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10 Home Updates Worth the Money

by Lakeshore Realty

 

 

In markets where home prices are declining or have flatlined, remodeling decisions are particularly tough to make, especially if you're remodeling to get your home sold. If you don't update, your home may not attract buyers. However, if you do update, you may not be able to recoup what you spend.

The secret is to make renovations that are comparable to homes in your neighborhood.  Splurge on granite and you'll be the envy of your friends, but you won't get your money back at resale if you live in a more modest neighborhood or condo complex.  Is your home in a high-end neighborhood? Laminate countertops will save you money, but if you have to sell, high-end buyers will discount their offer because of your kitchen isn't what they expect, or simply not buy your home at all.

To get the biggest bang for your remodeling buck, try one of these 10 projects, which have the highest payoffs, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2009 Cost Vs. Value Report (CVR):

1. Spruce up or Replace your Siding

If the exterior of your home is dated, start your remodeling there. Fortunately, siding, paint and other exterior fixes typically bring high rates of return, according to the CVR. New siding and windows are among the least costly upgrades a homeowner can make, yet they can have some of the highest pay-backs.

If new siding is out of the question, fresh paint can change and update a home's appearance.

 2. Add or Repair your Deck

A deck is a double-bottom-line improvement. You can enjoy it now and it will add value to your home for years to come. Building a 16 'x 20' pressure-treated wood deck with a simple pattern costs about $10,600. At resale, you'll get about $8,700 of that back, a recoup rate of about 82 percent.

A composite deck will cost more, about $15,000, and return less, about 74 percent or around $11,000, but you won't have to seal it, the CVR shows. If you have a deck already, use bold plantings to emphasize features, or to distract the eye from flaws.

Make sure to check local coverage regulations and obtain the proper permits before starting your project.

 3. Update Your Kitchen

Got an older kitchen with a great layout? Update by re-facing cabinets and replacing appliances. Top off your remodeling with new countertops and resilient flooring. Your newly refurbished kitchen will recoup about 80%, the CVR says.

To go green when you update, choose energy efficient appliances and countertops made from recycled materials.

If even a minor kitchen upgrade isn't in the budget, brighten up your kitchen by giving your old wood cabinets new character. Just sand, paint and add new pulls -- it's a whole lot less expensive than buying new or re-facing cabinets.

 4. Replace or Repair Windows

Today's vinyl, clad and wood windows are not only beautiful, they're energy efficient and can cut your heating and cooling bills.

Getting ten new 3' x 5' vinyl replacement windows runs about $11,000. On average nationally, you'll get back about $8,100 when you sell, a recoup rate of nearly 77 percent, the CVR finds.

If you have an upscale home, buy upscale replacement windows. Nationally, ten high-end wood windows will cost $17,500, which will earn back $13,500 at resale, or about 77 percent.

 5. Kitchen Overhaul

If your home's value rises and your kitchen's finishes don't, it may be time for a major remodel, rather than small fix-ups.

A complete kitchen remodel in a midrange home averages $57,000 and returns about $43,000 at resale, about 76 percent, the CVR says. That price buys 30 ft. of cabinets, an island, laminate countertops, stainless sink, wall oven, cook top, vinyl flooring and appliances.

Need 8 feet or less of countertop? Local granite dealers who sell (or even give away) remnants and charge for cuts and installation are a bargain option.

 6. Strip the Bathroom

Since it's the smallest room in the house, remodeling the bath can carry a relatively small price tag, even when you replace everything.

Putting in a new tub, tiles, vanity, countertop, medicine cabinet, light fixture, floor tile and wall paper will bring you about 75 percent, back at resale, according to the CVR.

To get an even higher rate of return, re-glaze your old tub for a like-new finish for $300 to $400. Remove or replace shower doors for an updated look.

When choosing fixtures and finishes, stay neutral on what can't be easily swapped out. A black lacquer bath cabinet with a black glass vessel sink may look cool to you, but if you have to sell, such a unique style might not appeal to your new audience: the average home buyer.

 7. Make use of Empty Space

It's almost always cheaper to repurpose existing space than to add square footage to your home. Creating a bedroom in the attic or in another wasted space, like a loft or unused family room, will net you about 74 percent at resale, the CVR reports.

8. Basement Bucks

Basement remodeling is a big project that pays back both personal and financial dividends. You'll enjoy watching movies, entertaining at the wet bar and can host more guests when you add a full bath to your plans.

