Diane Belcuore


Today’s buyers look at the home purchase as an investment, not just a place to live and enjoy. Of course, they seek the lowest price, but buyers’ priorities are changing. Usable living space has taken center stage. In other words, many buyers now seek larger bedrooms, or even a fifth bedroom instead of the more dramatic elegance of the 2-story entry or 2 story family room. This is due to the fact that many buyers today want to buy a single family home where they start their family, and see their kids grow up. As the kids head for college, people begin to downsize. So buyers are trending towards buying one larger home if they can afford it, instead of purchasing a starter home now and trading up to a larger home later. Reasonably low mortgage rates, dual income households, and the imperative to save for their kids’ college is contributing factors for this trend. Traditional home styles such as the center hall colonial, split level, and bi-level are enjoying renewed popularity as a result.

What was once considered a ‘starter home’ is now becoming attractive to ‘empty nesters’? Ranch homes and cape cod style homes with first floor bedrooms and baths, as well as smaller lawns to maintain, are popular among buyers ready to downsize when the kids go off to college.

This, of course is all good news! This means there is still a market for your home—just a different type of buyer than you might expect.

One thing has not changed. Most buyers still want flexible, open floor plans as well as updated kitchens, baths, and appliances. Modifying the interior can be as simple as widening doorways to increase the flow and make the rooms appear more spacious. Focus on improving your home’s layout by eliminating furniture to ease the flow from one room to the next. Replacing old appliances with energy efficient appliances that have a uniform finish can make your home more attractive. Purchasing a kitchen appliance ‘bundle’ from a local retailer is a cost effective way to update your home. In the bath, it is certainly worth the investment of a few hundred dollars to replace the toilet with a new ‘clog free’ model and to replace an old vanity with new granite topped, under-mounted sink and cabinet.

In our area, updated kitchens can produce a 73% return on investment, while updated baths can produce a 59% return on these investments. *

These updates can make the difference between a home selling or not. It is important to make the right updates. That is why it is always a good idea to consult with a Real Estate Professional before you make these updates.

As buyers are becoming more practical, basic home improvements are offering sellers a greater return on investment.

Replacing entry doors can yield a 91% return while new garage doors can produce a 98% return. * In fact, a new, insulated steel front door can return 100% of the cost, due to its durability and energy efficiency. ** In addition to enhancing curb appeal, new exterior siding can return 80% of the investment; because buyers appreciate the fact that it is maintenance free. ** There comes a time when every homeowner has to replace their roof. Even a roof replacement can return 62% on the original investment. * This is because buyers value these improvements as cost avoidance when they purchase a home. If your are considering replacing your windows, which always enhances a home, vinyl windows can produce a 74% return while wood windows which are more expensive can produce a 70% return*

Modest home improvements produce a great return! Fresh paint in today’s popular neutral colors, custom molding, new interior doors, refinishing hardwood floors, and additional lighting will enhance the interior and make it easier to sell your home. Streamline the contents of your closets and cabinets with shelving. Your home will show better with neatly stacked cartons in the garage instead of cluttered shelves, bookcases, walls and counters. For a complementary consultation, please contact me.

*Remodeling Magazine 2018 Cost vs. Value Report,

**National Association of Realtors

© 2018 Diane Belcuore

Posted on April 5, 2018 at 12:22 pm by Diane Belcuore

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