We are making our way through the countdown of the Top 20 Home Improvements to increase the value of your home. In Part 1 of this series I gave you #20 – #16. So….let’s look at the next Five!
#15 Landscape your Yard – Not always the best return on your investment but definitely the best for curb appeal to get buyers into your home and it may make for a quicker sale. Not to mention the enjoyment you will get out of a perennial garden in the mean time.
#14 Major Kitchen Remodel – Kitchens are the heart of the home and definitely the most important room in the house. They can make or break a sale. Major kitchen remodels are great only if you are not selling immediately. Do the major remodel, enjoy it, then it is ready for the sale down the road.
#13 Add a bathroom – If you have fewer faucets than beds, adding a bathroom can not only add value but save family arguments.
#12 Make sure Additions Match the House – If you have a traditional home, don’t add on a contemporary addition just because that is more your taste. If your addition doesn’t match, change the look of the house at the same time.
#11 Replace Old Windows – There is nothing worse than old drafty window. By replacing them you will save energy and dollars now and reap rewards at selling time.
If you missed any of the posts in this series be sure to check them out!
Check back later for Part 3 in the Top 20 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home! We will be looking at #6 – #10!
by Shar Sitter in Uncategorized
Top Home Improvements to Increase the Value of Your Home - Home Staging and Redesign MN
As my last two blog posts mentioned, there are many Home Improvement that can actually be bad and decrease the value of your home. So now lets take a look at those that DO increase the value.
Here are 20 Top Home Improvements to consider. These are not necessarily improvements to make JUST to sell your home. You need to look at many factors such as how long you will be in your house, your neighborhood, etc. “Be Careful With Those Home Improvements” gives you a few to consider.
Drum roll please….in reverse order…..
#20 Home Office Remodel – A large percentage of the population works at home full time or at least spends off hours doing work at home to catch up. Home Office Space is valuable square footage.
If at all possible it shouldn’t be part of another room and it definitely shouldn’t feel like a dungeon to be in it.
#19 Add a Sun Room – Everyone loves a sun room. A place to read, have quiet time, enjoy a cup of coffee, and unwind with family and friends. It is the most important room in my home and one that everyone gravitates to when they come to visit.
#18 Create or Renovate a Master Suite – Next to the kitchen, the master bedroom with adjoining bath is the most important area of the house. Adults want a place to escape at the end of the day.
Think the best five star boutique hotel you have every been in. Aaaahhh. Tranquil, calming and peaceful. This area of the house is always a draw for buyers.
#17 Renovate or Add a Family Room – It is where all families spend the majority of their time. Make it warm, inviting and cozy. If your family room still has dark paneling from the 1950s it is time for a renovation. Paint can make a huge change!
16 New Roof – Maintenance on a home is key and the roof is the best place to start. It is going to be looked at, inspected and can cause many problems if it is in disrepair.
Home Improvements can increase the value of your home no doubt. But always be careful!! Check out my last two post:
Stayed Tuned for Part 2 to see #15 – #11 of the Top Home Improvements to Increase the Value of Your Home!
by Shar Sitter in Uncategorized
Home Improvement Myths - Home Staging and Redesign of MN
The term ‘home improvement’ usually evokes a good feeling. You are improving something so that’s good isn’t it? Plus it is being done to one of your biggest assets so even better right? Well maybe.
1) “Any Remodel is a Good One.” NOT THE CASE. You need to check out and consider many things before considering any home improvement.
2) “I Can Do It Myself.” Sure you can. All of us have seen the DIYP (Do it Yourself Project) when our best friend or spouse is so proud of their work but they really should have let a professional do it. Unless you are well trained and have experience in that area….it may be best to spend the money to have it done correctly.
3) “Adding A Pool Always Add Value.” Not so. Pools only add value if they are in a climate where they can be used year round. It also depends on the type of pool and the condition of the pool. In many cases a pool decreases the value of a home.
4) “I Should Follow the Latest Design Trends.” The key word here is ‘trend’. That is what it is and it will be on its way out before you even get it finished. Trends are great for $12 throw pillows. Not for major improvements.
So make sure you know what you are doing when you start those Home Improvements.
Check out my previous post “Be Careful with those Home Improvements” and stop by for my next post on specific home improvements that add value to your home!
