Real Estate - Fort Worth,TX

Updated on March 18, 2009
S.A. asks from Fort Worth, TX
55 answers

Hello you very smart Moms I have a question. We are wanting to move in about 18 to 24 months, so we are looking to update our house so I have some questions on what is worth doing to get the most return. We are getting a new roof should we go with the 30 year or should we get the 20 year and new front doors. Also we don't know if we should get new carpet or update one of our bathrooms. We don't have a lot of extra money so we don't want to throw it away. We live in a charming neiborhood, that is in a city that is headed south.So we don't want to pump up the price. Thanks for your time!

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C.G.

answers from Dallas on

Paint everything. Clean everything. Replace the carpet with cheap new carpet. My guys name is Juan Villegas cell ###-###-####. His first language is Spanish, but he can get his point across. He can do most everything. Does not take credit cards.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

My husband is an appraiser (and real estate agent) so I asked him for a bit of input.
New carpet is more important than bathrooms. You want clean, clean, clean, CLEAN. Most people do not have good imagination on what a house can look like with changing colors/countertops/lights, etc. so try to keep colors/room themes neutral.
Go for the 20 yr roof and I get nice front doors. Pretty flower beds help so much and cost so little.
Feel free to contact me (just send me an email) if you'd like info on my husband--as his clients have learned, the fact that he is an appraiser makes a huge difference in home sales :)

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

Kitchen!!!!!!!! IF YOU ALREADY AHVE AN AGENT OR KNWO WHO YU ARE GOING OT WORK WITH...ASK THEM TO COME IN AND GIVE YOU A FRESH SET OF EYES.

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D.J.

answers from Dallas on

Hi there - I sell real estate for a living - here's my advice. Since you are moving, go with the cheaper roof which is probably the 20 year just don't do an overlay. Tear off the old roof. If I were your realtor, I would ask you to remodel the bath and have the carpet cleaned and/or stretched; I can refer you to someone. I also know a really inexpensive carpet person if you change your mind on doing both bath and carpet. Have your house inspected before your sell - it doesn't cost a lot and will save you a lot of stress. Let me know if I can help you. My website is www.DebbieJeffrey.com. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
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R.E.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

I'm a professional home stager & I consult my clients on what improvements to consider before they are selling their house & what things they should do to make their home more "show ready" once they're ready to list. My sellers, like yourself, hope to be able to spend as little as possible & are often looking for the "biggest bang for their buck!" I can help with color choices for paint, I have a lighting background so I can help with that too. After seeing the home, I would be able to guide you as to whether simple updates in the bathroom are necessary & whether carpet should be replaced or perhaps just cleaned & stretched. We go room by room to discuss things you should do to make your home more saleable.

Realtors can also be very helpful with this as other moms have mentioned.

I'm not sure where you are located but my information is below. If you're in an area I don't service, I could probably direct you to another professional stager in your area.

R. Erlewein-owner
Staging With Style by R.
www.stagingbyroz.com

2 moms found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

S.,
My husband upates home as a living. He is very reasonable. He also gives very good advice on the most economical and best products/materials for your home. When you make a decision or if you just want him to come look at give you his thoughts- he will. His names is Jack Broaddus, ###-###-#### (Mobile)
Thanks and good luck

C.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.E.

answers from Dallas on

HI S.,
I stage homes to get them ready for sale.
If also advise builders and investors who are "flipping" homes.
I can let you know what will get you "bang for your buck".
My website is under construction but please email me privately and I can give you more information.
K.

1 mom found this helpful

T.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi there, S.. I am an interior designer that has moved 8 times in my married life! Fresh paint that is non white but still neutral through out the home and touch up the trim. A lot of times bathrooms and kitchens can be updated by removing any wall paper, painting and replacing all the hardware/faucets. It will give a great fresh new look to the room. Go with the 30 year roof. People in Texas look for a good roof. Review the color choices and see if there is one that is complimentary to your paint & brick but that stands out from your neighbors. Usually a darker color is a nice choice. Other than that, clean, clean, clean is what helps sell quickly. If the carpet is just soiled have it steam cleaned. Go through and pack up all the extras you don't have to have for everyday. Extra dishes, baking pans, toys, clothing...etc. Take down family photos and just have every room simple with a purpose and looking fresh and clean. Don't over look the yard. Freshen up mulch, make sure bushes and trees are trimmed and yard is kept neat. Add a splash of color with a few flowers and you will be good to go! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.N.

