Jim Valentine: Customizing your home
One of the joys of owning your own home is the ability to customize it the way you want to. When you rent somebody else’s home you are limited as to what you can do to make the environment what you want, but as an owner you can do anything you want to your home as long as you don’t violate local building codes.
Most first-time homeowners get ambitious with paint. We refer to this phenomenon as buying “Ralph Lauren Colors,” the bold extreme colors offered in assorted product lines including that of designer Ralph Lauren. First-time owner parents will often allow their children to pick the color scheme for their bedroom. The parents usually don’t do much better with their selections for master bedroom and common areas. The scarlet, black and other often selected bold choices are personal in nature and not generally appealing by the general public. It is, however, for the owner and family to enjoy for the duration of their ownership.
When adding on to the property make sure you do things in a workmanlike manner. If you don’t have the skillset to build the addition or outbuilding consider hiring a professional to build what you want. If you can’t or won’t do that then make sure that what you build is easily removed and restored to the original condition when you get ready to sell. Remember to get the proper permits when required. If you get away with not getting a required permit you might enjoy the changed item during the course of your ownership, but you will encounter problems when processing your sale with a savvy buyer. Do it right from the get go.
Every short cut that you take when you customize your property will be recognized and adjusted for by the buyer with knowledge, or the buyer that has a knowledgeable agent. Don’t extend your electric service with extension cords. Not only is it not legal, it can be dangerous for you and your family. Likewise plumbing and ducting modifications should be done correctly. These systems can be dangerous for the occupants if they fail. At the very least, water leaking into the home can cause extensive damage that can be expensive to repair
Look at the overall when you make changes. If you have a bedroom with dog damaged carpet you might be tempted to change out the one room. Buyers respond to multiple carpet colors and textures in a house. Look at the rest of the carpet — is it close to needing replacement? If you are going to be in the home awhile and the rest of the house is fine then maybe you will want to change out the one room and wait until you prep for sale to change out the entire home. Before you spend a lot on carpet, remember that there are fine laminate products out there. As there are winds in Nevada many people prefer something that is easier to maintain than carpet so keep that in mind when you decide to change things out.
Before you buy and/or build additions, be aware of things that can impact your property enhancements such as property line setbacks, CC&Rs, Homeowner’s Association policies, easements on your property, earthquake faults on your property that you can’t build on, county/city codes, state laws, etc. If you are adding or moving fencing make sure you know exactly where the corners and property lines are located.
Our advice: Whenever you decide to “enhance” your property make sure that you do it with resale in mind. What will a buyer think of what you’ve done and how will it affect their buying decision? If you get too esoteric in your selection or design you might just find the buyer you are looking for is as hard to find as the proverbial needle in the haystack. If your property is so specialized that it fits the above description you might find you’ll have to adjust your price substantially to entice a buyer to action.
Plan to appease the general public when you make changes, or plan to change the changes when you get ready to sell. Either way, it is your choice to make as a homeowner.
When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs. Experience is Priceless! Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-3704. firstname.lastname@example.org