Be Careful With Those Home Improvements! Home Staging Minneapolis, MN
It’s Spring and it is the perfect time to hit that list of home improvements you have been thinking about.
Some home improvements can add value to your home, some can make your home more likely to sell quicker, and some home improvements are just plain bad.
Over the next few blog posts I am going to address types of home improvements that can be great and some that you may want to reconsider.
Before doing any home improvement you always need to do your homework and here are a few tips:
1) Look at how long you are going to be in your home. Some improvements are imperative to make to get your home in top selling condition. Other improvements should only be made if you plan on being in your home for a while.
2) Check out your Neighborhood. You never want to improve beyond the value of your neighborhood. Being the biggest or best house on the block is not the best thing for resale.
3) Check out your Market. What is the current housing market in your area? Who is the potential buyer of your home when you do go to sell?
4) Don’t design yourself into a corner by being too specific. You don’t want to limit who you can sell to. Personalize your home through paint and accessories that are easy to change rather than having to replace walls.
5) Balance your style and area. Again, keep in mind what will sell in the future rather than focusing on what you like and what you want to use the area for.
If you are planning to make improvements and potentially sell in a short period of time, check out the statistics listed on my website on the return on your investment for certain home improvements at www.RoomsWithStyle.com.
If you have made any mistakes in your home improvements that you would like to share with others so they don’t make the same mistakes, please do so. What is your horror story in home improvements? Or, what was your biggest success? I’d love to hear.
See you on the next post when I talk about more Home Improvement Do’s and Dont’s!
“The proof is in the pudding”. What the heck does that even mean?
Is it Blueberry Pudding?
Peach with mint on the bottom?
I don’t know, but pudding may not be the best idea when it comes to Home Staging.
I was brought in for a Home Staging Consultation on this 1890 Historical Home that is on the National Registry of Historical Places.
It had been on the market for six months without a single offer.
I gave some suggestions such as:
Paint the walls a more neutral color (even though the yellow was a historical color choice from Benjamin Moore it was too taste specific for selling). I also recommended taking down the drapes so the buyer could see the incredible windows and their magnificent height.
The Dining Room had an antique table in it but even though the home is historic not everyone likes antiques. I recommended the home be staged with more modern furnishings.
In the family room I recommended they remove the carpet as original hardwood floors were underneath.
The kitchen was getting negative feedback due to the long open wall area and lack of counter space. I recommended they purchase a portable island to create more counter space, put in pendant lights to create some drama and stage the area with an eat-in area.
Tiny bedroom? Let’s make it an office.
Master Bedroom…..let’s spice it up a little. (is there spice in pudding??)
So……here is how the flavors turned out.
The entryway is now a stunning start into the journey through this beautiful home.
The Lemon is now a mild Chocolate Latte enhanced with a touch of formal but still modern and casual.
The chocolate latte carries into the Dining Room and the old table is replaced with new but still classy.
The Family Room now has original wood floors and no more peach!
The kitchen…..now has more counter space, check out the cool pendant lights, and an eat-in area in the kitchen is so valuable!
It was best if they painted the bathroom but that wasn’t possible for a couple reasons so hey….sometimes you need to work with what you have and turn a negative into a positive.
And a little room becomes a great computer and study room.
And hey…..make them laugh while they are there.
Now the Master Bedroom looks more inviting…..
Within two days the buyer received two offers for almost full price.
So…..I guess the Proof Is In the
Pudding STAGING!! I definitely know what that means!
If you are dealing with any flavors of your own and need some advice, call 952-567-1124 and let a professionally trained certified Home Stager give you a hand. Or check out our website for more before and after photos.
What Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging Have in Common?
That isn’t a question just to get you wondering what this post is about. This post really is about sex trafficking and Home Staging.
They have a lot in common. Really.
Even more so, it has to do with using your God given talents to help others. I use mine to help women coming off the streets that have been caught in the horrific sex trafficking trade.
My latest was to volunteer my time to a Non-profit organization that provides apartments to women that were able to escape this horrible situation. This apartment was to be for a young 18 year old girl who had given birth 3 months prior while she was just 17.
These are not luxury apartments, they are not in nice apartment buildings and they are not in a great area of town. They are places that most of us wouldn’t want to enter.
But to them it is a palace.
This is pretty common what I see when I enter. One room…it is the kitchen, the bedroom, the dining room and the living room. But hey….I am a Home Stager. I see potential! Ha.