answers from Dallas on

Go for the 20 yr roof. A new roof is a big selling point. Inside, keep in mind that kicthens and mastersuites are the biggest selling points. If your master bath needs updating I would do it! You could offer a carpet allowance when you sell the house, however I suggest buying inexpensive carpet yourself (Home Dept and Lowe's usually have specials to install carpet for a whole house for $99 to $199). You may ending up paying less this way. Remember to pack up all your nick nacks and get rid of excess furniture. Make the rooms look as big as possible. Plus, if you have walls that are bright colors like red paint them a nice neutral color. You don't want your buyer to think they have a lot of work to do to the house. It makes for a quicker sale. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Your high dollar returns are kitchen and bathrooms. That being said, it is also the most expensive to do. The easiest fix to make a house look clean is paint and carpet. When it comes down to putting your home on the market the less clutter the better including family photos. You want people to imagine their family in the home not yours. I can't tell you the best thing do to for your house, without seeing it, but that would be my suggestion. I work in Real Estate so if you would like some article or additional information about getting your house ready for sale, feel free to contact me and I will forward you some articles.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would go with the 30 year roof for insurance purposes. If you look on www.zillow.com, they have a space there that will tell you what your property should return with the improvements you make. It is said that the kitchen and bathrooms give you the biggest return for the money spent but you might check for your area. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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F.C.

answers from Tyler on

My hubby and I are getting our house ready to put on the market, so I know exactly where you're coming from. Pouring money into the project is not always necessary. Go with a 20 year roof - it will save you money and the fact that it is new will be a plus with potential buyers. As far as the carpet goes, if it's cleanable - have it cleaned by a professional, don't replace it if you don't have to. If it comes down to being a point with a buyer, give a carpet allowance. Updating is always a good idea. However, start with paint and maybe new fixtures - faucet, towel rack and door/drawer pulls. Might be a good idea in the kitchen, too.

Good Luck,
Frances

1 mom found this helpful
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H.H.

answers from Dallas on

The main thing is that things are neutral and clean. If your carpet is beyond the point of a good cleaning then I would replace that with some nice inexpensive carpet...look around, those exist! And then look at what you can update in your bathrooms with paint and updating accessories that you could take with you to your new place. If your house is spotless during a showing, people will give you a pass on some updates because they can see that you have taken care of your home.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.C.

answers from Wichita Falls on

my 2 cents...do the 20-year roof. also, you may just be able to paint your existing front doors and add just as much appeal - not sure what the existing look like, but if you can just spruce them up, that would be best. also, updated bathrooms add more value than new carpet. just have your carpet professionally cleaned if it needs it. things like fresh paint, tidy and cute landscaping (aka "curb appeal"), and a clean and DE-CLUTTERED space can REALLY HELP SO MUCH!

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B.F.

answers from Dallas on

It really depends on how long you are going to stay in this house. Does it have a decent elementary school? If you are going to stay over 5 years I would have the good roof put on.
If you have decent insurance that will replace a roof if it gets damaged and you are going to be there less than 5 years I would go with the 20 yr. roof. Look around you. How good are the roofs in the neighborhood? Don't over build. For the carpet/ updated bath..the carpet can wait if it is in ok condition because 2 little ones are going to distroy it and it might be better to wait a few years. With the way the economy is going I wouldn't tare the bath out I would work on a part at a time and pay as I go, again keep with in the bounds of the neighborhood.
Hope it helps hearing from someone who has been married 20 years and owned 3 houses.

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

A good scrubbing.... trim up the yard/plant red flowers in the front yard.... have cookies baking when people are viewing your home. or maybe have freshly baked cookies because the aroma is "cozy". get the cheap refridgerator dough cookies.

have all rooms including bathrooms painted egg shell white... arrange furniture to hide bad spots on the carpet.

good luck.

H.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
You are doing the right thing by preparing your home for sale. Buyers want a home that is move-in-ready, so all of your effort and expense is sure to pay off in a quick sale. I am a certified real estate stager. I offer consultations for home sellers and I would be happy to help you get the most out of your investment. My website is: www.reinventingrooms.biz and I can give you some references (Realtors and home sellers)if you would like.
All the best,
H. Bellomy, IRIS

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M.Y.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, S.,
I am a realtor and I would suggest the 30 year roof. That is more common. New carpet usually helps a lot, but what is the condition of your current carpet, doors and bathroom. Which needs updating the most? Making sure you give a good first impression at the front door with a clean and neat appearance is important. Making sure everything is sparkling clean on the inside doesn't cost money. Put your money where it will make the most difference and choose neutral colors if you change anything. Good luck! M.

