5 tips to predict home values in any neighborhood

How do you predict the value of a neighborhood? While no one can say for sure how home values in a neighborhood will rise or decline over time, there are big-picture economic factors that you can look for to help get handle on where they may be going.

  1. Major regional employers. If a community depends upon one or two large companies for a high percentage of local employment, you can bet that as the company fares, so will the neighborhoods. While “company towns” are hardly the norm these days, don’t overlook the possibility.
  1. Number of properties currently for sale. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a neighborhood just because the inventory (i.e. number of homes on the market) is high. Other times, something may be amiss. If you’re seeing street-after-street of “FOR SALE” signs, ask questions.
  1. Major construction. Is that a new school they’re building, or is it a supermax prison? Did they clear that land for a new shopping center, or is it a new loop for the interstate? Certain types of construction can improve home values while others can hurt. Getting in touch with the local planning commission as well as the local newspaper’s business section (or website) can help illuminate what’s behind those bulldozers and cement mixers.
  1. Rental density. People who own the homes they live in tend to take better care of them. Also, it’s preferable to have long-term neighbors versus high-turnover tenants. Absentee landlords or seasonally rented properties can also be a drag on a neighborhood. Get a feel for the rental density and the direction it’s heading. Rental density matters.
  1. Environmental conditions. One industrial accident that poisons a water supply is enough to annihilate home values. How susceptible is the region to extreme weather? Don’t rule out environmental liabilities or benefits.

Nobody’s crystal ball is perfect, but to ignore major macroeconomic factors is dangerous. Even if you’re only planning on staying in a location for 5 – 7 years, do yourself a favor and try to position yourself to make, not lose money, on your home with these tips in mind.

Have questions about a neighborhood in Central Ohio? I’m happy to help. Get in touch today:Teresa Butler, 614-565-8161, Teresa@TeresaButler.com

 

Home improvements that make your home more valuable

(BPT) – More and more homeowners are embarking upon home improvement projects, spending nearly $200 billion a year on home renovations, according to the National Association of Home Builders. If you’re looking to make some home improvements without breaking the bank, spend smartly and invest time and money now into the projects that will pay back later.

Curb appeal

When it comes to first impressions, house hunters first notice curb appeal, or lack thereof. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, curb appeal is important to 71 percent of homebuyers. So beautify the outdoor space to attract possible buyers by focusing on small exterior improvements that’ll pay off big like planting seasonal shrubs, painting the front door, refreshing a rusty mailbox or replacing old porch lighting with updated fixtures. These minor details will make a major and lasting statement. At the very least, you should clean the yard of any debris, trim trees and spread mulch in planting beds.

Take outdoor renovations to the next level by transforming the look of your home completely with a fresh coat of paint. Be mindful of your home’s location when selecting paint colors. Bold or bright colors might be the norm in Florida but wouldn’t look right in a region like the Pacific Northwest where neutral earth tones are popular.

You can also increase the value of your home by giving your siding material an overhaul. Remodeling magazine suggests replacing aluminum and vinyl siding with a durable fiber-cement mixture, which will recoup about 88 percent of its cost upon resale. It resists fire, rotting, moisture and termites – all potential hazards that could otherwise end up costing thousands.

“Let your insurance agent know whenever you complete a renovation project to make sure any new upgrades to your home are properly covered under your existing policy. If not, your agent can work with you to make sure you get the coverage you need,” says Erie Insurance Vice President and Product Manager Joe Vahey. “In addition, some home improvement upgrades may entitle you to discounts, especially if renovations make the home safer or more secure.” For example, Erie Insurance offers discounts for installing smoke alarms or a central station alarm. Erie also provides a discount for installing sprinkler systems in your home.

Bed, bath and beyond

As house hunters head indoors, there are a few things that are likely to increase a sale. Most tend to look at kitchens and baths first. Experts recommend timeless fixtures instead of trendy ones since they hold their own over time and appeal to buyers who favor both contemporary and classic looks. Don’t waste your money on fancy fixtures and features – they rarely make or break a sale.