The bathrooms are usually disgusting.
These women coming off the streets have nothing. And I mean nothing. It takes very little to help.
Let’s create a dining room shall we?? A donated table and some cafe chairs from a flea market painted a fun color.
Dishes from the dollar store, artwork from ,my warehouse and a Dining Room fit for a Queen.
The only thing I make sure of is that the mattress, box spring and bedding is brand spanking new.
The bed has not been a safe place for them and now I want it to be a place of total comfort and peace.
A little touch of chocolates on the bed and fresh flowers on the dresser to make them smile.
A donated bedroom set and a chair and that really is all there is room for but it is so much more than she has had. Really….she has nothing.
Donated kettles in the cabinets, a few groceries to get her started.
A new shower curtain and towels from Kmart.
……….and now there is a home for a girl and her baby.
Do you agree? Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging have a lot in common?
What are your talents that you can share with someone?
Good with numbers? Help a new widow reconcile a checkbook for the first time.
Good with organization? Help a single Mom organize her child’s toys.
Good with paperwork? Help an elderly person fill out medicare or social security forms.
***Interested in how and why I started donating my time? Check out my original post “Do You Have A Dream? Let Me Tell You a Story”
What is your buyer’s reaction really worth?
Home Staging – Cost versus Benefit
The price of Home Staging….is it worth it? That is always a question on the minds of home owners especially if their home is vacant.
It isn’t cheap to bring in furniture and have it staged. There is of course the rental fee for furniture but it is also all the labor. The movers, the truck, the staging time to pack everything, stage the home and then come back and pack it all up when it sells.
So is it really worth it?
I recently staged a 1904 three story home that sat vacant for many months. Let’s look at the cost versus the benefit of Home Staging for this architectural jewel in a classic neighborhood of St. Paul, MN
1) The old cliché is true….Home Staging almost always costs less than the first price reduction.
2) In addition, Home Staging is usually less than the carrying costs for one month. Let’s look at the costs involved in maintaining a vacant home:
Mortgage, interest, real estate taxes, insurance, water, heat, air conditioning, electricity, shoveling or lawn maintenance services, cleaning services, and maintenance upkeep.
Buyer after: “Wow, look at the vintage subway tile on the fireplace, check out those bay windows.”
Buyer Before: “What the heck am I going to do with this small room right off the Living Room?”
Buyer After: “What a great room for the kids to watch TV!”
Buyer Before: “This is kind of dark and dreary.”
Buyer After: “Look at this stunning wood and original lead glass windows. And that built-in hutch that is 109 years old – Incredible!”
Buyer Before: “The kitchen is nice.”
Buyer After: “I want this kitchen! The kids will love this bench for eating breakfast every morning.”
Buyer Before: “Huff…ah, ah…after climbing three flights of stairs it better be worth it. This is it?”
Buyer After: “I can’t wait to run up those stairs to get up here every night. I am heading off to soak in the tub and then curl up with a book on that window seat by the fire.”
“Oh….that’s right, give me the papers to sign and make it snappy.”
So…which statements are your buyers saying? What is their reaction worth?
If the difference is getting your home sold in days versus months, may the benefits of Home Staging outweigh the costs?
APSD Home Stager Pro Hands On Training and Certification
Next Class Dates April 24 – 28, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN and is one of the most complete Home Staging Courses offered throughout the country.
Most Home Staging Businesses fail because they don’t know how to market or run a business. As a CPA as well as an experienced Home Stager I will teach you both.
Four Days. Totally Hands On.
Working with a Large Warehouse Inventory of Furniture and Accessories.
Learn how to create ‘Pockets of Emotion’, a registered trademarked of APSD.
You get to pick your furniture, pick your accessories and stage a home that will be listed for sale.
Practice, practice, practice makes this a top notch training session that will teach you what you need to know to be successful.
Learn the ‘tricks of the trade’……
Learn important industry terminology and how to market your business…….
Now is the time to become A Certified Home Stager!!
Your Home Staging Training MN will include:
Staging an Owner Occupied Home.
Practicing Home Staging Consultations.
Staging a Vacant Home.
Creating ‘Pockets of Emotion’ for your particular buyer.
Marketing ideas galore!
Plus a half day of ‘how to run a buisness’ advice!
Sign Up Soon and receive a $600 Early Bird Discount!
