Archives: home tips

The 5 most wanted home upgrades

Posted on: May 30, 2013

(Compliments of Matthew Lynch, First Choice Loan Services, Inc.)

The 5 most wanted home upgrades – PLUS 3 things to consider before renting your home

A recent survey found that when people are buying or remodeling a home, these upgrades top the list:

1. Outdoor living area. A deck, screened porch, or attached patio makes a nice gathering place. It doesn’t have to be huge, with a big outdoor kitchen or fireplace, but it’s nice if it adds curb appeal.

2. Extra bedroom with its own bathroom. People want this for an aging parent, a teen retreat, or guests.

3. Home office / family computer room. This is where everyone can dock their electronics and be together, but not necessarily doing the same activity. You can often configure this kind of space in an existing kitchen or family room.

4. Everyday dining area in or near the kitchen.
 New homes sometimes offer extended kitchen/family rooms with three or four eating areas. A good builder or architect can often design this for an existing home.

5. Better bathrooms. Kitchen and bath upgrades are always popular. This year, bathrooms are the preferred remodeling choice, with people wanting better features and finishes.

HOW TO DECIDE IF YOU SHOULD RENT YOUR HOME

If you’d like to sell your home but are thinking about renting, hoping to get a higher price in a year or two, here’s how to proceed:

1. Research the local rental market. Talk to realtors and property managers to find out how rentable your home is and how much you can realistically charge. Compare that number to your monthly obligations: mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, and costs for maintenance or a property manager. Finally, ask rental professionals or your local landlords association if there are any rent-control or eviction-control ordinances. In some areas it can be very expensive to evict even nonpaying tenants.

2. Check your home’s condition. If you’ve done pricey upgrades, you might want to think twice about renting, or factor them into the deposit and monthly rent. However, if your home is in livable condition but will need upgrades before you sell, renting it “as is” may be smart.

3. Carefully choose your tenant. Free ads save money, but it may be worth it to hire a realtor or property manager with a tough tenant screening process. Pull a credit report of course, but that won’t tell you how someone will treat your home. Decide whether to allow pets. Often the best tenant is a friend or friend of a friend, so get the word out through your own online and offline social networks.

Whenever you’re ready to buy, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about financing that purchase. We can also help with refinancing your existing home or funding home improvements. Please call or email us any time. We’re always here to help…. Have a great day!

P.S.: The housing market is recovering, but home prices are still extremely affordable, and mortgage rates remain near historical lows. If you’re thinking about buying or refinancing, it’s smart to get the process started early. Please call or email us to talk about the attractive options available now.