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Top Home Improvements with the Best ROI



First of all, this is a safe space. A no judgement zone. At the current moment I am writing this while my Christmas lights on my home are still up. Oh yea….and my tree too, but I did take off the ornaments if that makes it any better (it doesn’t). So do I have any business writing to all of you about what you can do to your home? Probably not, but you know what? There is no time like the present to start those home projects you (and me) have been putting off.

Does your home look like the pictures in all those home magazines? If so, stop reading.

No? Ok then carry on with me my friends!

If you are in your forever home, return on investment (ROI) is not something you may be particularly concerned with. For others who are outgrowing their home, or ready to downsize, the money you spend on your home in improvements is something you want to be able to use to your advantage, to increase the sales value of your home when ready to list. And let’s face it, this Midwest winter has been borderline “balmy” this season, so no reason to put off making a plan for your future sale.

First and foremost, home buyers search for properties with good bones. Ensure there is no deferred maintenance, and then consider a few updates to give your home a makeover.  So without further ado, here are the top home improvements which have been shown to bring the best bang for the buck.

  • Yard clean-up and landscaping
  • Complete home cleaning and de-cluttering
  • Replacing the front door
  • New siding, exterior repairs and/or fresh paint
  • Kitchen and/or bath upgrades. New countertops, fixtures, cabinetry
  • Deck and patio additions, outdoor kitchens and/or BBQs
  • Addition of living space; bonus rooms, extra bathrooms

Clearly some of these items are more expensive and time consuming than others. Speak with your REALTOR about where your current home’s value is, and what is worth completing to make sure you are not under water when it comes to list!

Real Estate Ramblings and Top New Year’s Resolutions If You Are Considering Selling Your Home



Hey There! 

2019 is all about challenging yourself to reinvest in your own personal growth. Whether that is losing weight/changing to a healthier lifestyle (ME), getting organized in the home (also ME), or finding time to get back to an activity you enjoy (ME again), there is no time like the present to make these new goals part of your daily habit. Trust me, this will be hard for me as well...anyone who has stepped foot in my home has seen the borderline FEMA disasters my almost 3 year old twins create in the 2 minutes my back is turned. And sometimes one will distract me so the other can take down a flat screen TV. Yes, this really happened.

One of the questions I am asked frequently (aside from "are your boy/girl twins identical") is, "If I want to put my house on the market, what do I need to do?"

First! Call me at 563-202-0433 and I can guide you through my points below: (shameless plug, but hey you are reading my blog so all bets are off :) ). Here are my tried and true starting points for preparing to list your home.

1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – Time to do your spring cleaning now. Declutter, depersonalize and make the home look roomier. This will be one of the hardest things you will have to do. If you question if you should keep something, the answer is usually "No". I have many internal battles over getting rid of those jeans that haven't fit me since 2005.

2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone, or do it yourself,  as a REALTOR we have great suggestions to make your rooms look bigger and brighter. 

3. Think It Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think carefully and don’t overspend by guessing. A REALTOR will help guide you on what renovations will bring return on investment. Something that may seem like a big deal, may not be in the grand scheme of the home selling process or what potential buyers are looking for. Design shows on TV are a good start, but not the end all be all of buyers expectations in our market.

4. Take Care Of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs. Examples, update outlets by water sources to GFCI, fix broken/cracked windows, trim bushes, trees, etc. 

5. Review The Competitive Market Analysis – Your REALTOR should provide a snapshot of your current market place. Review and compare updates, square footage and features of compared homes. Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging and pricing based on the market with your REALTOR.

6: Set A Plan For Showings. Do you have small children, odd work hours, etc? Have a plan to be able to show your home when buyers come calling. Many people look at homes on nights and weekends, but that is not always the case. Also, you most likely will still be living in your home while it is on the market, so you don't want to drive yourself crazy!

7: Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents and odd terms. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market.

Start with small attainable goals and work toward the bigger picture of moving into a new home! 

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