Most people seem to think that a huge kitchen overhaul is necessary to snag interested buyers. However, Remodeling Magazine reports that you’ll actually recoup 8.5 percent more of the costs of a minor kitchen renovation compared to a major kitchen renovation. So instead of redoing the kitchen completely, accomplish a few minor DIY kitchen updates like changing out faucets and lighting fixtures, painting cabinets, adding new hardware to drawers and cabinets, and replacing old appliances with newer (and often more energy-efficient) models.

Experts also say that adding an attic bedroom and finishing the basement are two of the largest renovations that give you the best return on your investment, allowing you to recoup more than 84 percent and nearly 78 percent of the cost, respectively.

Before jumping into complicated or expensive DIY projects, take a moment to assess which ones are worth your time and money. Test your knowledge of which home improvement projects give you the most bang for your buck at www.eriesense.com.

No matter what updates you end up doing, it’s always a good idea to regularly assess the value of your home. This will assure you’re asking for an appropriate return on investment when you finally decide to put it on the market.

These Affordable Home Remodeling Ideas can Add to Your Home’s Resale Value

If you’re on a budget, that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your home. While it’s true that home remodeling can be expensive in general, there are affordable home remodeling ideas that you can implement. Don’t underestimate these affordable home remodeling ideas. They will do a great job of improving how your home looks. They can also improve your quality of life.

With these things in mind, it’s easy to see why they add to your home’s resale value. This is why they’re a good investment. They can benefit you now with a better home and later on with a higher resale value.

Affordable Home Remodeling Ideas to Consider

Consider these home remodeling ideas if you’re on a budget:

  • Garage door replacement

Your garage door is one of the first things that other people see so it makes sense to make sure that it always looks good. Garage doors deteriorate due to normal wear and tear. In addition, they’re regularly exposed to the elements. In addition to deteriorating in appearance, they also deteriorate in functionality.

You can invest in a garage door replacement. Based on the national average, you’re expected to spend $1,595 for a garage door replacement. In addition to having a better looking door that’s back to 100% capacity, this project adds an average of $1,410 to your home’s resale value.

  • Vinyl siding replacement

Vinyl is one of the most affordable siding types available. For just $12,013, you can have vinyl siding replaced. Choose from the wide variety of styles and colors available for a new look for you home.

You can recoup 80.7% of your investment because it adds $9,694 to your home’s resale value. More importantly, you can benefit from having new siding since it can protect your home better and will also improve your home’s curb appeal.

  • Wooden deck addition

For more quality time, you can have a wooden deck installed. Your family will love it. You can even use it to entertain guests. Best of all, it will improve your home’s appeal. This explains why a $10,048 investment will add $8,085 to your home’s resale value.

  • Kitchen remodel

This is more expensive. A minor remodeling project will cost you $19,226. However, this will add $15,255 to your home’s resale value.

Besides, you have to consider how a remodeled kitchen is going to help you. You and your family spend a lot of time in the kitchen so it’s time to give it an upgrade. You’ll go back to loving your time in your kitchen as you prepare meals for your family and guests. With a remodeled kitchen, you’ll feel better inviting guests over.

Other Home Remodeling Ideas

There are other affordable home remodeling ideas shown in this infographic by Contractor Quotes. This infographic also shows more expensive home remodeling ideas but it will show how much of your investment you can recoup on average.

The Pitfall of the Pricing Game

Which do you think matters more when waiting for the right time to buy a home? Is it securing a low purchase price, or locking in a great financing rate?

Most buyers become focused on purchase price when they’re considering whether or not to buy. The question you often hear is the same: “Has the market bottomed out yet?” The idea of getting “the best deal” on a home is paramount to these price shoppers, and indeed for cash buyers, this may be the primary concern.

While negotiating a great price is an important part of the equation, the value of securing great financing terms cannot be overstated. The inherent risk in waiting for the market to hit bottom is that you’ll also miss out on the best interest rates available.

Imagine, for example, you’re waiting for homes to drop an additional X% in value. While you’re waiting, mortgage rates rise Y%. Sure, you might secure the home at a better purchase price, but what you’ll pay over the life of the loan will be significantly higher than buying when the market was more expensive (but rates were lower).

