Where to Invest Your Hard Earned Money in Your Home
The Mammoth Team has been FLIPPING houses for many years and has been doing real estate in one way or another for over a decade. We have seen A LOT of trends come in to vogue and we have seen even more go out. We also show houses to people all of the time and see what makes our clients like a home or conversely, hate a home. Our friends always ask us for our opinion on where they should invest their money, so here is a brief and all too minimal list of the best way to spend money that will help sell your home now and ten years from now. More detailed blogs on each will be added as time allows, but you can always ask us personally if you want!
First things first, you need to maintain your home. It doesn't matter what pretty thing you add to your home if the walls are coming down around it. As my dad crassly says, "You can paint a turd any color you want, but it will always be a turd covered in paint." Spend the good money on keeping the trim painted, the roof and crawl space in good shape, the HVAC serviced, and quickly resolve issues that will hurt your home. The real trick is to maintain your home.
Neglected regular maintenance is the number one reason our buyers walk on a home.
The key to good bones is taking care of all of the little problems as they happen to avoid causing bigger problems. No amount of cool will overshadow rotten wood or moldy Sheetrock.
Now for the fun stuff that you are reading this blog for!
You want to spend money on things that you can actually see and enjoy, but don't want to offend the future owner of the home. If you plan to live in the home for the rest of your life and never move, then put in purple counters and crazy mosaic backsplashes, but you can make the home "yours" without pigeonholing the future buyer to people that have the EXACT same tastes as you do. And your mother always told you, "You are your own person and no one else will ever be just like you!"
Instead of an uber specific tile, show your personality with accessories! The best part is that you can change them easily and as often as you want. Cookie jars, towels, knick knacks (try not to go hoarder status), plate ware, and many other accompaniments can show your style and flair just as easily and you can change your mind any time you want.
You have your kitchen in check. Now what? Hit the master bath with the same care as the kitchen. Don't go trendy or use the new Pinterest hack to make the bathroom hip. Buyers are mainly looking for clean and well kept spaces. It is hard for buyers to look past very specific trends and you tie their hands from making it their own. Tame down the paint, clean the space, and make it feel relaxing. Spend some money on storage that makes sense. This goes for all bathrooms in general. Put a shelf above the toilet, a couple baskets with neatly organized bath items, hangers and hooks where needed, and hide the ugly truth about what you do in there.
If you are gutting the bathroom to start fresh, keep in mind that people want storage, every family needs at least one tub in the house, practicality sells faster than "cool," "cool" to you isn't "cool" to everybody, and keep it neutral-ish if you want people to buy.
I may get booed for this one, but create bonus spaces in the backyard, front yard, attic, garage or really anywhere that will inspire thought for a potential buyer. Make them picture their own family and/or friends enjoying the bonus spaces. These are the spaces that they will remember. They will refer to your home as "the one with the outdoor kitchen" or "that one with the attic (or backyard) movie theatre." You don't need to add upkeep and it doesn't have to cost a ton, but these bonus spaces set you apart from every other mayonnaise house out there.
Michelle made sure I added this part: KEEP THE CHARM OF THE HOME!!! If you purchase a farmhouse, don’t try to make the kitchen super modern. Try not to go with the style of the day, but rather the style of the home. So you have a track shack? By all means, do whatever you want, but make sure you keep to the same theme throughout the home. Our home is a little eclectic to say the least, but the bones are all farmhouse chic. We both prefer mid-century modern houses, but farm is the style of home we bought and we can add our version of personality in the furniture or finishes.
When you spend money on your home, first check off the upkeep list, but then work to create rooms and spaces that your neighbor doesn't have. You want people to be able to picture themselves in your home, but you also want to have a place that truly is a home to you and your family as well. We understand that when you are spending hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands on remodels, you want to pick what YOU want, but remember, you are trying to create a cohesive home with character, not a mishmash of trendy garbage.
The final HUGE thing to remember: you can plate the entire home in gold and diamonds, but it will never be worth more than your neighbors house.
Just because you spent tens of thousands of dollars, doesn't mean your home is worth more than an appraiser will value the home next to you. There is a value cap on how much your home is worth, so you are making pretty changes to enjoy them yourself and to get a buyer to buy your home instead of another home, not to make it worth more than that value cap.
Keep all of these things in mind when you are making updates or changes to your home. Enjoy your space, upkeep the expensive things, make changes you like, decorate with anything you want, paint is easily changed, and love your home. If you follow our simple rules, it will save us a hard conversation when you sell with the Mammoth Team.