Thursday, May 01, 2008

Our mystery visitor

Partially because of curiosity & partially out of need, we called in a realtor last week for a consultation and price analysis of our house. We are trying to budget for home improvements (and actually carry them out, rather than just talk about them) and are in a constant debate of whether to build a garage or not. We know of a couple obvious improvements that need to be made but were curious - what else would we have to do to make our home ready for selling when the market takes that turn upward? I mean, at least we're not California & their record foreclosures, so the hope is that we can move on. Sometime.

It was a very interesting, educational, and shocking visit. The realtor had some great ideas that we hadn't thought of, but the price analysis.... gah. First, here's the list of things we would have to do to put it on the market today:

FRONT OF HOUSE
Replace lights (2, front and side)
Replace mailbox
Paint front door fresh coat of white
Fix screen door jamb
Touch up deck stain/dress up handrail to make it look "permanent"

KITCHEN
Buff hardwood floor

DINING ROOM
Refinish hardwood floor (try to get “ring” out where previous carpet was tacked down)

LIVING ROOM
Replace roman blinds (wider) to cover drapery holes

MASTER BEDROOM
Strip wallpaper & paint (can limit to window-wall if necessary, but I think the whole thing has to be done)

BATHROOM
Reglaze tub

GENERAL FIRST FLOOR UPKEEP: Paint touchups, bedroom floor varnish touchups

BASEMENT
Paneling on ceiling (paint or not?) so it can be “finished”
Rip up cat-stained carpet area, replace with linoleum squares
Paint floor of workroom grey
Gathered curtain at shelves under wet bar
New “duratub” between washer/dryer

Some of this we had planned for this summer already (tub and hardwood floors), and a lot is simple elbow grease & a big trip to Home Depot. But the garage.... ah, the garage. Based on the price comparisons we saw, we would not get our $$ out of a garage at this time. So at least we know that, and can spend that money on other things.

Pricing... we would have to list it well below what we paid for it. In fact, the realtor said that we won't see a good profit (like, what we could have had the market not turned) for another 5-6 years. That caused an interesting conversation, both with her and with each other. Lots of food for thought, as they say.

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