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W.D.

answers from Dallas on

hi we live in a house that we are flipping ourselves to make enough money to buy a better house. we have gotten all of our ideas from DIY channel, sell this house, etc. we have direct but these channels are on cable and other satellite. the two most important rooms in a house are the kitchen and master bedroom/bathroom. update these two rooms and the "redo" will help sell yourself. look up all the channels "cuz" some of these shows show you how to update on a budget. good luck. we've been in our house for 3 years and hopefully in one more year we will have it redone. GOOD LUCK!!
sahm to a 10 year old son and 5 year old son.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S., in my opinion, you should get the roof that best suits your finances and as far as the carpet or updating the bed room, leave enough room in your price for the new owners to change it. So many times people buy a home & the colors or style aren't what they want anyway. This way they could have their style & feel like they are getting a great deal because you came down a little on the price to comensate for the updates. Just a thought. I know I've bought homes that had been recently updated & went right in & changed them to suit me.
Good luck in your new beginning.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

In addition to cosmetic improvements, you may want to hire a house inspector to come through your house. It's the same procedure that the prospective buyers will go through and you, too, when you purchase your next home. You would be ahead of the game if you knew what else needed repairing and can either repair it ahead of time or at least be prepared for the buyers to offer less money in order to make the repairs. We had a crack in the side of our previous home and hired a structural engineer to come and look at it to make sure it was just a cosmetic crack and not a problem with the foundation. We only learned that after several buyers came and loved everything about the house but the crack. After the report was made, we had the copies avaialable anytime the house was shown. Within days, we had an offer. Good luck!

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N.S.

answers from Abilene on

I watch a lot of the DIY shows and every one of them talks about upgrades that yield the greatest return. They will tell you the kitchen and bathrooms are the ones that "seal the deal" As far as the roof, I would only go for the 20yr, since most people don't keep the home for the full 30yrs anyway, they are looking mostly at the inside when they buy. As far as the carpet, if it is still in pretty good shape, it is worth getting a professional to come in and clean. There are always specials going on for that so just hunt around. Making sure you have updated faucets, mirrors, lighting and new neutral paint in the bathroom will give a great face lift to the bathroom. Even in the kitchen, changing the cabinet knobs, changing the faucet and maybe painting the cabinets will give a fresh new look without spending a bundle. Good luck.

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T.

answers from Dallas on

I would encourage you to contact a real estate agent. They will provide this information free of charge and this is what they specialize in. There are many other factors that could change what/how/where for each neighborhood. As you stated your neighborhood may be headed for a downturn, but you need to factor in how long homes stay on the market, and which homes did what specific to your area, to help them sell.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I'm a home stager and it depends. How out of date is your bathroom? Sometimes its a cheap fix to just paint and put in a new faucet. You could probably get all that done for $150. However, new carpet throughout a home, if its worn out, will make the entire house sparkle more. If you stage your bathroom with fresh linens and an updated curtain, your bathroom won't need to be totally renovated. I'm a home stager and this has been from my experience.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Are you going to work with an agent? I have a great agent I can recommend, Nicole Smith with Remax www.nicolesmith.net. If you ARE going to work with an agent, I would recommend contacting him/her now and asking these questions to her b/c she can run a market analysis and make sure you don't over spruce your house. Even if you think you might not work with an agent, you may want to talk to one just to get a free market analysis (most do this without obligation) and ask the questions. If you DON'T want to contact an agent, my personal opinion would be to get the 20 year roof (you still market/sell it as a "new roof" without the added expense of paying more for 10 more years). Depending on what your front door looks like, you could probably paint it instead of replacing, but you will have to look at it and determine if that is better or replacing is better. That is your first impression! Updating a bathroom, especially a master really does great return on your investment and doesn't have to be really expensive. There are places that will refinish/reglaze your tiles if they need it. I had somone regrout my bathroom surround before we moved b/c the tile was in great shape, but the grout had missing pieces and too much caulk around the tub, so I had someone do that for about $300. Make sure to clear the clutter, even if it means renting a storage place. Take about 20% out of every closet so it seems like you have more space, and make sure the floors of the closets are pretty clear. Look for things that would make it seem like you haven't taken care of the house like if you have a water spot on the ceiling, take care of that. If the carpets are dirty/stained and having the cleaned doesn't remedy it, then have them changed. Cheap new carpet looks better than stained nice carpet.