Perhaps the most punishing part of missing great financing is the net impact on your monthly payment. Even a 1% increase in your mortgage rate can end up costing as much as a brutal 10% increase in your monthly payment.

Buying a home is not like buying a nice coffee table. Price is not the sole concern. Given the complexities of price, property taxes, financing terms, and the larger tax implications of home ownership, it truly pays to consult with an agent who can help you weigh the pros and cons and help you make the right move.

I’m always happy to work with you to navigate the market, negotiate price, and put you in touch with mortgage professionals who will help you get the best rate possible. Contact me today and I can help you explore your options: 

Teresa Butler

Worthington Realty

614-565-8161

Teresa@TeresaButler.com 

The difference between market and assessed value

MONEY HOUSE“What’s my home worth?”

This simple question is often answered three different ways. Ask your public tax assessor, and you’ll get one number (usually low). Look up your house on Zillow and you’ll get another number (usually too high). The third answer is market value, and if you’re selling your house, you’ll usually figure out what that number is (for good or ill) in 30 to 90 days.

Many people are confused about assessed value versus market value. Assessed value is a number placed on a property by a public tax assessor for the purposes of taxation. Some percentage of your assessed value is used to determine your annual tax bill. The rules for the assessment vary, but typically the assessed value has more to do with how much money the municipality needs to raise than it does the number you’d arrive at after putting your home on the market.

Assessed values can lag behind true market values in both directions. They can vary widely from home to home in the same neighborhood, especially if a neighbor has appealed an assessment (usually for the purposes of lowering their tax bill). And by the way: assessed values don’t automatically adjust for you when someone else appeals their assessment.

Market value is the price at which a specific house in a particular location in current condition will sell, typically within 30 to 90 days. Your real estate agent will try and predict the market value of your home based on all of these factors. In a hot neighborhood? It can elevate your home’s value. Have significant repairs to do or other condition issues? It can bring that value back down. The number one reason a home doesn’t sell is often related to a disparity between listing price and true market value. (Overbidding occurs when a home is priced below market value.)

Generally, assessed value tends to be below market value. Sometimes a buyer will attempt to negotiate a lower price on a home by citing assessed value, but this only underscores their lack of understanding about assessed value versus market value.

The best way to understand what your home is worth? Contact me today, and I’ll get to work on helping you determine the right price for your house in today’s market: Teresa@TeresaButler.com or 614-565-8161

How to determine the true value of home improvements

19327666(BPT) – As the U.S. housing industry continues to emerge from the Great Recession, signs are pointing toward positive recovery. In fact, a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University states that the home improvement industry could see record spending in 2015. It’s news like this that may have you contemplating an update to your house. Even if you plan to stay in your home for years to come, it’s important to consider which home remodeling projects offer the potential for a positive return on investment.

“Research shows that more homeowners intend to remain in their homes after remodeling, however, resale value is still a major factor when planning renovations,” says Susan Selle, chief marketing officer of exterior building products manufacturer Ply Gem Industries.

Before spending a significant amount of time and money on your next home improvement project, consider these tips.

Five home improvements with the highest ROI

The 2015 Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value report identifies these top five mid-range exterior home renovations as beneficial investments that allow homeowners to recoup a substantial percentage of their investment when they resell their homes:

* Replacing the front door (steel 101.8 percent)

* Adding manufactured stone veneer (92.2 percent)

* Replacing the garage door (88.4 percent)

* Replacing the siding (vinyl 80.7 percent)

* Adding a deck (wood 80.5 percent)

The cost-value ratio compares resale value to construction cost. The higher the percentage, the more of the job costs you are likely to recoup when selling your home.

“Homeowners want lasting value from their exterior renovation projects, so it’s important to select the best materials for the job upfront,” says Jerry Blais, senior vice president of marketing for Ply Gem Industries. “For example, when choosing siding for the home, vinyl siding provides overall better performance than wood, engineered wood and fiber cement and requires less maintenance both in the short and long term, allowing homeowners to complete their renovation and enjoy it, hassle-free, for years. In addition, vinyl siding provides the styles, textures and stylish colors homeowners want to create beautiful curb appeal.”

