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Monday, May 15, 2017

Here’s the scenario…..

You are thinking about moving or making improvements to your current home.  Should you remodel the kitchen, baths, flooring, add a pool, change the patio decking, make an addition to add more square footage, replace the aging roof, finally change the a/c units, add or change window treatments, remove the popcorn ceiling, add a fence, upgrade appliances, paint the interior, paint the exterior, add a circular driveway, change out your landscaping, add impact glass . . .? (And yes I’m laughing as I write this because no matter how much you’ve done, there’s always more you can do.)

I have zero scientific or mathematical data to support my philosophy on over-improving your home, but I do have over two decades of selling properties in South Florida.  My general consensus is that you can spend roughly ten to fifteen percent of your home’s current value on upgrades and renovations.  For example, sellers with a home valued at $1,000,000 today can spend around $100k to $150k and still remain at market value if they plan on moving in the next few years.   My experience and market statistics show that sellers who make major renovations get substantially more money for their home at closing, get closer to their asking price, and spend fewer days on the market.  This information stays valid in good and bad markets. 

Here’s the caveat with the above information:  Is your home really worth what you think it’s worth?  Market conditions are changing weekly in South Florida.  Inventory has gone up ten percent, down ten percent, and has flattened off in the last sixty days.  The number of closed sales for January was off by 50% in Weston.  The internet, with sites like Zillow, has everyone believing that you type in your address and you get an instant, accurate figure on the value of your property. 

Now if you are looking to spend only three to five percent of the perceived value on your home for renovations, knock yourself out and enjoy the naked outdoor shower.  However, if you are planning to spend ten percent or more of the perceived value, I suggest you take the opportunity to consult a real estate expert in your area. You will want to discuss current home values, what improvements are needed immediately versus renovations that would be nice to have, and how all of this adds value to the property. 

I’m honored that most of my clients do consult me when they come to a crossroad about home improvements. I welcome any of our readers to contact me, as well. Thanks as always for allowing me to share my thoughts and provide a positive impact to the local real estate market.


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