Updating homes for resale

Research published by estimates that energy savings add twenty times the annual savings to the value of your property.Though Roger Voisenet cautions, "a lot of appraisers don't know that yet," he says buyers appreciate now what appraisers will recognize later: Energy savers make your house more desirable."If you don't have a way out of the rain, or shelter from the sun while you are fumbling for your keys, you are really missing out." If you're up for more exterior upgrades, move to the back or sides of the house.John Veneris, the regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors in Downers Grove, Illinois, says, "People get back dollar for dollar for the decks they put in." Even in the snow-laden housing market of Craig, Colorado, Realtor Vicki Burns says the right deck on the right house can be an eye-catcher.

Reba Haas agrees, "Overgrown landscaping is a problem at all price points." Haas says it hurts with marketing too. " If buyers can't see what they are getting, they just move right on." And if neglected, mother nature may go wild at considerable cost.

Says Seattle broker Reba Haas, "Do the update green, because everyone is now, for the first time in five years, asking about the utilities." Get It Done• Install a Solar Hot Water Heater• Get a Pellet Stove• 10 More Ways to Shrink Your Energy Bills ERA's Kristin Willens says, "Don't underestimate the power of a front door.

People make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house." Surveyed brokers like a working door bell, and Voisinet says don't forget an overhang, such as an awning or portico, above the front door.

Knock out a non-structural wall, or even remove that kitchen island.

Anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house is generating a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy.

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