've bought 4 homes in the last 9 years, sold 2), and with my limited exposure I've yet to make any negotiations based on property 'issues'.

What doesn't matter is anything cosmetic (meaning wall colors, not crumbling drywall/holes).
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:39 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
25,466 posts, read 16,415,619 times
Reputation: 38293
Brian M is right. Address all the issues that a home inspection would pick up. Paint the place in pleasant neutral colors. Decorate. If there is an eyesore in the house, deal with that. (Dated fireplace, old appliance, old flooring, beat up sinks, etc.)

Then sell. But what were you thinking when you bought a larger house? Is it possible that you might want to live there a little longer? It costs money to move. I recommend making a plan for the next 20 years, and using that plan as a guide to what you do now.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:51 AM
Location: Wonderland
50,730 posts, read 40,119,236 times
Reputation: 71696
OP, anything that's dangerous or truly defective should be repaired immediately. I'm thinking structural or systems related.

As for cosmetic updates, I'd prioritize them. Paint is cheap and very effective when it comes to changing the feel and ambiance of a space. How is your flooring? Can it be renovated rather than replaced? (Flooring can cost a bundle to replace.) Light fixtures can be refinished rather than replaced sometimes. Wallpaper can be removed. Cabinets can be painted rather than replaced, and given new life with new pulls.

You should post some pictures and give us more information to work with. Five years is a long time to be dissatisfied with where you live every day. I am pretty sure you can make some significant differences without spending a ton of money.

By the way, you say you spent too much money on the house. Did you finance it? If so, it had to be appraised prior to the loan being approved. What did the appraisal come in at?
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:08 PM
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,856 posts, read 26,052,902 times
Reputation: 21427
people also have to keep in mind, that what is hip and trendy and in style, and all the rage. MAY NOT be relevant in 5 years.

noe one can possibly know that.

I clean well kept house will always win in the long run.
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