11 Ideas for Curb Appeal $100 or Less

 

When you drive up to some homes they yawn:  “I’m tired”

 

 

 

 

This article demonstrates some easy and            inexpensive things you can do, right now, to help your home pop out.

 

What have you done to your home we can add to this list?

Hollister Homes Highest Value Gain

Hollister, CA

Of the 3 cities which make up ‘ South County‘, the City of Hollister, CA single family residences saw the highest appreciation from 1st quarter 2013 to 1st quarter 2014.

The average Hollister single family residence (SFR) value rose 23.1% whereas Morgan Hill, CA experienced 21.9% and the City of Gilroy, CA saw their SFR rise by 11.2% from 1Q13 to 1Q14.

However, Hollister’s typical SFR value dropped 43% from 1Q07 (when many say the bubble burst) to 1Q13. Morgan Hill dropped 32.5% and Gilroy 30.6% during this same period.  Hollister’s ave.  SFR value in 1Q07  was $302,383, down to $240,798 in 2013 and up to $274,309 1Q14.

Another indicator of Hollister’s recovery is the time it takes homes to sell.  The average days on the market in 2007’s 1st quarter was a whopping 148 days.  In 1Q13 the time dropped to 124 days on the market.  That is a 69% improvement!  Then, this year we watched the average days on the market drop even further to 24.

Finally, the average Sales to List price ratio was 99.5% in the 1st 3 months this year compared to slightly over 96% in both ‘o7 and ’13 first quarter.  They are selling faster and virtually at their asking price.

What do you think this trend will do?

(data source: MLSListings)

Top Return on Remodel Item?

What would you guess to be the top return on home improvement dollars spent?

I have incorrectly stated for years: “a kitchen improvement gives you the highest return of added value for your remodel dollar”.

While it typically adds 80 – 83% of your remodel dollar-to-value, there is an inexpensive improvement which gets an even higher return – almost 100%!  Hint: a contributor to curbside appeal.

Take a look at this article (see the list at the bottom) and you may be as surprised as I was.  I’m assuming the photo above hasn’t helped you figure it out already.  It is still an eyebrow raiser for me.  It’s also motivating because I can redo our front door out of  “pocket change” vs influencing the national debt for a full-on kitchen do over.

BTW: there was a secondary point made in the article which should be self evident: a $75,000 kitchen remodel on a $100,000 house does not make sense.

What have you done before sale which gave you the best return?

Bathroom Floor Ideas, Remodeling

One of the  first, physical experiences you have in the morning and, just before you go to bed: your footsies on the bathroom floor.  Is it cold?  slippery?  woolly (carpet)? Yucky?

Is it time to redo the bathroom?  Start with the flooring.  Here is a good article for the newest, old ideas and options that are reasonably priced.  Once you have decided on the floor color and texture  the rest will easily fall into place.

Next to the cost of a kitchen remodel, a bathroom is the second most expensive. However, like the kitchen, remodeled bathrooms really add to a home’s value – one of the highest returns on your improvement dollars.

Not only will your bathroom look fresh and clean, it will feel great on those adventurous toes in the AM and weary souls at the end of the day.

What do you think?  Do you have a floor you want to share?

Inexpensive Peace of Mind

Your home is on the market and your water heater goes out.  That’s the last thing you want – spend  money on something you will not get any return on.

It happened again.  A seller in Morgan Hill had their home on the market.  One cold morning they went to turn up the heat and found their furnace had gone out.  The cost of the installed new furnace: $1,800!  While they were warm again their net proceeds from the sale just dropped by a cold, $1,800.

Furnaces, water heaters, microwave ovens, ovens, disposals…they all have a functional life and then give up the ghost – without warning.  Those repair bills are aggravating and, unnecessary.

A Cool Solution: Home warranty policies are available for sellers as well as buyers.  For roughly $.90 a day you can cover all of your major appliances during your listing period.  Should something go out you only have to pay a set fee, usually around $60, and the warranty company will repair or replace your appliance for no additional cost. Comment below, text or email for more information.

