Help to increase the value of your property


How To Increase Your Property Value!

After you purchase a property you may start to picture the improvements that will make the property more attractive and appealing. This is the normal course for most and since visual attraction is the key selling feature to most people the right improvements will increase your property value.

Before you do any cosmetic improvements you should understand the difference between your home and your income property. If the property is for your own residence then you should improve it the way you want it to be. This is the place you call home and should reflect your style and taste with pride! The only downside to these improvements is an increase in your property taxes that will come from any visual improvements. (Physical tax assessments are done from outside inspections. If your property looks like it's worth a million dollars then it will be assessed at a million dollars!) For your home though this is a small price to pay for the good feeling that comes from having a satisfactory place to grow!

On the other hand if the property is one you plan to rent then you stand to loose more than tax money from any major cosmetic improvements. Even with the best tenants your rental units will require two to three times the cosmetic up-keep that your own house will and the value you get from a rental is in the form of monthly cash flow.

Whenever a tenant moves out of a unit the unit will need to be refreshed with paint, floor coverings and repairs where needed so that you can maintain the market rate for rent. To get the most value from a rental unit you need to spend as little as possible by using the most inexpensive products you can find.

The average tenant in a multi-unit building will only live there 13 months. The average tenant in a single family home will stay 3 to 5 years. This shows that you will have to repaint the inside of an apartment about once a year, so you don't need to buy an expensive 20-year paint for these buildings!

A friend of mine bought a 4-plex building some years ago. It was his first rental property and he had big ideas on how he wanted it to look and feel for his tenants. He bought expensive stain resistant carpet and easy to clean paint. He spent about $800 to refresh a unit of about 700 square feet. His thinking was that he would get more rent and have an easier time maintaining the units between renters. At the same time I purchased a duplex which had a unit damaged from a broken water pipe. I spent about $100 to refresh a unit about 800 square feet! I bought the most inexpensive materials I could find! The difference could easily be seen about a year later when his tenants moved out. The damage to the carpet was beyond cleaning and had to be replaced in the high traffic areas and to give the apartment a clean feeling he had to repaint two of the rooms! He even had to replace a new chrome faucet that some how became broke.

This kind of damage is called normal wear in this kind of business, which my friend found out the hard way. To get your value from rental property always use the most inexpensive cosmetic products you can find.

Here is a list that will show you what improvements to focus on when improving the value of a property for resell. You will probably want to most of these things to your own home which is good but I recommend that you save doing all but what is necessary to any rental property until you are ready to sell it.

Exterior/Yard- Most important area. Creates the first impression.

New paint or siding. This can increase property value faster than any other single item. A new paint job brought the appraisal of my home up $25,000.00!

Fence in the yard. This will create a larger market for your property.

Landscaping- People will stop to look at a home with a landscaped yard where most will not if the yard is not neat.

Gutters- Make sure they work properly and are clean.

Porch or covered deck- Adds appeal which is value.

Storage sheds- Paint it to match the house.

A paved or concrete driveway with plenty of parking space. If this is out of the budget at the least make sure there is no standing water or muddy places where you park. Fill in all those potholes!

Covered parking area. If you don't have a garage then a carport for at least one car is a super plus.

Good lighting. Gives a more secure feeling to most.

Interior- Key rooms are the bathroom, kitchen and master bedroom.

Fresh paint- New paint always gives a room a good feeling. If you are selling this property as a rental property then you can paint everything flat white. If this is a home then give it a warm feeling with flat, light colors. Replace or refinish any wood type walls there may be. New wallpaper in the kitchen is a super plus.

New carpet or tile. Use a good carpet that feels good to the touch and use quality title or vinyl rugs in the kitchen and bathroom areas. A hardwood floor in the dinning area is also a big value adder.

Windows- Double or triple pane windows will add tremendously to the property value. If this is not possible at the least make sure no windows are cracked or stained and all that are suppose to open will. Screens on these windows are a plus.

Water fixtures- New faucets give a clean appearance.

Bathroom- Bathtubs or shower stalls that are stained or cracked needs to be repaired or replaced. Make sure the commode works properly and is not cracked or stained. Plenty of lights are a super plus and a full-length mirror on a wall or the back of the door is good. If the medicine cabinet is old or worn looking replace it.

Kitchen- Space is always good in a kitchen. One big enough for a table is a super selling feature. Plenty of storage space that is easily accessible is very important. If the counter top is cracked, burnt or broke it needs replaced. A double sink is always a plus and if the property is on a public sewer system a garbage disposal is a super plus. Replace or repair any appliance that does not work properly or look good if they are included in the sale.

Closet space is very important to most buyers. If the property lacks closets you may want to add some.

Basements- A finished basement will add huge value to your property. Just by covering the walls and floor and making one big undecided room will work into a higher price.

Central air-conditioning will always raise the value of a property. In some areas not having central air will lower the value below market rate.

Here is a list of other items that will make your property more appealing thus raising it's value.
Solid core outer doors
Dead bolt locks
Door bell/intercom system
Security alarm system
Motion activated exterior lights
Storm doors
Ceiling fans
Overhead lights
Attic fan
Whole house water purification system
Sidewalks
Up-to-date heating system (energy efficient)
Hidden fireproof safe (insurance companies love these!)

If the property is your own home I'm sure you will do many of the items listed in this report. When and if the time comes to sell you will reap the rewards of these improvements, which increased your property value while having a wonderful place to call home in the time being!


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