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Volume VII  Issue 2  

2nd Quarter 1999 


Beth Pressler, CRS, GRI, LTG

Higbie Maxon Agney, Inc. REALTORS®
83 kercheval
grosse pointe farms, mi 48236

Toll Free 1.888.886.4060


The Top 10 List of

Home Improvements*


1) Fast fixes: Breathing life into a room with a fresh paint job, replacing the hardware on the Kitchen cabinets, adding a wainscot to a Dining Room. These are manageable, character-building make-overs that are relatively inexpensive but reflect the homeowners flair for style.

2) The Kitchen/"Command Central": This is the room that people are opening up into the Family Room, the Living Room or onto the patio. Multiple work centers, center islands, smarter built-in appliances still translate into the "biggest bang for your renovating dollar"!

3) Luxurious Baths: Indulgent, relaxing retreat. Whirlpools, double sinks, multi-spray showers, even dimmer lights for mood adjustments. This is the most expensive renovation project per square foot, but the payoffs/return on investment is substantial.

4) "Outdoor Family Rooms": A phrase coined by the American Society of Landscape Architects, alias lawnscaping. Naturalizing ones backyard environment…the ability to come home and rather than "working" in the garden, "enjoying" the garden. Herbs, trellises, secret places created by stone walls…these are the trends that smart homeowners know will pay off.

5) Home Office: We knew this was coming…an extra Bedroom, loft, I’ve even seen some in the Laundry Room! New additions wired for technology emphasize our need for the 2-income families working either full/part time at home.

6) The VIP Room: What’s your interest? Wine collector ̃ a temperature-controlled wine cellar; movie lover ̃ a home theater complete with large screen, surround sound ; exercise guru ̃ a state-of-the-art workout room/sauna/shower facility. These areas are also called "comfort zones", "updated recreation rooms", "special-features rooms". These features are extremely individualistic in nature and probably will be enjoyed by the current homeowner, therefore, bang for the buck is discounted…the renovation is for the present.

7) "Daylighting": The concept of adding more windows creating more lighting in a home. Skylights, French doors, floor to ceiling windows…all add up to bringing the outdoors into our lives. "Within the last decade, the average number of windows per house has nearly doubled, to 15.5, according to major window manufacturers". With technological advances in windows, energy-efficient, heat-retaining glass helps homeowners recoup their renovating dollars while reaping the benefits.

8) Space Maximizing: Reconfiguring existing space with bookcases and shallow closets built into nooks and crannies are booming. Work islands vs. work peninsulas in the Kitchen for improved traffic flow patterns; removing walls between smaller rooms to create one large living area; multiple uses for rooms (Dining rooms doubling as Libraries, a Bedroom that doubles as a computer work area). These creative ideas offer convenience and improve homeowners’ quality of life.

9) Keeping Up the Joneses: "Curb appeal", first impressions, have never been more important. Most homeowners "get on the stick" when trying to market their homes. Why wait? Enjoy exterior updates while you’re still in your home. Add a bay window to a non-descript front exterior; replace the boring garage door with a raised panel beauty; add style and high-quality to your roofline with architectural shingles. Remember: appearances DO count!

10) Retrofitting Interior Environments: Technology is helping homeowners turn to efficient, convenient, powerful upgrades to heating-cooling systems, sound systems, and even cleaning systems. Smart climate-controlling systems: zoned heating/cooling, programmable thermostats, ground-source heat pumps, help control the interior environment efficiently. Ductboard and fiberglass batts absorb sounds in the home. Central vacuum systems offer powerful, convenient cleaning options. These upgrades represent smart investing and returns will be plentiful. v



*Thanks to American HomeStyle & Gardening for this informational article on home improvements trends

Email me at: beth@bethpressler.com


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