I hope these tips have been helpful!

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B.G.

answers from Dallas on

Good morning, S.,
People spend time every day in the kitchen and the bathroom. I spent nearly 15 years as a construction accountant and these are the rooms to concentrate your time and money on. If you update them, the whole house will seem "fresher". If the carpet needs to be replaced, let the new owners choose what they want. It can be a bargaining tool in negotiations on the sale.
Good luck!

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P.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hello, S.. I am a local REALTOR. I have a report Lowe's had available August 2007 that comprised info from the 2006 Cost vs.Value Report, so if you contact me directly at [email protected]____.com, I can forward a copy to you. If you "google" cost versus value, you can find several websites that may be helpful to you and the entire report is included in pdf format. Good luck and please let me know if there is anything else I may be able to assist you with as far as selling, purchasing, or leasing a home.
P. Mathis, REALTOR, ABR, ASP, e-PRO, GRI

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L.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,
My husband & I are going through the same thing. Not sure where you live, but we found the perfect guy to help us. His name is Brent Fetters with WHY USA and he has his own handyman who is doing new flooring, repairs, etc. at a fraction of the cost of an estimate we got from someone else. We need to replace vinyl with ceramic tile etc. (we found a huge clearance at Home Depot on tile, which is much cheaper when you purchase it outright rather than having it ordered and installed from a company, then the repair man can just install it and charge labor only. Brent's phone# is ###-###-#### and feel free to tell him L. Gott referred you... good luck!!!

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

My husband is a real estate inspector so he sees houses everyday and talks with the buyers about what they like and don't like about the house their buying. He says most people figure a roof is only good until the next hail storm anyway, and as far as the carpet goes, we love the one you can rent from Kroger and it really does make the carpet look a lot better (we have 2 boys ages 2 and 6months, so we know how bad a carpet can get). I'd definitely update the bathroom! I think buyers will look at your house and if the kitchen and bathroom are updated, they'll think new carpet won't cost that much for them to do themselves. The cost of updating a whole room seems like such a huge project especially when you're facing a move on top of it. There's lots of ways to make a bathroom look really updated for little money. Try "Floor and Decor" for tile (right off Royal lane) they always have the best deals, and new faucets and light fixtures go a long way toward a fresh, new feel in the room! Good Luck!!!
PS- you don't happen to live in Jackson Ranch in Lake Dallas do you?

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

Bathrooms and kitchens are a must to improve. I just after 5 yrs in my home had foundation problems within about 2-3 yrs and stuck with the process of getting my builder to repair it. I it like new but what makes it so modern and updated is. New tile floor with new baseboards and a nice backsplash behind the counter tops. I added for $245 an extra Granite inserted here and there. Also granite counter tops can be a lot less expensive with tiles. I had them on of my expensive home and loved it. Even adding new fixures in a bathroom would be nice. Anything you can do to add storage seems like most homes are needed. I did a simple taking out a closet and little hall going into my master bedroom and turned it into a huge pantry and that home sold fast. With paint and caulking a home always looks new. I had one house sell in three days and the other one was the biggest one in the neighborhood and a slump in the market, took two years to sell. We lost money really on it. But living there was a dream. I had the best of best. Little pond with a lighted fountain and all sorts of birds and ducks and turtles live there. Fun town and fun people. For the most profit you just have to really make it nice with little expense. I am thinking about a 40 yr loan then paying down on the principle. But not sure on that. Best to you. G. W

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J.B.

answers from Tyler on

We sold our home in 2 weeks 3 years ago. We focused on the kitchen and bathrooms. We installed new shower doors, clear ones, replaced the old vanity tops, and had the mirrors framed with mirror to cover the edges where cleaning had eaten the back of the mirror. Overall, making things look clean and as new as possible is the trick. People just don't want to buy other people's dirt.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

I would think that advice like that could come from a real estate agent. They do help with that I think. I would go for 20 year roof and new doors for me. If the carpet is workable then a good steam clean would probably do the job. Unless the bath is a horror. New paint and steam cleaning might just do the trick for both. And save you even more. I don't think bathrooms increase the price of your house like new carpet would. But again why sink alot of money into it. I say talk to a real estate professional. One you would want to use when you get ready to sell the house. I am sure a mom on this forum has to be a real estater person or have some answers. Good planning on your part though, with whatever you choose.
Good luck,
L.