Budgeting for success

Once you’ve decided which replacement and remodeling projects will offer the best ROI, develop a schedule and a budget to ensure the home makeover remains financially sound. The budget defines the project’s scope, estimates overall costs, and helps to establish priorities. Generally, renovation costs should not exceed 30 percent of your home’s value and should be consistent with housing trends in your neighborhood.

What should the budget include? Websites like www.plygem.com offer comprehensive advice for creating a renovation budget and sticking to it. To start, consider these likely-to-occur expenses:

* Contractor costs. These include labor and may incorporate employee benefits, professional fees, permit and inspection charges and, of course, profit. Get at least three contractor estimates to ensure your contractor is cost-effective and reputable.

* DIY costs. Should you forgo a contractor? Keep in mind you will need to rent or buy power tools and equipment and potentially learn new skills.

* Hidden costs. For example, bringing outdated electrical or plumbing installations to code, or removing lead paint.

* Site preparation costs. For exterior renovations, this may include tree trimming, clearing land, and renting a haul-away container.

* Interim housing costs. If you plan to relocate, you will need living expenses for the project’s duration.

* Material cost. These include large expenses and small ones (ex. nails, trim) and could account for as much as half to 75 percent of the total cost. Factor in an extra 6-to-10 percent for waste for materials that are cut and fitted.

Bringing it home

If you’re interested in near-term resale value, it’s important to make sure that selling your home will at least recoup the cost of any completed projects. If you plan to stay in your home for many years, however, you’ll not only benefit from an improved resale value down the road, but you’re also more likely to appreciate the improved comfort and curb appeal in the meantime.

Tips for Increasing a Home’s Property Value

2815308_401_20With the Spring selling season in full swing, now is the time for your clients to start making changes to improve their home’s comfort level and the way it functions to make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Where should they start? Peter Chovanes, a REALTOR® withVan Guard Properties in San Francisco, advises that clients start with the four home improvement basics: foundation, roof, plumbing, and electrical.  Of these the roof is the most important. “I am almost always asked ‘How old is the roof?'” he says. “And keeping the roof in good shape alleviates other problems; for example, water can run laterally and once a leak starts it can follow plumbing and even electrical conduits. So what you think is a plumbing leak might really be a hole in the roof.”

  • Repair: First take a good look at the state of the home, inside and out. Fix the obvious areas that need maintenance.
  • De-clutter: Find ways to store odds-and-ends in containers and cabinets or donate belongings to charity.
  • Lighten up: Brighter, light-filled rooms are more appealing and make a house feel more spacious. Consider replacing heavy drapes with shutters, shades, or blinds.
  • Add eco value: Replace old windows with energy-efficient versions to reduce home energy costs and add value.
  • Update: Water heaters, furnaces, and toilets are also good to update for energy and water conservation but probably will not add significantly to the home’s value.
  • Refinish: If wood floors are looking tired, refinish them. Replace worn carpeting where possible.
  • Kitchen clean-up: The kitchen is an obvious focal point for buyers. Consider a light upgrade in the kitchen, by replacing the sink or replacing cabinets. If you are planning to replace counters try solid surface quartz-based materials, which have become the popular alternative to granite.
  • Better bathrooms: Bathrooms are typically less expensive to remodel than kitchens so there is more potential for a return on the investment. Buyers frequently request double vanities and a walk-in shower so consider upgrading accordingly.
  • Remodel: It is usually more cost-effective to remodel attics and basements than to add entirely new rooms.
  • Spruce up: Add curb appeal by weeding and sprucing up the garden with low maintenance, drought-tolerant plantings — also called xeriscaping. Giving the front door a new coat of paint is a low cost way to add curb appeal.

Source: Houseplans.com

5 Ways to Raise the Value of Your Listing

210002339_901_18A seller may be able to boost the value of their home by an additional 12 percent, with just a few smart pre-listing repairs, according to a new survey of 300 residential real estate professionals by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. On a median, single-family home priced at $205,000, that could be a potential gain of $24,600.