Average national cost to create a 20x30 ft. room in the lower level of your home with drywall, a storage area, recessed lighting, laminate flooring, a wet bar and a full bath is about $61,000. You'll only see about 74 percent, or $44,000, of that back if you have to sell soon, the CVR says.

Always fix flooding problems first. Add French drains, bigger gutters or re-slope the yard to keep water out. Test to make sure the fixes work before investing time or materials in a basement.

Want just the wet bar? Buy 10 linear feet of cabinets, a laminate countertop, a stainless steel drop-in bar sink and an under-counter refrigerator for about $3,000.

 9. Adding Space to Add Value

A two-story addition that includes a new bedroom and full bath upstairs and a family room with a fireplace downstairs, is a huge investment, costing, on average, $147,000 nationally. You'll see about $104,000 of that investment returned to you at sale time, or 71 percent, according to the CVR.

Before you start a large project, know the value of your home and the value of the biggest, best home in your immediate neighborhood. Add your current home value and the cost of the addition. If that number is more than the best home in your neighborhood is worth, you're unlikely to recoup your money. Instead of remodeling, consider whether you should move to a new home.

Also make sure to check local building regulations and obtain all proper permits.

10. Landscaping

Landscaping, especially, plant-it-yourself landscaping, offers a great return on investment.

If you're not sure where to start, local garden centers often offer free design services. You can also peruse your community for ideas and ask the neighbors what works for them.

Focus on making your walkway and doorway a focal point. If your doorway is overwhelmed by greenery, replace overgrown shrubbery with flowering foundation plants mixing heights and colors for eye-catching drama. A walkway leads buyers' eyes to your door.

 

 

NEW LISTING - 3-bedroom McCloud

by Lakeshore Realty

New Listing! 

120 Village Boulevard #122

Located in the popular McCloud development, this 3-bedroom unit is just a block from Incline Beach.  Well maintained and offered furnished for $735,000.

Click here for more details and photos.

 

NEW LISTING - Walk to the beach!

by Lakeshore Realty

Just Listed! 

136 Juanita Drive #33 - Coeur du Lac

 

Newly remodeled, light and bright end unit at Coeur du Lac.  3 bedrooms, 2 baths, with master on the living level.  Kitchen has granite counters and new appliances.  Great complex, located 2 blocks from the beach, with pool and clubhouse.  Offered for $485,000.

Click here for more details and photos and here to view the virtual tour.

Panoramic Lake View - REDUCED!

by Lakeshore Realty

JUST REDUCED $100,000!

Beautiful Eastern Slope home with panoramic lake view.  Click here for more details and photos of 567 Eagle.

JUST REDUCED $100,000!

by Lakeshore Realty

 

JUST REDUCED!

 

650 Village Boulevard

BEAUTIFUL TAHOE HOME

 

Lake Tahoe Snow Report 2/18/09

by Lakeshore Realty

 

Current Lake Tahoe Weather:  Fair/29F

RESORT

BASE

NEW

LIFTS

TERRAIN

CONDITIONS

EVENTS/OTHER

Alpine Meadows
530-581-8374

96-150

10-13

12

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Time To Find The Sunscreen Again!

Boreal
530-426-3666

70-135

10-15

8

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

0pen 9a-9p. 3 Terrain Parks and Tube Park Open.

Diamond Peak
775-831-3211

36-61

6

6

22 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe

Heavenly
775-586-7000

46-60

2-3

27

92 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

3 Terrain Parks, 46 features

Homewood
530-525-2992

58-85

4-12

6

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Shredwood Terrain Park Open

Kirkwood
877-KIRKWOOD

110-146

14-16

11

65 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

27 trails groomed today! Mid Winter Pass On sale now!

Mammoth Mountain

150-170

14

24

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

58 runs groomed last night!

Mt Rose/Ski Tahoe
775-849-0740

40-72

6-8

6

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

3 Terrain Parks, and Chutes are OPEN!

Northstar-at-Tahoe
1-800-GO-NORTH

49-93

7-10

16

85 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

56 groomed trails, XC Center Open

Sierra-at-Tahoe
530-659-7475

48-114

6-8

8

46 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

3 Terrain Parks Open, Mini S Pipe Open!

Squaw Valley USA
530-583-6985

52-80

4-6

23

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Check ou the Ice Bar at High Camp! Night skiing and skating until 9pm.