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N.Y.

answers from Dallas on

Hi S., I agree with Karen. Replace the roof for sure with a grade that is suffice for your budget. You can give a carpet allowance as a buyer incentive. Paint in neutral colors to add charactor but not limit your buyer pool. Do not use semi-gloss on walls - use eggshell. It adds a nice sheen that can be wiped clean. Bathroom updates are a plus, but again use neutral colors such as taupe or sage.

These are fixes that will add value to a potential buyer! Be sure to highlight all the repairs/upgrades on your listing.

Best of luck!

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hello S.. I hope I'm still on time writing this to you. I'm Toni, I don't know much about Real Estate, but my husband happens to be a Real Estate investor, I try not to bring work issues to our daily talks just to keep the stress levels low, but I've overheard him from time to time when he's doing business over the phone.
If you don't have to much money to renovate your house to get it sold, you might be able to sell it as a wholesale property, in this case, investors would buy it, fix it, and resell it, you could sell it lower to the market, or you can sell it for the mortgage amount, etc.
You should go and check: www.northtxhousebuyers.com, or www.allwholesaleproperties.com
GOOD LUCK

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L.B.

answers from Dallas on

I watch HGTV all the time and they stress over and over that if you are going to put money in a house you can't go wrong with kitchens and bathrooms. That's what buyers are looking at.

I usually feel that if I need new flooring, I offer a flooring allowance to the buyer and then they can get what they want. You might get new carpet and they might rip it out upon moving in and put in what they want anyway.

I closed yesterday on a second home I have purchased in anticipation of my retirement. I looked at houses for about 3 months and was appalled at some of the houses I looked at. Staging is EVERYTHING. Before you put your house on the market, try watching HGTV for several months and you will get the idea.

Good Luck!

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

If you repaint, PLEASE use Semi-gloss, not flat. We moved into a house with flat paint and our walls have gotten so messy so quickly (kids... you gotta love them, messy hands, feet and all...) and we can't wash it off because the paint is flat and comes off with the dirt. So, for the sake of whoever is buying it, either don't repaint or use semi-gloss!

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T.B.

answers from Dallas on

We've been transferred many times and the realtors over the past have given us some great advice. Curb appeal is what gets them in the front door, so if your front doors or landscape are eyesores, spruce them up. Also, when you update kitchens and bathrooms, they say that you get that money back. What we've done is instead of new carpeting, (which they may not like anyway)put a carpeting allowance as part of the cost of the house. They will get the money at closing, but you won't have to pay anything out of your pocket. It would be built into the contract. You could also contact a realator and have them do a walk through with you. I don't know if they do that here without a committment, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Good luck!

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H.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hey S....I'm not one to ask for what to do to the house; however, if you need help finding a new home for your family, I know of an amazing realtor - she helped me find my new home and I couldn't be more pleased with the procedure and the personal commitment!!
Tracee and Tandee...they are a team
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

I hope all works out for you!
H.

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P.M.

answers from Dallas on

Bathrooms and kitchens get the most return.

D.D.

answers from Dallas on

Carpet is an expense that the new owners may want to change. So i wouldn't spend the money. Instead offer a carpet allowance when you sell. Have a realtor come in and give you a selling evaluation. They can come in and tell you what in their experience should be done so that you can get the most for you home. I have an excellent realtor if you want her name and number. She helped us sell our home in Garland and then helped us buy the home we live in now in Midlothian.

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V.A.

answers from Amarillo on

My husband is in construction and has been the entire time we have been married, and I say go with the best roofing material possible, not only will it have a better warranty, if it is class 4 fire rated, it will decrease insurance premiums which is a great plus when selling a home. Also, fresh paint, clean carpeting, etc, gives the house a mini "facelift" and helps to sell too.

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B.B.

answers from Dallas on

S., you've gotten some amazing answers. The only thing I would add is to take a tour of the other homes in your area that are already on the market. You'll want to know what your competition is/will be, both in condition and in price. This will give you an idea of how to make your place stand out. I, too, am a stager, but I focus not only on the look of the home, but also the FEEL. Feng Shui adjustments balance out the energy of the home. You know how sometimes you go somewhere, and there is something troublesome that you can't put your finger on? That's what I specialize in! It's the unseen that can be as off-putting as the seen. My website is www.TheIntuitiveInterior.com if you would like more information. Good luck!

