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So the list of to-do’s in your house is getting longer than Ken Jenning’s winning streak on Jeopardy, and you’re having trouble deciding what to tackle first.
Here’s a list of your top five priorities of home repairs, especially if you are looking to put your house on the market any time soon.
Your roof is not only highly visible it is the main ingredient in keeping the floors below it dry. Buyers (and/or their agents) will notice right away if your roof needs fixing, so you may have to put off those fancy new appliances in your kitchen, or the bath remodel if your roof is due to be replaced.
Plumbing and Heating
The basic systems that keep your house running should be priority number two. If your furnace coughed its last breath last April, and you haven’t gotten around to replacing it, you will want to make sure you do before putting your house on the market. Same thing goes for a bad septic, leaky plumbing, a bad hot water heater, or seriously outdated electrical (still got that knob and tube wiring?). These systems are the things that keep your home comfortable, and if you don’t take care of them now, be prepared for the buyer to ask for a concession on pricing after the home inspection.
Major foundation problems should be addressed before selling, and is well worth the money. The cost of fixing the foundation is generally less than what you would have to discount it to sell it as is. However, should cash or timing be an issue, you could potentially sell this as a plus in a market with low inventory like we have now. This could be an opportunity for a new footprint for the house, meaning the buyer could add on to the property at the same time as having the foundation fixed. However, not every buyer is going to want to take on foundation repairs. Even though some foundation problems are relatively easy to fix, they sound scary and can be quite a deterrent if your buyer is not so adventurous.
So far we’ve gone top down in listing the three most investment-worthy home improvements to make. We cannot, however, forget the power of an updated kitchen when selling your home. The kitchen is always the heart of the home, and it should be both beautiful and functional. Buyers looking for a turnkey property will be eager to buy if you invest wisely in your kitchen. So, go ahead and start ripping up that 70’s Formica and linoleum! But please, for the love of pete, don’t chintz out and buy pressboard cabinets. If cost is an issue, and you already have all wood cabinets, resurfacing and painting or staining them may be the way to go.
Upgrading or Adding a Bath
The size of your septic tank will determine how many bathrooms your house can have. Often it will have been built with expansion in mind, however. So, it may afford you the opportunity to add that master ensuite full bath with a spa like tub and shower, or perhaps you only have room for a cozy half-bath on the first floor for guests. I recommend springing for good quality tile, and saving money by searching the salvage yards for your claw foot tub instead of buying it new.
When you’ve got these five things crossed off the list, here are some helpful tips on how to make your yard look great to prospective buyers, too.