Sugar Bowl
530-426-1111

62-121

4-6

9

91 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

51 Groomed Runs today, 3 Terrain Parks

Tahoe Donner
(530) 587-9444

60-85

7-12

3

12 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

87km/41 Groomed XC Trails

Tahoe XC
(530) 583-5475

30-50

9

--

60km/17 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Open daily! Groomed to Soup Station #1!

NEW LISTING in Crystal Bay

by Lakeshore Realty

395 Tuscarora Road

Beautiful "Old Tahoe" Style Custom Home in Crystal Bay

  • 3BD, 3 ½ BA, 2,713 +/- Sq. Ft.
  • 3 Car garage with 1 additional covered parking space and 1 uncovered
  • Beautiful setting, close to casinos & beaches
  • FULL IVGID Privilidges
  • Asking $1,250,000
  • Click here for more details and photos

Today's Featured Properties

by Lakeshore Realty

 

275 Deer Court

DEER CREEK – HOT BUY

  • Designer decorated
  • 3 BD/3.5 BA: 2,752 Sq. Ft.
  • Beautiful Unit – Private Location-Gated Complex

Price $1,095,000 - Click here for more details and photos

 

____________________

 

145 Selby

MILLCREEK BEAUTY-Owner will carry @ 5%!!

  • Remodeled with hardwood floors and gourmet kitchen
  • 3 bedrooms/2baths/family room + garage
  • Landscaped front and back
  • Large lot with 5629+ square feet of coverage

Price $859,000 - Click here for more details and photos

 

____________________

808 Randall

 

  • 3 bedrooms/ 2 baths/2 car garage
  • Adorable tahoe home in fantastic setting
  • 1,952 +/- square feet
  • Price $549,000

     Click here for more details and photos

 

____________________

810 Randall

 

Great development opportunity with TRPA approvals and verified coverage.  Survey at listing office.

q       $399,000

 

____________________

335 Ski Way #334

LAKEVIEW HOT BUY at Burgundy Hill!

Lakeview Beauty! 

  • 1BD, sleeping alcove, 2 BA, 1,062 +/- Sq. Ft.
  • Underground garage parking with elevator
  • Beautiful setting with lakeviews, close to Diamond Peak
  • Price: $349,000
  • Click here for more details and photos

 

____________________

650 Village Blvd.

BEAUTIFUL TAHOE HOME

 

____________________

706 Martis Peak

HOT BUY! – LAKEVIEW SUBDIVISION

 

____________________

1034 Tomahawk

GREAT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY WITH PRELIMINARY PLANS

  • Lowest Priced Lot in Incline Village-Priced to Sell
  • Sunny location, level access, street-to-street lot
  • Owner may carry financing @ 6% for 3 years

q       Call listing office at 775-831-7000 or click here for details

q       Price: $254,750

Lake Tahoe Snow Report 2/17/09

by Lakeshore Realty

 

Current Lake Tahoe Weather:  Cloudy/33F 

RESORT

BASE

NEW

LIFTS

TERRAIN

CONDITIONS

EVENTS/OTHER

Alpine Meadows
530-581-8374

96-150

15-20

12

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

MORE NEW SNOW AGAIN TODAY!

Boreal
530-426-3666

60-120

13-20

8

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

0pen 9a-9p. 3 Terrain Parks and Tube Park Open.

Diamond Peak
775-831-3211

36-61

6

4

22 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Beautiful views of Lake Tahoe

Heavenly
775-586-7000

46-60

?

27

92 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

3 Terrain Parks, 46 features

Homewood
530-525-2992

52-80

6-12

6

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Shredwood Terrain Park Open

Kirkwood
877-KIRKWOOD

110-146

24-28

7

65 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

27 trails groomed today! Mid Winter Pass On sale now!

Mammoth Mountain

92-150

12

24

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

58 runs groomed last night!

Mt Rose/Ski Tahoe
775-849-0740

34-66

3-5

6

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Two-fer-Tues! 3 Terrain Parks

Northstar-at-Tahoe
1-800-GO-NORTH

49-93

5-8

18

86 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

59 groomed trails, XC Center Open

Sierra-at-Tahoe
530-659-7475

44-106

8-10

7

46 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

3 Terrain Parks Open, Mini S Pipe Open!

Squaw Valley USA
530-583-6985

50-78

6-8

24

100%

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Night skiing and skating until 9pm.