The payment for this warranty can be from your net proceeds in escrow.  Additionally, if your home doesn’t sell some of the warranty companies won’t charge you anything.  So you just can’t lose.

Selling your home can be an anxious time but this little tip will keep your equity in your pocket and, provide some peace of mind.

Has this or something like it happened to you?

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San Jose 4th Fastest Turn-Around Values

This study shows San Jose, CA as the 4th of 10 top real estate areas in the US where home values continue to increase.

Likewise, the South County communities, who supply much of the employment for the San Jose area, have been experiencing the same appreciation.  Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister’s home values have all risen proportionate to that of #4 in the nation, San Jose.

So, is this another inflating bubble?  Will we see another bubble burst?  What if the interest rates keep going up will that slow down the appreciation?  What if the bank’s bulging inventory of foreclosed homes came onto the market at a faster pace than the trickle of token homes we have seen over the last 14 months?

What do you think?

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Morgan Hill Home Sale Changes

What a difference a year makes in the housing business!

The ‘Great’ News for Morgan Hill is that only 9% of the sales were Short Sales or REOs in 1Q13.  That means that the length of time on the market dropped dramatically while the prices jumped.  Owners are starting to notice the change.

The Bad News (for buyers) is that there has been a 56% drop in the number Morgan Hill sales from 1Q12 to 1Q13.  Prices are climbing at a healthy rate.

Actually, that is great news for homeowners because their values are rising.  “Staying” and “refinancing” are the bywords this year (so far).  Those few homeowners who want to sell typically see multiple offers soon after they list their home for sale and end up with prices higher than what they listed for.

Since Morgan Hill home values are still lower than the ’05 peak and with interest rates down around 4% it is a great time for those who want to buy a home in our awesome little community.

Where do you think it’s all going?

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Peace of Mind While On The Market

Your home is on the market and your water heater goes out.  That’s the last thing you want – spend  money on something you will not get any return on.

It happened again.  A seller in Morgan Hill had their home on the market.  One cold morning they went to turn up the heat and found their furnace had gone out.  The cost of the installed new furnace: $1,800!  While they were warm again their net proceeds from the sale just dropped by a cold, $1,800.

Water heaters, microwave ovens, compactors, ovens, disposals…they all have a functional life and then give up the ghost – without warning.  Those repair bills are aggravating and, unnecessary.

A Cool Solution: Home warranty policies are available for sellers as well as buyers.  For roughly $.73 a day you can cover all of your major appliances during your listing period.  Should something go out you only have to pay a set fee, usually around $55, and the warranty company will repair or replace your appliance for no additional cost.  Click here for more information.

The payment for this warranty can be from your net proceeds in escrow.  Additionally, if your home doesn’t sell some of the warranty companies won’t charge you anything.  So you just can’t lose.

Selling your home can be an anxious time but this little tip will keep your equity in your pocket and provide some peace of mind.

Seller’s Universal Qustion: “How Much?”

In a Hollister listing interview the inevitable question came up and I gave the answer I have heard myself offer more and more lately. 

     The question: “How much of a commission do you charge”? 

     The answer: “If your competing homes for sale are offering 2.5 or 3.0% to the selling office you should offer at least 3.0%.  The first sale you need to make is the Selling Agent’s interest in showing your home.  You want to do everything possible to encourage those agents to enthusiastically promote your home.  If you instruct me to collect a lower commission, half of which goes to the Selling Agent, they will see that lower commission when searching for homes to show their buyers.  We want to ENCOURAGE them to show your home.  A lower commission being offered by you while competing homes are offering more will be discouraging to them.

     “The home will sell itself – once the agent and their prospective buyers actually tour your home.  We just need to do all we can to make your home appealing to the prospective buyers AND their agent”.

This answer seems to resonate as a new thought with most sellers and typically the issue is settled.  Now!  If we could just find a buyer for this nice, upper-end home!  Anyone want a producing vineyard and nice home in the Spring Grove Area of Hollister?