Equity is the difference between the value of your home and what you owe on your home mortgage. You can build equity by paying down your mortgage – but did you know that you can lose equity by how you treat your home?
Five Things to Avoid That Can Devalue Your Home
Rough renovations. Renovation projects are likely the first thing that comes to mind when people think about increasing equity. It’s true that putting money into good renovations is a solid investment and will raise your home’s value, but there is a vital emphasis on good renovations. A project gone wrong can make your home look worse, and in some situations, like a DIY mess. Prospective buyers will see these renovations as something they’ll have to redo, rather than a selling point for the home. So plan your projects carefully and enlist professional help if needed.
The wrong renovations. Along with poor-quality renovations, getting the wrong kind of renovation can also hurt your equity. Kitchen and bathroom renovations have the highest impact, but you need to get them right. The secret lies in simplicity and mass appeal. In kitchens, it’s safest to stick with renovations to the sink, counter-tops and cabinets. In the bathroom, invest in neutral, pleasant flooring and fixtures, and express your individuality with accents.
Extreme customization. It’s your home, so you’re free to express your personality in the interior however you’d like. But when you’re trying to sell, consider that your personal tastes could be different than those of some buyers. Prospective buyers like to visualize their own lives and belongings in a house, and that’s difficult if the interior is highly customized. You don’t need to paint every wall hospital-white, but put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and choose neutral colors and décor likely to appeal to a wide range of people.
An untidy exterior. The exterior is the first part of your home that potential buyers will see. If your yard is in serious need of some weeding or trimming, it will make your house look messy and give buyers the impression that the yard will require a lot of upkeep. Old fences, worn siding and peeling paint all give buyers the impression of future improvement projects of the less-fun variety.
Skipped daily upkeep. Performing routine maintenance plays a large part in preserving your home’s value and can even increase its equity. Devise a home maintenance schedule and stick to it. Even simple tasks like regularly changing your furnace filter can make a difference in your home’s condition and value.
Questions or comments, feel free to contact Real Property Management.