Archive for the ‘cost vs value’ Category

New Burlington Homes Win in an Auto Value Comparison

Ask a typical Burlington consumer to name the two most important purchases people make, and you’ll almost always hear “new house” and “new car.” They’re often lumped together, but they shouldn’t be. They aren’t all that similar.

The rationale for buying a new car is clear: automotive technology advances nearly every model year, improving fuel economy and safety. Add in that intoxicating new car smell, and the preference is all but automatic. Used cars may be economical, but as for the thrill factor: nyah!

Similarly, when the question is put to a cross-section of typical Americans, new homes get the nod over existing ones. The percentage of those who “strongly” or “somewhat” prefer buying a newly built home weighs in at 41%. That’s a 2-to-1 margin over those who say they favor existing homes.

With such pronounced popularity, you might think it means that Burlington new homes should sell twice as rapidly as those previously owned—but that’s not the case. It isn’t just that there’s no intoxicating new house smell. It’s all about the cost factor.

The preference numbers come from the latest survey run by Trulia, which also reported the major reasons given. “Modern features” were cited, along with the “ability to customize the home.” The first reason is perhaps more sensible than the second since the survey’s definition of “new home” included newly-built homes that were fully completed. An existing property can usually be customized (remodeled) as readily as a finished new home.

In any case, the popular leaning toward new homes is tempered in practice when it comes to dollars and cents. Among those who strongly prefer a new home, only 46% are willing to pay for the privilege when it comes to actually writing the check. Since the national average is for new homes to be priced at a 20% premium over existing properties with similar features, that original “strong” preference often takes a backseat to a slightly stronger one—working within the family budget.

Fortunately for those who do become Burlington new home owners, the long-term outcome differs from what new car buyers experience. Whereas the joy of driving a new model automobile off the dealer’s lot is tempered by an instantaneous drop in its resale value, nothing similar happens when you take ownership of a new Burlington home. The steady rise in housing values over the past five years is pretty solid evidence of that!

Some terrific Burlington new and existing homes are out there awaiting new owners. Give me a call whenever you’d like to take a look!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners     cell 978-376-3978


Joan_Parcewski (1 of 1)Laer Realty Partners

Six Worst Home Fixes for the Money – A Reprint

The following is a reprint from  It reminds us that you should consider how far you should go when fixing up, remodeling your home.  Is the cost really recoupable? 

It’s the magic phrase uttered by almost anyone who’s ever considered the cost  of home remodeling: “We’ll get it back when we sell.”

Unless you keep those projects practical, though, you might just be kidding  yourself.

For example:

  • Steel front door: Good.
  • Master suite addition costing more than the average American home:  Bad.

Every year, Remodeling magazine looks at the hottest home upgrades and  renovations and calculates just how much owners get back with they sell.

Upkeep is more popular than upgrades these days, says Sal Alfano, editorial  director for Remodeling. These are the projects that often recoup the biggest  slice of expenses at resale. But prices and returns do vary regionally, he  says.

Ever wonder what brings the lowest return when you plant that “for sale”  sign? Think high-dollar, high-end and highly personalized add-ons that make you  drool. Like a totally tricked-out garage built from the ground up. Or a super  luxe master suite addition. Or the home office redo designed just for you.

Here are the six improvements that rank dead last nationally  when it comes to getting those renovation dollars back at resale.

Want to get an idea what today’s office-away-from-the-office looks like? Walk  into Starbucks.

These days, a home office consists of a multiple-choice combination of  wireless laptops, smartphones, PDAs and touch-screen tablets. And that worker  bee might be toiling anywhere from a home patio or a favorite restaurant to a  park bench.

The standard home office renovation, meanwhile — complete with plenty of  built-in storage and high-tech wiring — is this year’s biggest loser in the  resale value sweepstakes. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and  can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at resale, according to the report.

Return on investment doesn’t reflect your enjoyment of the space, Alfano  says.

He offers two tips for home-office remodelers when they sell. First, opt for  something that can be easily converted back into a bedroom or den for (or by)  the next buyer.

Second, when you’re selling, call it a study, den or hobby  room. “There’s lots of call for multipurpose space. Don’t lock yourself into  that one use,” Alfano says. Don’t use words that invoke images of actual work.  Or the office.

You see a backup generator and imagine all of the comforts no matter what the  weather.

But potential buyers hailing from outside your local area may not share that  vision. (And a handful of those who do might have watched too many zombie  movies.)

On average, when homeowners have a heavy-duty backup power generator  installed, they spend about $14,718, according to the report. Going with a  slightly less expensive model or having a less complicated installation could  cut the costs significantly, Alfano says.

Average amount of the price recovered at resale time: 48.5  percent.

Real estate agents will tell you that potential buyers want square footage,  pristine condition and lots of light. So a brand-new room that has the word  “sun” in it, it has to be great for resale value, right?

