A lively forum for all things real estate.
Call Us Free: 1-888-809-8495

How to Renovate Your Home without Exceeding Neighborhood Value

by Courtney Soinski

Before you decide to renovate your home, it’s important to understand that not all renovations will increase the value. It is certainly possible to over-remodel, and you don’t want it to exceed the value of your neighbors’ homes. Here are some ways to get the highest return on investment (ROI) possible when the time comes to sell your home.

Projects always worth your while

shutterstock_138891047There are specific renovation projects that can deliver the greatest effect on your ROI, regardless of the real estate market’s current state or the value of surrounding homes. According to real estate expert Robert Stammers in a recent article in Investopedia, these can be projects such as an addition of a wood deck, kitchen and bathroom upgrades as well as window replacements.

shutterstock_117312145Factor in location

A common mistake that homeowner tend to make is renovating their homes to the point where it exceeds the value of surrounding homes. The fact of the matter is that people look in a specific neighborhood because of its proximity to nearby businesses or recreation and it’s in their price range. If improvements done to your home are much higher than homes around you, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to pay more for those improvements, even if they’re interested.

Make improvements that will add value over time

Some home improvements, like upgrading the technological features of a home, will not have a lasting impact, and may even bring down the home value. These types of renovations are at a higher risk of becoming obsolete and outdated as years pass. Technology and styles change all the time, so focus on improvements that are less likely to be impacted by time and are worth your investment.

Renovations that will pay you back


Regardless of whether a homeowner is planning to sell or not, the ultimate objective of taking on a renovation is to revel in the enjoyment you get from living in an updated home while gaining considerable profit from that investment. There are many tools out there that show the kind of profit you can expect from specific home remodels. A perfect example of this is Remodeling magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” annual report.

Here are some of the findings from the 2015 Remodeling Cost Vs. Value report:

Projects that deliver the highest percentage of return on investment

  • Entry door replacement (steel): 101.8%
  • Garage door replacement: 88.4%
  • Siding replacement (fiber-cement): 84.3%
  • Siding replacement (vinyl): 80.7%
  • Deck addition (wood): 80.5%

Renovation projects that deliver the lowest percentage of return on investment 

  • Sunroom addition: 48.5%
  • Home office remodel: 48.7%
  • Master suite addition: 53.7%
  • Garage addition: 54.7%
  • Bathroom addition: 57.8%


5 Bathroom Remodeling Ideas for a Limited Budget

By Merri Cvetan


The bathroom is one of the busiest rooms in the house. Daily use takes its toll.

Fortunately, remodeling your bathroom doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. There are many inexpensive ways to update and remodel the bathroom.

If you’re getting your home ready to sell or just need an update, consider one or more of these affordable remodeling ideas:

  • A new tub or shower liner

Replacing a worn out tub with a new one is a major remodeling project. It’s expensive, messy and takes time. Instead of tearing out the old, consider a new tub and shower liner. Tub liners are less expensive and are custom made to fit like a glove over your existing bathtub or shower. They can be professionally installed in a matter of days, instead of weeks, and there are plenty of options to suit every bathroom style.

  • Paint

Painting the walls is the least expensive redecorating option. Whatever color you choose, let it represent your personality and style.  Give the master bath a spa-like feel with soft neutrals, or for the kid’s bath, choose a bright primary color. Go bold in the powder room. Especially if you have a master bath that only the home’s occupants see, it’s an opportunity to be edgier with your color motif than you might in the more ‘public’ parts of the house.

  • Update the vanity

Has your vanity seen better days? Refresh the cabinet with a coat of paint, coordinating the color with the shade on your walls. An even faster fix is to simply replace the hardware. Choose sleek and polished handles and knobs for a contemporary update, or choose a classic design for a traditional bathroom.

  • Replace the light fixture

Is your light fixture reminiscent of the ‘80s? Replace the over-the-mirror light with something new, stylish and energy efficient. Remember that you need sufficient lighting for all grooming tasks, make-up, shaving and hair styling. For proper scale, look for a bath bar or light fixture that is no longer than the width of the mirror.

  • Install a new shower door or curtain

If you’re adding a new tub or shower liner, don’t stop there. Add color and style with a new shower door or curtain.  Shower doors work in all size rooms, but are perfect for a small bathroom. Clear or frosted glass gives the appearance of a bigger space.

Shower curtains are less expensive and give you the opportunity to add color, pattern and texture. Choose one you love and use it as inspiration for decorating the rest of the room with paint, art and accessories.


 Merri Cvetan is a professional interior designer who writes on bathroom remodels and renovations for Home Depot. Merri provides a variety of options for homeowners who are contemplating a bathroom upgrade. To view some of the tub and shower liner options mentioned by Merri, you can visit http://www.homedepot.com/services/bathtub-shower-liner/. 


Want to Generate More Referrals? Plan a Client Party!

By the experts at Buffini & Co.

shutterstock_69309796When you work by referral, your relationships drive your business. In order to build lasting relationships with your clients, it’s important to maintain consistent contact with them. How can you do this? Get face-to-face and voice-to-voice with them! However, communication goes beyond a few phone calls and a Pop-By a month; client parties are a fun way to catch up with several of your favorite clients at once, thank them for their business and ask for referrals.

Show your appreciation

Everyone wants to feel appreciated and your clients are no different. After all, their business and referrals keep you in business! While saying “thank you” is certainly an effective way to express gratitude, it’s important to show them how much they mean to you.

Client parties are an opportunity to express gratitude beyond the spoken word. For Dan and Maria O’Dell, real estate agents from Kansas City, Missouri, client parties have helped them show their appreciation to their existing clients while they grow their database. “We do the events to show our commitment to our clientele,” says Dan.

According to Maria, they started throwing high-end, larger scale client parties a few years ago. “People love them!” says Dan. “We do them well.”

Don’t forget to ask for referrals

While you’re thanking your clients for their business, remember to ask them for referrals. When is the best time to ask? When you’re chatting with them, of course! Take a page from the O’Dells: “We ask for business,” says Dan. “We ask them to connect us with people that they love and care for. The more you receive, the more you can give away, and that’s what we’re about.”

What if you’re an introvert?

Do large groups of people make you break out in hives? You can still host a client party; the key is to keep it small. If you’re more introverted, you may prefer to connect with people one-on-one.  Small parties allow you to focus your attention on your clients, while avoiding the noise and distractions that come with large parties. So, while your extroverted peers are hosting a 500-person bash, invite a few of your top referrers over for an intimate dinner party. You’ll enjoy all of the benefits of a larger party without the stress of entertaining a big group of people.

Now is the time to start planning

Inspired to start planning your next client party? Autumn is the perfect time to host one. Plan a hayride with your favorite clients and their families, an afternoon at a winery with your A+ clients or go all-out with a Halloween-themed party. It doesn’t matter what you do; just make sure it’s fun!

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Page 1 of 113123...102030...Last