Ask Phyllis!

Posted by on Jun 23rd, 2011 and filed under Between Friends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Questions About Today’s Real Estate?

Ask Phyllis!

Dear Phyllis,
We are thinking of renovating our house over the course of the next couple of years. We hope to remain in our home for the next 10 years, so while resale is a concern, the remodel is for our pleasure and convenience.
May in La Crescenta

Dear May,
When remodeling keep the style of your home in mind. Spanish homes are known for arches, decorative tile (often small mosaic tiles), rich woods, etc.  Mid-century homes often feature large windows and an open floorplan.   Traditional homes typically offer built-in nooks in dining and/or living rooms. Remember to keep the window and molding styles consistent throughout.  Often homes that retain the flavor of the original architecture have a better flow. And a better flow will bring more resale dollars.

While kitchens and baths often cost the most to remodel, they are the rooms most likely to pay for themselves. Often minor improvements, such as a kitchen or bath “facelift” can also yield major resale dollars. Keep the type and cost of improvements in line with your home and neighborhood. A smaller home may appeal to the next buyer because of its affordability; if your home remodel is too costly (high end), it could lessen the buyer pool at time of resale.

When remodeling “think” neutral; many highly customized features and wild colors will be a drawback to future buyers. If your favorite color is a bit wild, perhaps you might consider using it in paint rather than hard surfaces which are more expensive to change. Kitchen and bathrooms should have similar themes (cabinets, flooring and color schemes); white or cream toilets, sinks and tubs can work with nearly any decor.

We have all seen the new buyer who, prior to moving in, is ripping out carpeting, fireplace mantles, etc. Remember no matter how much you love your home, unless you are planning on living there forever, don’t expect the next buyer to love your favorite colors and style as much as you. At the time of sale, it will be great to recoup your remodeling dollars rather than have a very personalized remodel detract from the value of your home.

Phyllis Harb is a Realtor with Prudential California Realty.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email

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