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  • Selling Your Home? A Kitchen Clean Up Pays Off
    by rtstaff@realtytimes.com (Realty Times Staff) on February 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    When it comes to selling a home, a kitchen clean up pays. You don't have to do an expensive remodel to make your kitchen appealing to buyers. If you're starting with a good kitchen space, then making a few inexpensive modifications can help you get your home noticed and sell for more money. Here are a few things to start with. Some people like to leave every single appliance that they've used in the last week out, but, to show good space,you're going to have to clear your counters. One of the major mistakes sellers make is leaving the kitchen, or their home, the everyday way they live in it. The way you sell and show a home is not usually the way you live in it. Yes, it may be an inconvenience but it's worth the hassle if it brings in more money when your home sells. So, look around your kitchen and see what you can put away. The more empty the counter tops, the better. A few subtle decorations that bring your kitchen to life are perfect. Leave open space for buyers to imagine their own belongings in your kitchen. If you have any low-hanging pots and pans on racks from the walls or ceilings, consider removing them and patch the holes. Unless the rack is very necessary or really nice decor that doesn't block views or hang too low, removing it will help create a greater feeling of spaciousness. Wipe the counter tops thoroughly. Sounds so ridiculously simple and obvious. But many sellers forget to do this and the counter tops are left sticky or with stains on them. A little elbow grease could remove a wine stain or watermark and make the kitchen look much more cared-for. If you don't have an island in your kitchen but have some extra room, a rolling butcher block island works like a charm for adding convenient working space and a sophisticated look. You might also have some delicious-smelling freshly baked cookies out alongside your flyers for open houses. Get some light in the kitchen. If you have all recessed lighting, you might try adding a few pendant lights. They add a completely different look and can be quite attractive. Change your flooring if it's very old, torn up, or outdated. Putting in some inexpensive flooring that gives an updated look will help. You don't have to spend lots of money and get the best flooring around; just make sure your flooring doesn't make your home look like it's in a time warp. Add some plants and greenery to the kitchen. Using fresh herbs in simple containers is a great way to add some pretty decor plus their lovely aromatic odors help buyers think about the meals they'd cook in your kitchen. Clean up or replace old worn-down appliances. You can sell the home with appliances "as is" but a broken dishwasher, for instance, is a point of price negotiation. You can expect buyers to want some money off or for it to be replaced. The kitchen is one of the most important areas of a home for most buyers, even if they don't cook. Taking the time to enhance it before you list your home will help make sure your home sells for top dollar. […]

  • Why Not To Convert The Garage When Remodeling Your Home
    by rtstaff@realtytimes.com (Realty Times Staff) on February 22, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    One of the biggest reasons that people buy homes instead of continuing to rent is to have more space. But the cost of buying with little money down or to move up to a better neighborhood could mean a compromise on space. Many older homes, particularly those built before the 1990s, average less square footage than newer homes. One way homeowners get more space is by converting the garage. The average garage is approximately 20 by 20 feet. Converting it gives you approximately 400 more square feet of living area. The location of the garage is ideal. It's already under the roof and walled on three sides, making it relatively inexpensive to remodel as a den or a guest suite. And that's where your plans can go wrong. Unless you remodel the garage from the outside, it will always look like a conversion. The driveway will lead to... a wall, so it will have to be remodeled, too. You'll have problems on the interior as well. The floor will be lower than the rest of the house because it's a concrete slab. It isn't insulated like the rest of the house, so there will be a noticeable difference in sound absorption and temperature. Where you'll encounter the most difficulty is in determining your home's value. When you purchased the home, you paid so much per square foot. Only living space is counted, which doesn't include the garage, porch or patio, even if they are under the roof. You'll get more living space for less per square foot, but when it comes time to sell your converted home, get ready for mixed reactions from buyers. Many will refuse to even look at your home. They want the security, storage, and utility of a garage. Others will consider your home but they will punish the lack of a garage with a low offer. Some will refuse to count the square footage of the garage as equal to the rest of the house. Others will deduct the cost of reconversion or building a new garage in their offer. No matter how you count it, square footage added at the cost of a garage isn't worth it. […]

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