LESLIE: Lynn in South Carolina is looking to improve the value of her money pit. What can we do for you?
LYNN: Well, we have thought about selling our home and it is a beach home. It’s not beach front but it’s on the oceanside.
LYNN: And since prices have kind of taken a nosedive, we were wondering what would be the best home improvement that we could do to try and increase the value of our home and make it more appealing.
TOM: Well, how old is your house, Lynn?
LYNN: Home is about ten years old.
TOM: Alright, well that’s still a pretty new house. I wouldn’t imagine that there’s a lot that you need to do in terms of replacing kitchens or appliances or anything of that nature. I would go back to the basics.
First thing I would do is make sure it looks really good from the outside. Make sure that you have good landscaping so you have great curb appeal. Remember that a lot of people make a home-buying decision without ever actually getting to your house. They’re going to look at the picture.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Online, based on photos.
TOM: Yep. Yeah, so make sure that picture looks really good.
Secondly, inside you want to make sure that your house is as neutral as possible. So if you’ve got kind of a strong decorating taste, you might love it; the next buyer will have a hard time imagining their stuff in your house. So you want to keep to the neutrals and the off-whites and the beige colors. If you want to do any decorating, you want to tone everything down so that no matter what the décor tastes are of the potential homebuyers, they’re going to all feel like it will fit in your house.
And also, you want to make sure that you declutter; so you want to make the house look as wide open as possible. I mean, typically, most of us end up moving, a lot of times, because we’ve kind of grown out of our house; and if that’s the case, you want to make sure that you try to declutter as much – you know, have some of those garage sales; those lawn sales; put some stuff out on eBay; try to get rid of as much stuff as possible so that your house looks as open as it possibly can.
But at ten years old, I don’t think we’re talking about replacing a kitchen, upgrading a bathroom, things like that. Do you have …?
LESLIE: Which are always the biggest return on investment.
TOM: Do you have a deck or patio?
LYNN: We have a deck.
TOM: Well, I mean that’s good, too; so it sounds like you don’t really need to do a lot here besides some basic cleanup, basic landscaping and maybe some decorating.
LYNN: Well, I truly appreciate that. That’s exactly some of the things that we are doing and so that lets me know that we are on the right track; plus you gave me some other fine things to think about and to put into motion.
TOM: Sounds good, Lynn. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and good luck with that home sale.