Best time to sell: The best single month to sell a home is from April through June, with the best selling month identified as April, according to the Consumer Reports survey of real estate professionals.

“You don’t have to spend a ton of money to increase the value of your home,” says Dan DiClerico, senior editor for Consumer Reports. “Some simple, inexpensive fixes throughout the house can make it more appealing to potential buyers.”

Here are some of the fixes that the Consumer Reports survey of real estate professionals uncovered as being the most important:

1. Declutter

Cost range: $0 (do-it-yourself) to $2,500 (pro)

Potential return: 3% to 5%

Clear away any clutter and depersonalize the space as much as possible.

2. Makeover the kitchen

Cost range: $300 to $5,000

Potential return: 3% to 7%

The kitchen was rated as the most important room to have in top shape before selling, according to the survey. Real estate professionals recommend focusing on minor repairs that center on the function of the kitchen first, such as repairing leaky faucets, loose light fixtures, or blemishes on the countertop. Then, they recommend small enhancements, such as painting the walls, updating the cabinet hardware, adding new curtains, or light fixtures.

3. Freshen up the bathroom

Cost range: $300 to $1,000

Potential return: 2% to 3%

Make simple improvements, such as caulking the tub or re-grouting the floor or adding new bathroom fixtures to brighten up the space. Updating the mirror and lighting also can have a big impact, the real estate professionals surveyed said.

4. Paint

Cost range: $100 (do-it-yourself) to $1,000 (pro)

Potential return: 1% to 3%

Sixteen percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that interior painting is an important part in bringing about a sale of a home. But the seller likely doesn’t need the entire house repainted, but maybe just a redo of one or two rooms to curb costs. The two prime candidates for being repainted: Kitchens and bathrooms. Paint in whites and off-whites and a neutral palette – such as grays and beiges — help buyers focus on the home’s features more than be distracted by bright colors, agents note.

5. Exterior touch ups

Cost range: $150 to $7,500

Potential return: 2% to 5%

Agents recommend that their clients concentrate on basic maintenance first, such as to mowing the lawn, trimming overgrown shrubs, and applying a fresh layer of mulch to the garden beds. They also recommend making any minor repairs, such as replacing cracked siding boards or repointing brick walls. The real estate professionals also recommended taking careful note of any repairs needed with the roof: 31 percent of agents surveyed said the roof is one of the most important parts of the home to have in good shape.

The latest Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling Magazine in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, uncovered some of the top home remodeling projects that offer some of the largest returns at resale. Many of the biggest payback projects had to do with enhancing the exterior of the home.

The following are the top five projects nationally in terms of cost recouped, according to the Cost vs. Value report:

1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)

2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)

3. Garage door replacement (88.5%)

4. Siding replacement, fiber cement (84.3%)

5. Garage door replacement (82.5%)

Check out the latest Cost vs. Value Report to learn more about the top home remodeling projects for resale. Also, read more about easy enhancements sellers can do to help increase the value of their home in Consumer Report’s full report, “How to Make Your Home More Valuable,” which can be accessed online or found in the March 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Source: “Top 5 Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home,” Consumer Reports

Top School Districts Lift Home Prices

Homes within highly rated school districts tend to have a higher median sales price, sell for a greater percentage over the list price, and sell faster, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

Highly rated public schools were found to have homes with a median sales price of $474,900 compared to $290,000 in an average-rated school zone. Redfin researchers also found that homes in top school districts are more likely to sell for 30 percent above the list price versus 23 percent. They tend to sell faster too: A median of 25 days on the market versus 21 days.

school busHomes in top-level school districts can be more difficult to come by, the study shows. For every 100 homes in a neighborhood, on average, only 5.8 were on the market in the past year compared with 6.5 for the greater metro area.

Redfin analyzed test score data from GreatSchools ratings, provided by Onboard Infomatics, in 22 major metro areas to determine the neighborhoods that have the most highly rated public schools. Redfin also included data on median sales price, and the percentage of homes that sold above the asking price.

