Susan Ormont - RISK VERSUS REWARD: A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE

Unless your neighborhood has a unique setting, or is exceptionally close to parks, beaches, or a vibrant downtown area, there will generally be no reason for a person to buy a house on your street over one in another neighborhood on the other side of town. Your real estate agent will be able to do side-by-side comparisons of your home with others that are similar, ensuring you are able to compete effectively across a wide area. Take the general condition of the outside of the home into account as well. Where the surrounding yards are patchy and overgrown, it isn’t worth putting a ton of money into flower beds and trellises. People driving by might mistake it for a bed and breakfast stopover or a fine place for their wedding reception. However, prospective buyers will also seek out new homes by driving around areas they like and looking at neighborhoods they think might be in their price range. Stone walks, hanging vines, and attractive flora will catch a buyer’s eye. You should, at a bare minimum, present an image of a well-cared-for house that’s in solid condition. Standing out a little bit is not a bad thing, but don’t overdo it. Some agents say that the longer you are in the house after the renovation, the more likely you are to recoup the costs, as home prices tend to go up over time and natural appreciation will absorb whatever costs you incurred. Obviously, this doesn’t help if you’re trying to do a quick flip. On the other hand, other real estate professionals say that the more recent the renovation, the more likely a buyer will see that it is new and assign more value to it. If your privacy fence or bathroom are a few years old, they will have begun to show normal signs of age and blend into the rest of the property.

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