One of the most popular things to do to increase your home's value prior to selling, is to renovate and spiff up the home and property in order to catch the eye of prospective buyers. Its a time consuming process, so its a process that should be planned carefully from the get-go. The question remains, what renovations should you undertake in order to accomplish this goal? Two things that are always good ideas are kitchens and bathrooms.
Kitchens are the most communal rooms in any home. They are the gathering place of the family and a meeting point for friends and neighbors. As one of the most high-traffic rooms, they are also one of the rooms that receives the most wear and tear. There is a simple truth, new kitchens can sell homes. Buyers appreciate new appliances and countertops, they are highly attractive and can also raise the value of a home by thousands. Floors can also drastically change the look of a kitchen. If the floors are worn old linoleum, try replacing them with new tile or laminate, the worth of the change will be evident when the house shows.
Bathrooms are an area that can quickly fall into a state of disrepair. This is largely due to the amount of moisture that is in the air on a constant basis. Any wood elements of a bathroom will usually deteriorate faster than other areas of the home. Also, custom bathrooms are becoming highly popular selling points for many homes. There is a real move towards creating artistic bathrooms, whether that be regressing to an older, more classical style with clawfoot tubs and pedestal sinks or; a more modern feel with clean lines and utilitarian fixtures. Being that aside from the kitchen this room is the room with the larger fixtures and appliances, it is a natural choice for renovation.
Buying rental properties can be a great way to build your wealth. However, as in most real estate investment, it is sometimes difficult to know if you've found a good deal – especially the first time. Here are some things to look for to be sure that rental is a great investment.
1. Location. If traffic is heavier, rentals are easier to rent. A sign will often pull more response than an ad in the paper. If it is a nice locale, it will usually rent faster. This is also true of places close to amenities.
2. Numbers. Run the numbers. Get every last expense figured into your calculations, and be sure that you will have positive cash flow from the start.
3. High home prices. Look in towns with high home prices, as this creates rental demand. What do people do when they can't afford to buy? They rent.
4. Low maintenance buildings. Avoid cedar-shake roofs, and wood-sided buildings. Look beyond current expenses to how much maintenance the building will need. Low maintenance means less headaches and more profits.
5. Good rental history. Ask to see the rental history. Note how long residents are staying on average, and how well they pay on time.
6. Below market rents. Buying rental properties with below-market rents means you get to raise rents. Raising rents means you imediately raise the value, because rental property values are based on income.
7. Complies with zoning and fire codes. Have it inspected, and ask local officials if there are any problems.
8. Less than 20 years old. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if you limit your search to newer buildings, you will be less likely to have building code and maintenance problems.
9.Owner/manager that is out of state. These properties are often the best deals, because it is tough to manage a property from far away. An out of state seller is often more concerned with a quick sale than a high price.
10. Neighborhood is stable or improving. Stable is okay, but if you can buy in a neighborhood that is improving, you'll rent the units more easily, and therefore get automatic appreciation in value with time.