I see a lot of properties, most real estate agents do, and I’m always sadden to see home improvements that I know Buyers will dislike. I think some Homeowners forget that the modifications they make now, and their methods of doing so, will greatly affect the possibility of a future sale on their home. One does not have to be real estate savvy to understand that a bright teal bedroom might not be appealing to a buyer, unfortunately, the projects that cause problems can be more subtle than that.
Using inexpensive materials that do not age well. A good example of this is peal-n-stick or inexpensive laminate flooring. It may be cute for the first 6 months but are you seriously going to replace it again in a few years when it looks bad? Not to imply that every homeowners should use top of the line materials, over improving ones property is definitely a concern. When is comes to materials, consider durability and avoid anything that may be a passing fad.
Building permit? Who needs a building permit? The story is usually pretty similar “I’m pretty handy and my brother in-law knows all sorts of stuff about remodeling… ” That’s great but don’t forget the Building Permit! You may trust your own judgment or a friend/family member’s skills but a Buyer may not. Of course you are going to advertise that your kitchen was recently renovated, have you considered that a Buyer may call the Building Department to verify that all of the electrical changes made where up to code and verified by a building permit? What happens when the Property Inspector rolls his eyes six times during the inspection? You’ll wish you took the time to get a building permit then. It may cost a couple hundred bucks to get a permit but the knowledge that things have been done safely is PRICELESS for a Buyer. There is a positive return on investment when it comes to getting a permit. Do it now or regret it later.
“The guy I bought my house from said my lots ends way over that way!” Of course, there is an expectation that all of the improvements on your property are indeed on your property (or within the setbacks allowed by the municipalities in your region). While usually an innocent mistake, it is not entirely uncommon for Adirondack properties to have improvements that linger on to their neighbors land. I’ve noticed that Buyers are starting assume that a survey will be sent to them when they request information on our listings. Surveys are pretty darn expensive and I HATE telling Sellers to eat the expense, however, these days, you really do need one to sell your home. Lenders often require an updated survey before closing. Why not go ahead and get a survey before adding that fence, shed, addition or garage? You will be happy you have it if you ever decide to sell your home.