Sugar Bowl
530-426-1111

62-121

11-16

9

91 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

50 Groomed Runs today, 3 Terrain Parks

Tahoe Donner
(530) 587-9444

40-55

6-13

3

12 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

87km/41 Groomed XC Trails

Tahoe XC
(530) 583-5475

30-50

9

--

60km/17 trails

Fresh & Tracked Powder/Groomed

Open daily! Groomed to Soup Station #1!

Eight Costly Mistakes Sellers Make

by Lakeshore Realty

 

Gone are the days when sellers could “throw” their homes on the market and have an accepted offer by the end of the week.  With the real estate market slowing down to a crawl, sellers now have to be extra careful not to make mistakes when listing their homes for sale.  The following are seven mistakes that could mean the difference between a sale and an expired listing:


Mistake 1: Putting the home on the market before it's ready.

 

Most times this happens because the seller gets impatient or is a procrastinator and has pushed himself up against a moving deadline without getting the pre-sale work done. So it comes on the market with the horrible carpet (that gets replaced during the marketing of the home); or they are painting it while it goes on the market. Presentation is everything -- so get the work done before marketing the property.

 

Mistake 2: Over improving the home for the neighborhood.

 

This happens with additions and upgrades that make the home stick out from among its competitors so much that it's an anomaly, instead of a nice addition to the community.  In Lake Tahoe, this is common in condominium developments.  A gourmet kitchen may be a smart renovation in a home surrounded by higher-end homes, but in a condo located in a complex of lower priced units, it is an investment that will most likely not yield much of a return, if any. 

 

Mistake 3: Pricing the home based on what the seller wants to net.

 

This pricing strategy always ends in failure. Sellers can control the "asking" price, but they don't control the "sales" price. The market does. It doesn't matter what the seller wants, the price is determined by the black-and-white, matter-of-fact reality of the market.  A buyer doesn’t care if the seller needs a certain number if the home’s price is above what comparable sales support.

 

Mistake 4: Hiring an agent based on non-business factors.

 

Make sure you're hiring a professional with a proven track record. It might be nice to hand over your largest asset to your nephew who just got his license -- but make sure he has a mentor to keep your deal from going south.

 

Mistake 5: Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home.

 

This is one of the biggest challenges home sellers face when putting their house on the market. Once you decide to sell your house, it's no longer a home, but a commodity. It needs to be prepared as a commodity, marketed as a commodity, and priced as a commodity. It doesn't matter what you "want," only what the market can bear on pricing. People are going to come in to kick the tires, so to speak, and you can't get emotional about how they may or may not appreciate the nuances of your home of seven years.

 

Also, sellers need to neutralize their homes.  You may love your kitchen’s rooster wallpaper, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else will. 

 

Mistake 6: Trying to cover up problems, or not disclosing them.

Most states have a property disclosure/disclaimer form -- use it wisely. Just because you disclaim doesn't mean you cannot be sued later for the leaky basement, or dilapidated heating/air system that's discovered 30 days after settlement.

 

Mistake 7:  Not making necessary repairs prior to listing the home.

If something needs to be fixed, do it before the home hits the market.  Buyers want properties that are ready to move in, and balk at the thought of having to spend their time and money fixing things that were broken by the previous owner.  Even if you offer to make repairs upon receiving an accepted offer, buyers may wonder what else could be wrong with the home. 

 

Also, you may have lived for years with a leaky faucet or a loud furnace, but buyers should not be expected to live with those defects just because they didn’t bother you.   Unless you market your home as a fixer upper and slash the price to represent this, make sure that every little knob is screwed in tight, every light bulb works, and every faucet shuts tight. 

 

Mistake 8: Not getting your ducks lined up before trying to sell.

 

This would involve financing, reading the fine print on your current mortgage to ensure no pre-payment penalties, not listening to the particulars of your local market, etc. If your local market is dictating lower home prices, then lower it early, not later -- it will cost you more. If the local market dictates selling your home first, then buying second, do it in that order, or vice versa.

 

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LakeshoreRealty.com
Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
775-831-7000
800-954-9554
Fax: 775-831-6777

LAKESHORE REALTY

Lake Tahoe's Incline Village Real Estate Market Experts & Home Sales Professionals

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