Jay Costantino's Blog
What homeowner doesn’t want to maximize overall home value when the time comes to sell? In order to sell your house faster and for more money, it's important to have a firm understanding of the specific housing features that matter the most to prospective buyers.
Well-Established Property Value Boosters
If you’ve ever considered home renovations, you’ve probably heard that the biggest boons to overall resale value are updated bathrooms and kitchens. In order to set your house apart, however, you may want to go the extra distance in these rooms to make them truly special. A bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub or a walk-in closet, for example, may just make the final difference in the mind of a buyer who would otherwise remain on the fence bout a prospective purchase.
Other Buyer-Attracting Home Features
To borrow a word from HGTV.com, people are often looking for homes with an extra bit of “pizzazz” when it comes to making that final purchase agreement. This can mean the presence of existing architectural flourishes and unusual floor plans or more practical amenities such as ample garage storage space and a separate laundry room.
Here are just a few features that will make your home shine during your future open house:
The Backyard Patio
According to the independent financial authority Kiplinger, 87 percent of buyers are looking for a concrete patio surrounded by an attractive backyard.
Although this feature will be of value only to families with young children, the presence of a good playroom is often the deciding factor for prospective homebuyers.
Whether you’re talking about solar panels, a highly efficient HVAC system, or double-paned Energy Star-qualified windows, homebuyers are increasingly looking for green building features to control their utility bills and help save the environment.
Home improvements don’t have to be extensive or expensive to be effective. Kiplinger reports that 85 percent of prospective homebuyers are looking for one or more ceiling fans in their new home. Even with a full lighting kit and a remote control unit, a newly installed ceiling fan should set you back less than $500 in total.
Let Your Specific Goals and Restrictions Guide Your Way
Before considering renovations to boost the value of your home, ask yourself exactly what you hope to gain from those renovations and exactly how much those renovations will cost. Depending on your budget and your level of ambition, you may opt for popular, value-boosting features that range from the installation/restoration of hardwood floors to the addition/improvement of exterior lighting fixtures.
Multigenerational properties have seen a demand spike recently, giving sellers a reason to sit up and take notice. As family dynamics shift and the economy rises and falls, property owners need to pay attention to who's buying what. We'll look at what constitutes a multigenerational property and which ones are seeing the most attention.
Accessibility & Space
The very word multigenerational may confuse some home sellers. After all, any home can be a multigenerational home depending on who lives there. But these homes are usually defined as being accessible to people of all ages with enough space to accommodate different lifestyles.
For example, the home may include a separate entrance and living room where a grandmother can maintain her independence without being far away from her family. Or it may include a wheelchair-accessible ramp to an in-law unit (complete with kitchenette). New multigenerational homes are built so each level can accommodate a different generation (similar to a duplex).
Why the Spike in Demand
The way we live is determined by everything from the average yearly salary to our daily demands. While families may have primarily stuck together a century ago, nuclear families took center stage in the latter half of the 1900s. It seems as though many Americans are seeing the pendulum swing back the other way. Today, up to 41% of all home buyers are looking for a home that can house either an elderly parent or an adult child.
While the exact reasons are still a little hazy, the trend seems influenced by the desire to save money. However, there are other benefits to multigenerational homes that lie just underneath the surface. These homes encourage togetherness while still giving everyone a sense of space. This can lead to better health outcomes — both mentally and physically. Young parents can ask their parents to watch their children while they're gone and adult children can help elderly parents as they age.
What Sellers Can Do
Most sellers are unlikely to revamp their homes entirely before putting it on the market just to make it an official multigenerational home. However, they can give their homes a quick refresher with an eye towards the universal design. This may mean installing grab bars in the bathroom or carpeting the bedrooms to provide more traction.
There's no reason for home sellers to go overboard when it comes to putting their property on the market. However, they can keep in mind who the buyers are in the area. It may help you decide whether to stage your third bedroom as a nursery or a study.
Purchasing a home is a life-changing decision, and as such, should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the homebuying journey, such as:
1. Determine Where You Want to Live
There is no shortage of high-quality houses available across the United States. Now, you just need to determine where you want to reside, and you can hone your house search accordingly.
Think about your long-term plans as you consider where you want to live. For instance, if you enjoy life in the big city, you may want to search for houses in or near the city of your choice. On the other hand, if you want to start a family in the near future, you may want to explore residences near parks and other family-friendly attractions.
Ultimately, it helps to narrow your home search to a few cities and towns. Because if you know where you want to live, you can quickly navigate the homebuying journey.
2. Establish a Budget
A budget is a must-have for any homebuyer, at any time. If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can search for residences that fall within your price range.
Oftentimes, it helps to meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search. These financial institutions can teach you about different types of mortgages. Then, you can select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Don't forget about home inspection, closing and other property buying fees, either. If you account for these property buying costs, you can ensure you have the necessary funds available to cover them.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker for a homebuyer. He or she is happy to teach a homebuyer about the ins and outs of the real estate market. As a result, a real estate agent will help you become a homebuying expert.
Typically, a real estate agent offers recommendations and insights throughout the homebuying journey. He or she first will learn about you and help you establish homebuying expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you kick off a search for homes in your preferred cities and towns. When you find your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this home. And if your offer to purchase is approved, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final stages of the homebuying journey.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can provide assistance any time a homebuyer has concerns or questions. A real estate agent strives to help you make informed homebuying decisions. Thus, he or she will do whatever it takes to educate you about the homebuying cycle and ensure you are ready to find and buy your ideal residence.
Simplify the process of finding your dream home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can prep for the homebuying journey.
When you have a luxury home with impressive architectural features and landscaping, don’t let nighttime prevent you from showing it off. Landscape lighting provides a convenient way to draw attention to certain features of your home and yard when it’s dark out. This type of lighting can improve your home’s curb appeal while also highlighting specific aspects of its design. Keep the following tips in mind for accenting your home with landscape lighting.
Choose the Right Type of Lighting
Landscape lights can serve different purposes and be installed in more than one type of area. Use path lights along pathways and other walkways, as well as in outdoor living spaces. Wall-mounted down lights can brighten up patios, decks and stairs, while in-ground lights can highlight landscape features. You can also use in-ground lights for pathways and outdoor living spaces. Accent lights and tree lights are ideal for showcasing architectural features and your front entrance.
Decide on Lighting Methods
Using landscape lighting to accentuate your luxury home involves more than having these lights installed in certain areas. You can set up landscape lights to create certain visual effects, such as moonlight or silhouettes. For example, you can use in-ground lights or spotlights for uplighting trees and taller bushes and shrubs in your yard with a dramatic effect. Directional accent lights can be used for cross lighting to draw attention to an architectural feature or garden feature. If your property has a pool or water features, such as a fountain, you can use directional spotlights to create a mirror effect.
Select a Lighting Style
Landscape lights come in a wide range of styles. The style you choose for landscape lighting will depend on the style of your home and the overall look you want to create. For a more naturalistic look, choose rustic lights to highlight your home exterior and landscape features. If you want a more elegant or vintage look, choose traditional or antique landscape lights. You’ll also find landscape lighting in modern and contemporary styles if you’re aiming for a more streamlined or minimalist look.
Determine the Ideal Illumination
When you’ve chosen the type and style of lights for your home and yard, you’ll need to decide on the amount and type of illumination to use. Cool white bulbs have a whitish-blue tint that might create an unflattering, harsh effect on your house and landscape features, especially if you use a higher wattage. Warm white bulbs produce more of a natural, yellowish glow that creates a pleasant and more flattering appearance. The ideal wattage you should use will vary based on the size and type of area you're illuminating and the type of lights you're using.