Premier Sothebys Intl Realty
Kelly Lee McFrederick, Premier Sothebys Intl RealtyPhone: (727) 410-3605
Email: [email protected]

How to Invest in Your Home

by Kelly Lee McFrederick 12/30/2019

Photo by Paul McGowan via Pixabay

Already a homeowner? Planning to sell in a few years? Sometimes the most sensible investment on the table is the property you already own.

Why Invest In Your Own Property?

Some investors think of each residence as a sort of long-term flip: buy a home, live in it for a couple of years to avoid capital gains tax, improve it as they have the capital and inclination, and turn it around for a profit when they're ready, usually 3-4 years later. And for a huge number of millennials, moving every few years has become de rigeur: occupy a home for a few years, then follow the job market wherever it takes them. Today's young professionals are often on the move.

Whether the long-term flip lifestyle appeals to you or not, it makes sense to improve your home's value as much as possible while living there--especially if you're looking to sell in the next few years. 

Fix What's Broken 

Step 1 is the least appealing item on our list, but it's probably the most important. Before you renovate the kitchen, install crown molding or hire a landscaper to work their magic on the yard, you need to fix what's broken.

Hit it all in this step--both large things and small. Make sure your electrical systems are up to code. Non-GFCI outlets in the kitchen or bathrooms? Replace them now. Gutters falling apart? Take care of it. Water heater has just about the same capacity as your kitchen sink? Replace it. Basement drainage issues? Fix them. Make a checklist of known issues, both big and small, and work through them. Your family will thank you, and your future self will thank you. 

Consult Professionals 

This is where it comes in handy to have a home inspector on your Christmas card list, but it's not necessary. If you live in an older home and/or don't have much experience with home repairs, consider paying a home inspector to come in to do a walk-through and give you advice on things that need to be addressed.

A home inspector will be able to tell you what could become an issue during the inspection process once you have an offer on your home. You might not choose to address everything on their list, but you'll have an idea of a place to start--and an idea of the most pressing issues you're dealing with. 

 

Don't Over-Invest

Before pouring your money into upgrades, make sure you know that cap rate for the homes in your neighborhood. There's a point where upgrades just stop paying off, and you don't want to exceed it. Instead, look at comparable homes on the market on your street or in your neighborhood. Go to a few open houses, even. Get a feel for the minimum standards that these homes meets.

Hit the Minimum Standards for Your Area

In some neighborhoods, a dirt yard is totally normal and not necessarily worth improving (unless you just want to). In other neighborhoods, you'll be expected to have sleek new stainless steel appliances at a minimum. This is a great starting point. Bring your home up to or just above minimum standards, because that's what buyers will expect. 

Kitchens, Bathrooms, Flooring & Paint 

As you've probably heard, investing in the kitchen and bathrooms almost always pays off. It probably goes without saying, but if you're planning to sell soon, don't invest in personal-preference renos--like rearranging the kitchen (unless it's a major dysfunctional problem) or building in a new fireplace. Instead, update/upgrade what's already there. Upgrades that can make a huge difference include: 

  • Having cabinets painted/refinished and hardware updated
  • Reglazing kitchen or bathroom tile to bring its look into the present century 
  • Replacing flooring with the standard for your neighborhood
  • Finishing a partially-finished basement or loft space 

Throughout the upgrade process, keep the style neutral to appeal to the widest variety of homebuyers. Love bold wall colors? That's fine, but unless you live in a remarkably artsy, hipster neighborhood, plan to paint a toned-down gray or beige before you put your home on the market.

If you're on the fence about paint and flooring, those are projects that can be put off until right before you move out. They're also the two most powerful ways to transform your home's aesthetic. 

Obviously the changes you make will have everything to do with the projected sale price--and the caps for your neighborhood. All improvements should take this into consideration, and you'll be off to the races when you decide it's time to put your home on the market. 

About the Author
Author

Kelly Lee McFrederick

Kelly Lee McFrederick, a native of Clearwater Beach, Florida and graduate from the University of Florida, is well regarded and respected as a proven real estate associate for over 15 years, broker associate, real estate instructor and Certified International Property Specialist and now Instructor status. She thrives in the international marketplace and is a member of the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Kelly Lee continues her passion in real estate with certifications in Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist and memberships in the International Consortium of Real Estate Associations. She travels to approximately four countries a year building relationships and sharing listings and information on Florida. In 2017, Kelly Lee traveled with the Asian Real Estate Association throughout Southeast Asia and spoke about Florida real estate in Singapore and in 2018 traveled with Pinellas International Council to Dominican Republic on another real estate trade mission.

Her most valuable attribute is her client commitment. She believes in representing every client with the utmost in professionalism and proficiency. Kelly Lee brings a wealth of experience and current knowledge to all her customers and is dedicated to helping them achieve their goals, being their strongest ally and proven negotiator. As an experienced luxury home, condominium and town home specialist, with proven experience in development, she is currently listing and marketing luxury town homes in 747North, a new downtown development in St. Petersburg. With continual sales in multi-family and commercial, Kelly is aggressive in marketing all properties. Utilizing professional 3D photography,staging, wordsmith copy-writing and all marketing tools through Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, she takes full advantage of her associations with the top brokerage and social media to promote and reach all buyers.

Kelly Lee has lived and enjoys vivaciously the Florida Gulf Coast lifestyle, from growing up on Clearwater Beach to residing in urban downtown St. Petersburg, she shares it all on her “You Tube” channel.  An avid tennis player, golfer and a lifetime spent boating up and down the Florida coast, she understands the Florida legacy. Kelly Lee is also a generous contributor and member of the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce, a dedicated alumna of the 2014 Leadership St. Pete class, social member of the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, and membership chair of Infinity Charity donating time and money to those in need. She is involved with committees that encourage the growth of the community and is a notable board member of the Arts Alliance of St. Petersburg. Preparing to buy or sell your home or property, Kelly Lee McFrederick, as an Accredited Home Staging Professional Master, and past trainer for StagedHomes.com, is passionate and knowledgeable on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is the choice when looking for a real estate professional serving the Gulf Coast.