I often talk with people that are struggling whether to move or renovate their current home. It can be a difficult decision but regardless of the short term term decision, everyone wants to make sound financial choices when doing a renovation. Statistically, most people end up selling their home at some point. So where is your money best spent?
Good bones are always important to both the livability and resale of a house. While not as fun as the latest trends it is far more important.
A quality roof is important for obvious reasons and an old patched roof or one that is stained and dirty hurt both the aesthetics and resale value. Working gutters and good drainage will also prevent a host of problems from rot and insects to foundation problems. These issues will ultimately cost you much more to correct whether it is for you or as a result of a home inspection.
A modern HVAC will reap huge returns with both your monthly electric bill and resale. Buyers have become much pickier about these units in recent years. What was the standard in HVAC just a few years ago is now considered obsolete. Modern units along with modern duct work will save the user a fortune in utility bills. Also, with the increased costs of older refrigerants it can now cost hundreds or thousands of dollars just to add gas to an older unit. Don’t forget to properly maintain that new unit to keep it in top working condition. Also, consider a tank less hot water heater especially if space is a premium. Tank less heaters are far more efficient than the older tank style.
Crawl space issues are by far the most common we see in inspection reports especially when the duct work is under a home. It’s simple science, cold HVAC air surrounded by hot humid Charleston weather. The result is high moisture which results in wood decay and the dreaded mold/fungi. New modern duct work will go along way towards correcting many of those problems, but also check all the plumbing fixtures for leaks. If needed, spend the money now on crawl space ventilation or encapsulation. The result is a cleaner more efficient home to live in and an inspection that won’t scare off a buyer and cost you much more in the long run.
Take care of the exterior of your home. A fresh coat of paint if needed not only beautifies your home, it also protects it from our extreme weather. Pay attention to any details and fix them now before they become major problems. Landscape your yard and keep it looking nice. Buyers will assume if the yard is a mess then so is the home.
Finally, don’t go overboard with the latest trends. You want a modern home but not one that will be outdated in a few short years. Remember, pink toilets, plywood paneling, vinyl floors, and popcorn ceiling used to be all the rage! Certain things are timeless so stick with more proven time tested decorating techniques. Use a more neutral theme that will appeal to most buyers and is easier to eventually update again. Going too bold will just cost more later. Keep it simple and classy!