Tuesday, January 14, 2014

South Bay-Beach Cities: Home Improvement Projects..... Which projects are best for resale?

Drive down any street in the South Bay- Beach Cities and you will see at least one property where some type of home improvement is happening.  Unlike many areas in the state and country we don't have new home communities popping up each year.  In fact the construction of new  homes in California is well below demand. That is one of the reasons home prices are so high statewide. 

While demand for homes in the Beach Cities and the South Bay in general is increasing, we just don't have the land available to build new home developments. Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, Redondo and El Segundo are built out. This means that you have to tear down an existing home to build a new one which can make the price a bit high for many buyers. 

In the South Bay-Beach Cities that often means buying an older or smaller home and updating or remodeling the property.  We love to upgrade and personalize our homes to make them reflect our needs. But as many buyers know and sellers find out; not all upgrades pay for themselves when a home is listed for sale.  

If you are considering relocating in 5 years or less you might want to review the projects below.  According to CAR there are good improvements that add value to your home when you decide to sell and improvements that you may love, but don't necessarily bring the expected return when you sell your home.    

4 Home Improvement Projects that add value...

 5 Home Improvements that may not return their cost..

As you review the projects above you might wonder about the difference between kitchen and bath improvements that return their cost vs the ones listed under projects to avoid.

If you install new wood cabinets, granite counters and modern flooring with mid-level appliances  in a median priced home you will likely recoup most of your costs.   However take that same median priced home but install new cabinets made from specialty imported hardwoods,  add high end appliances,  hand painted designer tiles for counters and imported  flooring and you could spend 3-4 times the cost of  the good  kitchen remodel.  When you decide to sell in a few years that designer style may no longer be in vogue and you might be lucky to recoup 25% of your costs.   The same is true for the bath... we love the look of whirlpool  tubs  and steam heated showers  but reality is that they are rarely used by folks trying to get ready for work in the morning.. A larger shower with 2 shower heads and a smaller tub might be a better choice for a lot less money.

Good resale value utilizing landscaping is another example.....   Colorful  flowers and well manicured yards are far more effective for resale than adding 4 exotic trees in the backyard at a cost of $3000.00 each.

As the Spring selling season approaches you might want to consider which projects will bring the most bang for your buck if selling your home is on your schedule this year.


eric said...

This is a lot to take in. Years ago I bought a home in Manhattan Beach.

Kaye said...

Eric..A lot has changed over the years.. even during the recession prices remained on the high side..