B. Biehl, ###-###-####

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D.R.

answers from Dallas on

If you are definitely planning on selling, get the 15 or 20 year roof and PAINT the front doors. Buy new hardware for the front door, and it will look new again. (I did this myself). Also, make sure that everything works that is attached to the house (electrical sockets, appliances, light fixtures. If there is a switch, it should work. Replace the old light fixtures with mid-priced ones, and inside door hardware too. Paint everything with a fresh coat if you still have your paint - and if you don't, buy mid priced paint and do it. Faucets and light fixtures with new towels and shower curtain update bathrooms you are selling a lot. You might put in a towel warmer in the master bath - even if it is not included in the sale. Carpet if it looks BAD. If not, have it cleaned before you start to show the place. Relocate house pets during the showing part (and litter boxes too). Move your furniture to make rooms look bigger. Cover your older style furniture with slipcovers in white to brighten up rooms, use live plants. This market is BAD. Do not spend a lot of money on anything to sell your house - the new owners might replace your taste with theirs anyway. Use neutral colors, and just declutter everything - even the garage. If you can, take popcorn off the ceilings and paint that. Do what you can yourselves, and hire help for the heavy or skilled work.

The only reason you remodel upscale is for yourself, and if you are moving, just give the place a facelift. THe roof is functional and a value added selling point. If you can add a bathroom, that is the only thing I would consider construction-wise. Less is more! Put big pots of colorful, seasonal plants out front while showing the house too.

Good Luck,
D.

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

As a real estate agent, I of course would suggest having an agent over to look at the house for you. Agents are the ones who do this day in and day out in your local market, so they will have the most reliable advice for you. In addition, they can likely refer you to contractors they have dealt with in the past who they trust. If you want to check us out, our website is www.HomeIIHome.com. If you need any additional information, just send me an email.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

I know you have had a ton of responses but I want to add one thing about the idea of offering a flooring allowance. As a Realtor with experience in this area, homes that offer a flooring allowance stay on the market a lot longer. You have a strike against you right off the bat and that is the buyer has to do something before they can move in. A nice neutral carpet will tell buyers they can move in right away. There are some places that offer 0% interest on carpet and installation with the payment not being made until closing.

Another thought on flooring. If the comps in your area have hardwood flooring, don't think that you are competing with them if you install a wood laminate. It simply doesn't compare.

If there are any open houses in your area, go to those to see how they are staging the homes.

I'm a Realtor and also an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional). http://www.dfwhomesrealty.com Visit my company site for some excellent articles on preparing your home for sale. http://www.dfwhomes.net

T. Camp - Single Mommy to 8 blessings and a brand new grandblessing.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

S.!

As an interior designer, personal home flipper,and real-estate worker I can tell you that you are on the right track! Things that "cost-effeciently" up the value of your home are many of the things you mentioned above!

The things that most often sell a home are as follows:

-Updated kitchen (which can be quite costly, so if yours is fairly good, skip this one unless you can do something minor with big impact)!
-Updated bathrooms (sometimes quite small repairs/additions are worth their weight in gold)
-Fresh-appeal (fresh paint, flooring, light fixtures, etc)-VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!! Makes the house seem clean, open, airy, and homey!!!!
-An inviting atmosphere (front door, curb appeal/yard, entry way on outside and inside the house)! VERY IMPORTANT!! This is the total FIRST IMPRESSION of the house!!!!!
-Clutter-free, quaint, clean, simple home (when showing, find/use nice furniture even if you have to borrow it for a bit, not college "left-overs, as this is a big turn-off! Better to have virtually no furniture than old/"bachlor"/ratty furniture!)

Where to start: With what you listed as possibilites, that would be hard to choose based on not knowing your house's character! BUT, you can find carpet and paint cheap and replacing it is always a MUCH better option if it at all looks dirty, dingy, or old! Home Depot & Lowes have great options and you can get them quite cheap when you catch them on sale (esp. holiday sales ie: Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, etc.)! But, just a good carpet cleaning can also do wonders if you just can't justify new carpet and you can rent cleaners from many stores near you for cheap and by the day (do it yourself, don't hire it out and you will save a ton-places like grocery stores, lumber yards, etc often rent the machine and sell the cleaners to go with it)! Be warned though that it is a water cleaner so it will take time to dry (don't do it right before potential buyers arrive)!

