Trends to Target House Buyers

By: Robert Nachman

If you are thinking of re-vamping your home with a view to putting it up for sale in the spring realty market - read about what is in and what is out.

Easiest to start with, perhaps, is what is out. Mosaic tiled bathrooms and kitchens are out. The best idea would be to change the tiles yourself, as the word is that they are monstrous to replace! Another 'out' is the retro seventies look that has been enjoying some trendy fame and is now very dated and passe. If both of these looks are describing your home, you need not break the bank to replace it.

Sometimes you can avoid ungluing all the tiles from the bathroom and shower surround by installing one of those 'all-in-one-shell' bath surrounds. Get an expert to help you check the thickness of your existing tile versus depth of the fiberglass shell. If you are replacing mosaic tiles in your kitchen you will probably have to hack them out the hard way and then be smart and replace them with neutral colors. Neutrals are favored in all rooms, whites, beiges and grays.

There is another 'don't want'. That is buyers who think they are still selling in a seller's market. Offer buyers a deal if it will clinch the deal; for instance one way would be to help with their closing costs.

Well, that's what the new buyers of 2008 don't want; what about what they do want?

Well, for one, balconies and decks with real space, in fact outdoor rooms. Here is one way that you can improve your property and actually reap the benefit back.

Real estate agents report that five remodeling jobs will return about 80% of the dollar cost in the reflected sale price. These are kitchen, bathroom, modern windows, vinyl siding and decks. Therefore if you spend the national average of $8,000 for a contractor to put in a deck, you may increase your property by $6,000. Of course, if you can put it in yourself......

Where once square footage was prestigious, now quality homes as opposed to quantity of square footage are in demand. So if your house is one of the smaller homes, then think of this as a plus and list the advantages of it.

Real estate agents recommend that it is better to live in your home, or at the very least keep it looking 'lived in' while you sell it. Of course the antidote to this is clutter, so also keep it clear and spacious-feeling. Keep the heating on low, and the lamps on for viewing.

There are a few other innovations that you could install to tempt buyers, but unless you are a real 'handy DIY' family, you may decide to skip these! One of them is the home elevator which is now replacing the chair-on-the-stair idea!

Another fad that is catching on is the dog bathroom or pet shower. These are low shower systems installed in a shower cubicle that has a three foot by three foot base which is tiled to approximately four feet up the wall. Rather than wash doggy in the kitchen sink, these units are to be found installed in the basement, in the mud or utility room, in a corner of the garage etc. One of the advantages of a pet shower is that you do not have to lift your pet in or out of it. They just walk in (or get reluctantly pushed in?)

Well, in saving the best for last, we now come to the bathroom. Most of us cannot re-model our bathrooms like this, because our bathrooms are too small, but we can dream.... Apparently, the bathroom is evolving into the home getaway with multiple task areas.

The optimum way to present this room is now with a huge bath-tub in the center of the room. These are referred to as 'bath thrones'. Flat screen TVs are installed along with wireless Internet and a small bar for coolers, snacks and the coffee machine. For those who have room, an in-home hair salon is also desirable!

Yes, well, good luck with that one, but as stated, we can always dream!

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