Have you ever heard a real estate agent say an inground swimming pool is a negative? If you are a pool owner, you can relax. It is safe to assume that most buyers who buy a house with an inground swimming pool really wanted a swimming pool. Buyers who want a pool, and there are a huge number of them, might very well choose a house because it had a pool, over a house that does not.
The reality of the pool issue is this: If, for example, you paid $20,000 for an inground swimming pool, you could not add $20,000 to the value of your house to recoup the cost of the pool. So, you should buy a pool if you want one and consider it to be the cost of family entertainment. Chances are when you sell, not only will you recoup some of your initial investment, the buyer will choose your home over others because they want the pool too.
Getting the most bang for your buck
Ever wonder which home improvements will pay you back if you decide to sell your home? The obvious easy answer is paint. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders and is fairly inexpensive. If you do the work yourself, and do a very good job (that means there are no paint spots on the trim or ceiling), you can recoup all of the expense easily. While no one will probably pick your house just because of the good looking paint job, many buyers won't buy a house that needs paint, even if they like it, because it "feels" like a maintenance issue. Some buyers think that if the house needs painted, there are probably other maintenance issues not being addressed. Too many different colors in a house or a lot of pattern in the paint may turn off some buyers. Neutral colors broaden the base of buyers who might choose your house.
Landscaping is like the frame on a picture. It does not need to look like the entrance to a Post Apartment complex, but it does need to look manicured and maintained. If you are trying to sell, freshen up the islands with fresh pine bark, use an edger and pickup the leaves. A little TLC and a few flowers can make a dramatic difference and many sales are lost at the street.
If the carpet needs to be replaced, do it before you list the house for sale. Choose a neutral color of decent quality. Sellers often say they will give a carpet allowance at closing and for some buyers, this works. However, many buyers buy on emotion and won't be able to see past how the carpet looks now. The logic that says they get to select brand new carpet does not work with certain personality types. They make their selection based on what is there today. By not changing the carpet before you sell, you are eliminating many of your potential buyers.
Closing in a garage to make a den or additional bedroom is not usually a good idea. Most buyers want a garage and not having one could put your home in the negative column. First time homebuyers, moving from apartments, name a garage as one of the single most important "must haves" in their first home. Move up buyers have a hard time giving up a feature they have had in the past.
Finishing a basement to provide additional living space works well as long as the basement is dry and the work is good quality. Basement houses generally sell faster similar homes without basements and finished rooms can add value to your home.
Bathrooms added to a house will usually recoup their cost in a sale, again, provided the work is good quality. A bonus room as the only room upstairs might appeal to some as an office or playroom, but add a bath and the perception of value goes way up. Adding a bath to a finished basement is always a plus.
Leslie Edwards is a master at staging properties to sell.