Home Improvement vs. Home Repairs and Maintenance

What homeowners and sellers need to know:

 

One of the hot topics when homeowners come to see us at Bold City Real Estate are how home improvements differ from home repairs and maintenance, especially since the perspective you’ll experience from a realtor and appraiser’s standpoint may be confusing as a homeowner.

 

“But I just made all these updates!”

 

Photo: Lewis St, Fernandina Beach FL

Many of our clients come to us boasting about the improvements or updates made to the home, but we later find out that they’ve replaced the roof or added a new air conditioning unit. Of course, maintaining your home will give a buyer confidence and reassurance and will also set your home apart from homes that have not been maintained properly, but by most opinions, simply doing what you should be doing with your home by maintaining it is not going to boost the selling power of your home. Every home has a roof and the vast majority of southern homes have an air conditioning unit – if they work and are well-maintained, a newer unit or roof is simply not going to be considered more valuable to your realtor, appraiser, or home-buyer, though it will make it more marketable.

 

 “So what actually will add selling power to my home?”

 

You’re going to have to look beyond updating the faucets in your home if you want to increase what people will pay for your home by adding improvements that people actually get excited about. Crazy enough, cleaning is one of the most important things you can do to your home, and it’ll only cost you some elbow grease. If you can’t update some of the common areas by adding recessed lighting, you may opt for cleaning a skylight and windows and adding in window treatments that allow natural light to flow freely.

Other realtor-approved improvements are removing carpet and upgrading to hardwood floors, removing popcorn ceilings, creating outdoor living spaces and adding landscaping, and updating bathrooms and kitchens – especially kitchen appliances, as stainless steel appliances are a huge selling point for homes. Working with your realtor to stage your home will also help your home sell faster, as staging can help buyers see the potential of each room. A realtor may also recommend that you paint, but you should note that simply painting because it needs it is different than giving your home an artistic paint upgrade, such as an accent wall in a neutral but trendy color.

 

“So what do I need to do?”

 

The best thing you can do as a homeowner is to hold onto your receipts when you upgrade, improve, or install anything in your home – especially if you’re not sure how the IRS will classify the work you’ve had done. When you sell your home, those expenses through the years can help you reduce your taxes for the year that you sell your home, so it’ll also be important to sit down with a tax expert.

If you’re ready to sell your Jacksonville or North Florida home, be sure to contact our team here at Bold City Real Estate so that we can walk you through the process and help you make the best home improvements to upgrade the selling power of your home!