Not necessarily.

Your first clue: The word “addition” — which means expanding the footprint  of your home — indicates that this is not a renovation for the faint of heart  (or wallet). “It’s one of the more expensive projects,” Alfano says.

While it seems simple enough, the national average for a sunroom addition is  $75,224, according to the report. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 48.6  percent when they sell.

That doesn’t mean that adding a sunroom is always a bad move.

If your home needs another common area, a sunroom could be the  answer, says Katie Severance, co-author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to  Selling Your Home.” An addition is best considered in the context of the whole  home, she says. “The doctor has to treat the whole patient. You have to look at  the house and say ‘What’s out of balance?'”

Who doesn’t want to wake up in a five-star-hotel-quality suite with an  attached spa bathroom and a kitchenette that affords you coffee and pastries  before facing the world?

Once you see the price tag, it won’t just be the coffee keeping you up at  night.

For a super-deluxe master suite addition — which adds square footage and  uses only top-dollar materials — the average cost is about $232,062, according  to the report.

That’s 460 nights at a posh resort with enough left over to raid the  minibar.

In years past, this project was “sort of a trend in vacation homes” that  migrated to primary dwellings, Alfano says. Sellers can expect to recover about  52.7 percent at resale.

Your buyer can purchase a newer house with the same features as part of the  original floor plan that “probably lays out better anyway,” says Loren Keim,  author of “How to Sell Your Home in Any Market.”

So while the next buyer may appreciate your luxury  accommodations (which could even tip their decision in your home’s favor),  chances are they won’t want to pay the full tab for your remodel

Unless you’re a hermit who never entertains, you’ve probably wished for an  extra bathroom now and then.

But bathroom additions require serious coin. For a moderately outfitted  addition with synthetic stone or plastic laminate surfaces, figure parting with  about $21,695, according to the Remodeling report. Go upscale, with finishes  like premium marble or fine tile, and you can easily spend in the neighborhood  of $40,710.

Either way, you get about the same return: 53 cents on the dollar. “In the  buyer’s mind, the additional bathroom isn’t worth that additional $20,000 to  $40,000,” Keim says.

Investigate a less-expensive way to get the same result without  flushing quite as much cash. While additions usually cost more, pros might be  able to reconfigure your existing space to add a bathroom for less, Alfano  says.

Instead of cleaning out the garage, how much would you pay to have a new one  built from scratch?

This time, it would have all the organizational built-ins, and a durable,  easy-to-clean floor to ensure it would never be messy again. And windows for  natural light.

Oh yeah, and you could store a couple of cars in there, too.

The price tag for a top-of-the-line detached two-car with all the trimmings  is about $90,053, according to the report. You can expect to recover about 53.6  percent of that when you sell.

“This one is completely decked out on the inside,” says Alfano. “It’s a dream  garage.”

And that’s likely some of the problem with recovering the value  at resale. Says Keim, “You’ve got a very small target audience out there that  wants an upscale garage.”

Remember that resale is what the new buyer is willing to pay.  Bottom line is that while they may like these items, do they find them important enough to pay extra for them. 

Which Remodeling Projects Payoff – A Reprint

This information was pickedup from the National Associaton of Realtors Blog.  It is great information for anyone thinking about selling their home and reminds one of the importance of only doing those projects that bring more value to the home. 

2011-2012 Cost vs. Value: Which Remodeling Projects Pay Off the Most?

On January 25, 2012, in Helpful Tools, Remodeling Adviser, by Melissa Tracey

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

When tackling home remodeling projects, you’ll find some projects pay off more than others at times of resale. Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, recently released findings of its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012, revealing which remodeling projects offer the biggest bang for your buck.

Overall, the trend right now is replacement over remodeling–swapping out the old for the new rather than doing a total gut job, which can be much more costly.

This year’s Cost vs. Value report found that exterior replacement projects–such as new garage doors and a new entry door–offer some of the best returns at resale, allowing home owners to recoup close to 70 percent or more of the costs of the project at times of resale.

The following are the top, mid-range projects from this year’s report, based on what home owners stand to recoup at time of resale:

1. Replacing the entry door to steel

Estimated cost: $1,238

Cost recouped at resale: 73%

2. Attic bedroom (converting unfinished attic space into a bedroom with bathroom and shower)

Estimated cost: $50,148

Cost recouped at resale: 72.5%

3. Minor kitchen remodel (including new cabinets and drawers, countertops, hardware, and appliances)

Estimated cost: $19,588

Cost recouped at resale: 72.1%

4. Garage door replacement

Estimated cost: $1,512

Cost recouped at resale: 71.9%

5. Deck addition (wood)

Estimated cost: $10,350

Cost recouped at resale: 70.1%

6. Siding replacement (vinyl)

Estimated cost: $11,729

Cost recouped at resale: 69.5%

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