As for the roof, I would go with 20 as it will be much cheaper and not much of a selling factor!! Plus, with Texas weather, after the first hail storm, the new buyer will collect and possibly replace anywhere. A new roof is a new roof no matter what-it is always marketed as "new", not " a new 30 year roof", so go with the lesser of the two!

And the door: look for sales and building outlets/surplus stores! You can find great buys there and quality is usually just as good or better than normal re-salers!! Entry door is very important but if the style is fine, consider painting????
And the bathroom: how out-dated is it? Can just a light fixure or some "little" thing do the trick or is it soo "old" that it needs more than that? Typically, bathroom fixtures are the same in quality and just some-what change in style over the years. De-clutter it and REALLY Look at it and make the assesment!!!! Can you dress up what you already have? Are there mold/mildew stains you can get rid of by cleaner or re-grouting, or cover? How can you freshen it up?

As far as when it comes to showing/selling it: TOTALLY DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOUSE!!!!!! This makes the house look bigger for the viewing!!! Allow a lot of sun-light in! Make sure furniture arrangment complements the room! Light candels or bake cookies/bread at the showing-smells are an awesome insentives towards a sale that helps "sell" the house to the viewer sub-consciously(and you can serve the fresh cookies to the guests)!

Best of luck and have fun with it! Do a little at a time and it is much more fun, less stressful, and easier on your pocket book!

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S.F.

answers from Dallas on

As a professional Realtor I would recommend a couple things. First, don't rely on blanket statements from TV or others that say you will always get your money out of a bathroom or kitchen or whatever. A better (and much safer financially) approach is to have a Realtor in your area do a scientific market analysis of your specific neighborhood. They will be able to look at the homes that have sold in your neighborhood, the condition or updates that were done prior to sale, and the final sales price of the home. Of course they can also look at the current homes for sale to make sure that trend is still continuing. This way you won't do unnecessary upgrades that the buyers for your neighborhood are not looking for and pricing yourself out of your market to try to recoup some of your expenses. Of course there will likely be some things you can do that will recoup that money and make your home more marketable. Someone made the comment that you should make sure you have an agent that markets aggressively which is very important as well as pricing your home right from the beginning instead of trying "high" first and coming down later. It will always depend on individual neighborhoods whether a specific upgrade will recoup your money, simply make your home more marketable against your competition, or price your home out of your local market. I have seen flips that sit on the market because they have overdone their upgrades for the neighborhood and buyers are not willing to pay a higher price than the other homes in the neighborhood just because it has higher end upgrades. No matter who you contact, your best bet to start out is a professional full time Realtor in your local market that deals in this business daily. I hope this is helpful to somebody today.
S.
www.TheFetrowTeam.com

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R.L.

answers from Dallas on

We just finished doing the same thing to our home in East Plano. When we met with the realtor, we got the most value out of replacing our carpeted floors with floating floors which we purchased at Floors & Decor on 15th and 75 in Plano. My husband ripped out all of the carpet and installed the floors over a couple of weeks. We had a similar situation where our house was a charming little home in a neighborhood that was getting rough around the edges. We painted all of the walls in neutral colors, replaced the floors, gave the kitchen cabinets a facelift and removed all of our personal clutter. Our house sold for the asking price after being listed for about 8 hours. You might want to meet with your realtor and have her direct you to the updates that your house needs, but the floors made the biggest bonus for us. Good luck!

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L.W.

answers from Dallas on

Go for the 20-yr roof and new doors. This is Texas and chances are good the roof will need replaced from storm/hail damage within the next 20 yrs. and the extra 10 won't make a difference to a buyer or your insurance co. Baths trump carpet every time. Many buyers prefer hard surface floors to carpet and would change the carpet anyway. Have it cleaned instead. An updated bath would have more value. Speaking of value, paint is your friend. A fresh coat of neutral colored paint through out will make the home seem cleaner and newer. Avoid bold colors no matter how much you like them. Paint is your best $ spent. Decluttering is another big thing. Less is much more! It will make your space look larger and allow the buyer to imagine their furniture placement in the home. And, of course, sparkling clean is a must. Don't forget to do the yardwork and make all repairs. You'll have to do them after an inspection anyways. But if you wait until then, they will take it off the price of the house. So,in the words of Nike: "Just do it." It is a tough market right now. The best looking property at the lowest market price wins.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hopefully a real estate agent with respond to you, because they know what upgrades have the most value. If not, perhaps you can contact a local real estate agent and they can give you guidance. Bathroom updates will always bring in better money. Carpet updates are good if your current carpets are in bad shape. You may just want to consider a cleaning, though, because perhaps the buyers will have other ideas and want hard wood floors, etc. and they would just rip out the carpets you installed.