More information and sign up at: www.coursesinhomestaging.com
Yes, sometimes it really is better if your renter moves out.
I see this alot. People have rental properties and when they decide to sell they put it on the market while the renter is living in the property. After six months or a year it is still for sale and they wonder why.
You may be one of the few landlords where your tenants have beautiful furniture, keep their home spotless, and are so willing to assist you with getting your property sold.
But….if you aren’t living in a fantasy world the norm is your tenant has nothing to gain and probably a lot to lose if your property is sold. There is no incentive for them to keep it clean as a minimal starting point much less everything else that goes with selling.
Luckily this Landlord knew that.
Having all the furniture centered around the TV isn’t optimal for selling besides the fact you should never walk into the back of furniture right inside the door.
And using the Dining Room as a place to have your speakers for a jam session may not bring top dollar.
A kitchen filled with clutter….aahhh..NO.
This space had so much potential but the renter’s furniture wasn’t showing what it could be.
A HUGE master bedroom with a sitting area is a huge selling feature but when the sitting area is used for storage is just feels gross.
And this Master Bedroom retreat wasn’t feeling very tranquil.
So….let’s see what the Landlord received when they had asked the advice of Rooms With Style Home Staging.
The renter moved out, a paint color was selected, then the property was staged with modern furnishings.
An open arrangement floor plan for the living room:
An actual Dining Room:
A kitchen that now shows all the counter tops, built-in bookshelves and a place for stools.
And how about this wonderful hearth area alongside the fireplace now? What a great place for people to sit and sip a cocktail while you are cooking during a dinner party.
The Master Bedroom Retreat and sitting area….now the buyer can see what the space can be.
This property sold in six days when units directly on each side of it had been for sale long before theirs.
Don’t gamble that your tenant will do what is best for you in showing your property in it’s best light. If at all possible, take the time to have them move out, freshen the space and do any necessary upgrades and have the property staged.
It will save you in the long run.
If you need advice on what to do with your rental property. Call:
Bathrooms – Easy Updates, Fixing Awkward Builder’s Errors and A Room That Makes Them Smile!
Yup….you heard me. The bathroom is the perfect place to make the buyer smile.
But first, lets look at how Home Staging can assist with easy updates.
The Master Bath is more important than a guest bathroom. However, the buyer almost always comes to the guest bathroom first as they walk through a home. So don’t let it set a negative tone that your house is outdated.
Outdated immediately screams ‘MONEY NEEDED’ to the buyer and so many times there are easy and inexpensive fixes to update the space.
This guest bath has many negatives but take a look at the mirror.
A standard builder’s mirror can be made to look like an expensive framed mirror for less than $20. Easy as 1 – 2 – 3.
1) Purchase one piece of pre-finished white molding.
2) Measure and cut 4 mitered cuts.
3) Glue directly to the mirror.
A boring mirror now takes on the look of an expensive classy framed mirror. A new light fixture along with a neutral and modern paint color completes the total updated bath. A new light fixture is the easiest way to update your bathroom!
Second, Home Staging can fix awkward wasted spaces.
Some builders just don’t think things through and miss some details no matter how thorough they are. As a Home Stager it is my job to make the space seem natural.
In this luxurious Master Bathroom, the builder left a very awkward space next to the vanity right before the linen closet. It was too late to add more cabinets and fix the error. NEVER LEAVE AN AWKWARD SPACE FOR THE BUYER TO FIGURE OUT.
I decided this was a great space to add some glitz and glamour and actually get them to walk over to the space to take a look at the detailed touches!
What awkward space??
And last but not least……. make your buyer smile. And isn’t the bathroom the perfect place to do that.
This house had an outdated bathroom but with classic HIS and HER spaces!
Love it. Accent the positive I say….
HERS……. spa, tranquil, sparkle and feminine.
HIS….testoserone, shaving, and flexing his manly biceps!
Who wouldn’t remember this house! But no need…it sold at it’s first showing on Day 1.
Emotion will get them every-time. Every-time. Just make sure it’s a good emotion. LOL
BATHROOMS – they are the most important rooms in the house after the kitchen. So update them, fix awkward spaces and make the buyer remember your house over your competition’s by making them smile.
If you need some suggestions on how to update your bathrooms, call Rooms With Style to set an appointment today! 952-567-1124.