Volume XVII, Issue 1                                                                            1st Quarter 2009

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Whether you’re thinking of preparing your home to sell in 2009 or just staying put...here’s that golden list!  Trends come and go… but here’s what’s hot for 2009:

1. Create Space:  Buyers are looking for space—open spaces that create a sense of flow.  For a few hundred dollars, you can transform the feel of your house and have your house stand out!

2. Prune, Limb and Landscape:  We all know that Curb Appeal is King...buyers need to see the house.  Don’t let overgrown landscaping obscure the view.     Remember—landscaping is one of the top three investments that bring the     biggest return.

3. Let in the Light:  It’s the number one item to boost your value! It’s as easy as installing dimmer switches to light tubes (aka light pipes, sunscoops and tubular skylights).  Make sure, as well, that windows open properly and place lights in dark corners.

4. Don’t Put Off Care & MaintenanceBack to basics here...insulate the attic,   repair plumbing leaks, repair leaky windows.  After 30 years of showing houses, I can always tell whether a house has deferred maintenance by the grout condition in the tub.

5. Go Green:  Living Green in our homes by updating heating and cooling systems can save up to 30 to 40%.  If you install a solar-powered water heater, you could receive $2,100 back in green tax credits for that $7,000 unit/installation...best of all you’ll save 80% on your water-heating bill.  For the “green conscious” buyers, these kind of updates are enticing.  Buyers have, for years, asked about gas and electric bills.  Going green makes your home more desirable to the energy-conscious buyers.

6. Home Begins at the Front DoorTake a good look at your front entrance.  Is the door beautiful?  Are the door knobs/locks clean and working? How about an overhang to add substance to your entrance.  Look at your home’s entrance with a discriminating eye.

7. What’s Under Your Feet?   Flooring is really important—but it doesn’t have to cost a bundle.  On average, if you invest $600 to $900 in flooring, you can expect a return in value up to $2,000.  It’s advised to repair squeaks, damaged floor boards and pitch that old wall-to-wall worn carpet.  Consider cork, engineered hardwoods as replacements.  Go neutral with tiles to coordinate with various décors.

8. Easy Bath UpgradesIt doesn’t have to be   expensive.  Clean that grout, replace the frosted shower glass for clear glass, use fresh caulk, update doorknobs and replace faucets. 

9. Neutral Wall Colors:  Especially if you’re thinking of selling…

10. Remove the Question Marks from Your HouseGet rid of the “what’s that?” factor...green and blue vinyl flooring, a cracked threshold, etc.  The more questions, the more buyers are likely to say, “We don’t want that house.” v


Source:  This Old House, January 2009


Email me at: beth@bethpressler.com

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