The following metros have some of the top rating averages from GreatSchools, and listed below them are the top three neighborhoods containing the most highly rated schools within each metro. (For the full list of 22 metros and the top schools identified, visit Redfin’s research blog.)

  • Orange County, Calif. metro area

Turtle Rock, El Camino Real, Northwood

  • Austin, Texas metro area

Steiner Ranch, Circle C Ranch, East Oak Hill

  • Long Island, N.Y. metro area

South Wantagh, North Syosset, North Baldwin

  • Seattle, Wash. metro area

Queen Anne, Ballard, Factoria

  • Phoenix, Ariz. metro area

Desert Ridge, Hillcrest Ranch, Ahwtukee

  • San Jose, Calif. metro area

Monta Vista, Blossom Hill, North Los Altos

  • Houston, Texas metro area

Shadow Creek Ranch, Kingwood, Sugar Creek

Source: Redfin

Home improvements that make your home more valuable

20094139_web(BPT) – More and more homeowners are embarking upon home improvement projects, spending nearly $200 billion a year on home renovations, according to the National Association of Home Builders. If you’re looking to make some home improvements without breaking the bank, spend smartly and invest time and money now into the projects that will pay back later.

Curb appeal

When it comes to first impressions, house hunters first notice curb appeal, or lack thereof. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, curb appeal is important to 71 percent of homebuyers. So beautify the outdoor space to attract possible buyers by focusing on small exterior improvements that’ll pay off big like planting seasonal shrubs, painting the front door, refreshing a rusty mailbox or replacing old porch lighting with updated fixtures. These minor details will make a major and lasting statement. At the very least, you should clean the yard of any debris, trim trees and spread mulch in planting beds.

Take outdoor renovations to the next level by transforming the look of your home completely with a fresh coat of paint. Be mindful of your home’s location when selecting paint colors. Bold or bright colors might be the norm in Florida but wouldn’t look right in a region like the Pacific Northwest where neutral earth tones are popular.

You can also increase the value of your home by giving your siding material an overhaul. Remodeling magazine suggests replacing aluminum and vinyl siding with a durable fiber-cement mixture, which will recoup about 88 percent of its cost upon resale. It resists fire, rotting, moisture and termites – all potential hazards that could otherwise end up costing thousands.

“Let your insurance agent know whenever you complete a renovation project to make sure any new upgrades to your home are properly covered under your existing policy. If not, your agent can work with you to make sure you get the coverage you need,” says Erie Insurance Vice President and Product Manager Joe Vahey. “In addition, some home improvement upgrades may entitle you to discounts, especially if renovations make the home safer or more secure.” For example, Erie Insurance offers discounts for installing smoke alarms or a central station alarm. Erie also provides a discount for installing sprinkler systems in your home.

Bed, bath and beyond

As house hunters head indoors, there are a few things that are likely to increase a sale. Most tend to look at kitchens and baths first. Experts recommend timeless fixtures instead of trendy ones since they hold their own over time and appeal to buyers who favor both contemporary and classic looks. Don’t waste your money on fancy fixtures and features – they rarely make or break a sale.

Most people seem to think that a huge kitchen overhaul is necessary to snag interested buyers. However, Remodeling Magazine reports that you’ll actually recoup 8.5 percent more of the costs of a minor kitchen renovation compared to a major kitchen renovation. So instead of redoing the kitchen completely, accomplish a few minor DIY kitchen updates like changing out faucets and lighting fixtures, painting cabinets, adding new hardware to drawers and cabinets, and replacing old appliances with newer (and often more energy-efficient) models.

Experts also say that adding an attic bedroom and finishing the basement are two of the largest renovations that give you the best return on your investment, allowing you to recoup more than 84 percent and nearly 78 percent of the cost, respectively.

Before jumping into complicated or expensive DIY projects, take a moment to assess which ones are worth your time and money. Test your knowledge of which home improvement projects give you the most bang for your buck at www.eriesense.com.

No matter what updates you end up doing, it’s always a good idea to regularly assess the value of your home. This will assure you’re asking for an appropriate return on investment when you finally decide to put it on the market.

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