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Old 02-23-2007, 10:52 PM
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,630,451 times
Reputation: 1705


Now that I have this in the right place! oooops
I was wondering if you realtors could help me out here. We have had lower end investment proeprties that we have been selling so we can reocate from the Arizona desert to Texas. We have fixed the other places up enough to make them sellable at reasonable price, however, we are down to selling our home.
We have a 4 bedroom 2 bath 2000 sq ft home. What WE use as the 4th bedroom (has a closet etc) was converted from the garage. It was previously used as a second family room, but we needed more bedrooms and made a closet etc, this is a HUGE master bedroom, but no bathroom. There is no garage now. The house was built in the 70's with original cabinets etc.
We are planning on updating the kitchen with new cabinets (at minimum new faces/doors), either granite or silastone, new appliances, either tile through out with carpet in the bedrooms, or possibly laminate flooring in living area, tile in wet areas and carpet in bedrooms. For the outside (stucco on top wood at bottom) I want to re-paint the stucco and add rock to the bottom portion of the house I think it will give it GREAT curb appeal.
I would like your professional opinions as to what other updates and cosmetics are important when trying to update an older home and getting the best bang for the buck so to speak. I don't want to spend more than what we need to in order to get the max we can out of it.
Should we invest the money into building a new garage? Or should we give an allowance?
How much landscape should we do and how much should we leave to buyers? What kind of landscape is important (remember, we live in the desert not much lives here...no grass and mostly only palm trees and oleanders surrive)
Would we be better off putting out the money and adding a 3rd bathroom into the 4th bedroom, thereby having 2 masters? The main master bath only has standard tub/shower enclosure. Would we be better off putting in the other bath and making it more of a luxury bath? Or not worth the extra $$.
I know this is a lot of info, and I really appreciate any advice any of you are willing to offer. We have a realtor, very sweet lady and really can't replace her, but she tends to always think everything "looks good" rather than giving tips on what to do to make better. Neither my husband or myself are very good architechs or interior designers, therefore we reall need some professional input. We already made a mistake on one house we sold and put way too much into it for what we were able to get out of it and do not want to make the same mistake again.
Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-23-2007, 11:13 PM
Location: Montana
2,203 posts, read 8,816,311 times
Reputation: 1127
Exclamation Be Careful

You are right - you need to be careful about over-investing, especially in the current down market. In reading through your post, the one item that really stands out as something that will keep potential buyers away is no garage. That seems to be a biggie here in AZ. Even a 1-car garage is a tough sell. So unless you happen to live in an area where it's typical not to have a garage, then that's where I'd concentrate my $$ spent. It sounds like your lot is big enough to add a garage? Or would it be possible to convert the 4th bedroom back to the original garage (provided that gives you a 2-car garage)? The allowance is generally not a good idea as most buyers will simply offer you what the home is worth without the garage and still insist on the $$ allowance on top of that.

You can really drop alot of $$ on a kitchen improvement. And kitchens really do sell a house. Again, though, I would be very careful about over-improving, especially if most of the homes in your neighborhood are of the same era and don't have a remodelled kitchen. If that's the case then I'd try to just update by making sure I had current paint colors, etc. The cabinet reface might be cost effective - I don't how much that typically costs. Also, some of the new formica countertops almost look like granite, and are much, much cheaper.

The main thing you don't want to do is over-improve for your neighborhood - you'll never get your money back out of it, and may even have a tough time getting an appraisal to come in at a higher price.

Hope some of this has been a little helpful . . .
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Old 02-24-2007, 12:01 AM
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,630,451 times
Reputation: 1705
Wow, you're a sponge of info! Thanks for the tips!
I figured the garage, kitchen, floors (dingy carpet and linoleum) and outside curb appeal (paint etc) would be the most important, just not sure how much to spend to get what we want.
Thanks again!
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Old 02-24-2007, 08:37 AM
Location: Nine Mile Falls/Spokane, WA
1,008 posts, read 4,633,024 times
Reputation: 814
I agree with Gretchen - you don't want to put granite counters in a kitchen of a house that has no garage. I'd say to put in a 2 car garage or convert the bedroom back to a garage. Do the kitchen modestly with nice looking and matching but lower cost appliances, paint or reface the cabinets, tile or laminate flooring, and new formica countertops. People looking for homes like newer style but also need function. The curb appeal is important, so you should proceed with the new exterior paint and maybe some colorful plants. Clean and neat are the most important - get rid of clutter, start packing and have things in boxes neatly stacked. Buyers can more easily picture their own furniture and belongings in a house that's not filled with someone else's stuff. Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:26 PM
Location: Anywhere but here!
2,800 posts, read 9,630,451 times
Reputation: 1705
Thank you for your help. I think we have to do #1 garage, #2 Outside paint etc, #3 Kitchen, #4 Floors

It's a pretty nice house and we actually have 1 acre in town, which in our area is very rare.
Anymore tips? I appreciate them all!
Thanks again
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