E.C.

answers from Dallas on

S.,

Not to dampen your spirits, but if you plan on moving within 18 to 24 months, you might want to get it on the market ASAP! The best scenario, is it will sell right away, and you will have to move into an apartment. Really. That IS the best scenario!

This is what I would do if it were my house:
1. Go with the 20 year roof. It will be cheaper, and you can still put on your sales info "NEW ROOF!"
2. Have a company come and re-dye your carpet and clean it.
(you can do this because you are saving money from not getting the 30 year roof! Plus, it is not that much when you compare it to new carpet!)
3. Of course, new doors.
4. Update one of your bathrooms. The master if possible. Remember though - this does NOT need to be as expensive as some of those DIY shows that show it costs $20,000 - $60,000! You can redo a bathroom MUCH cheaper than that. ESPECIALLY if you do it on your own!

You really won't get a good return on your money in this market, but if your house is the nicest one in the neighborhood, and still competitive in price, it will be a steal. Make sure you have an agent that is willing to aggressively market your house. Even then, finding a buyer that can get a loan may take forever. You might want to look into renting, leasing to own, or seller financing. (It is not as hard as it sounds.)

If you have any questions, email me. (I am not a realtor. :))

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S.E.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Personally I would get a couple of friends who haven't seen your house before to come over and give you their first impressions. Ask what thaey like and what they don't. It's easy not to notice the little things when you live with them and this way you know what NEEDs attention rather than your own pet peeves.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

What is wrong with the south?

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

HI S..
My husband and I just moved here 5 months ago. We looked at a lot of houses. I will just tell you my personal, NON-PROFESSIONAL opinion.

First and most importantly, (this may sound dumb) make sure the house smells nice. No matter how beautiful a house is, if it smells yucky no one will buy it. Plus, I've read that many emotional triggers lie in the sense of smell. If you have pets, get them outside all the time and clean the carpets & wipe down walls. If you have a hamster, you might want to keep it in the garage. Litter boxes - in the garage or laundry room, with the door closed always.

On the carpet issue, you should consider just buying (or renting) a carpet cleaner. You can get them on sale for around $150. Clean the carpets really well, regularly. Don't use soap solution every time, but rather every other or every third time, and use only hot water the other times. Some soap solution is always left behind and it will build up if you use it every time, making the carpet attract dirt more often. If you have a carpet cleaner machine on hand, you can clean the carpet every other week and the carpet really looks fresh.

I'd go for the 20-year roof, especially since you'll be moving soon. Probably anyone who moves in won't be in that house for 20 years, so it will last them a long time.

Other cheap fixes: put new knobs on cabinets/drawers to give them a "new" look. If something, ANYTHING, looks gross, put an accessory in the room to draw the eye away from it. e.g. if you have a crack in the wall, try to fix it of course, but also put a bright pillow on the couch, or a vase of flowers on the coffee table. Also helpful: use bleach to clean grout EVERY PLACE you have grout. Nothing says "new" like white grout and nothing says "gross" like moldy grout.

If you repaint inside, my suggestion is just to do plain old white. New houses are always plain white and when I see a house with white paint it always makes me think of a brand new house.

If you update your bathroom, look for fixtures at overstock places around town. I'm new here so I don't know what's down here, but everywhere I've lived there is always a store that sells surplus bathroom parts (vanities, cabinets, countertops, sinks, toilets, etc).

Well, those are just some of the things we noticed when we were purchasing our house recently. Good luck with your adventure ahead!

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L.R.

answers from Dallas on

Do the research on what the value of the other comprable homes are in your area to see what you will most likely be able to sell your home for. Then look into updating it if it has to be done to sell. People want to buy what they can see themselves in. A clean home that doesn't have to be repaired immediately that's a blank slate. But then they want to personalize everything later so don't spend on upgrading when you won't get the money back. So research, research, research.

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