Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Should I add Hardwood flooring?
    Currently we have laminate (in the entry way, kitchen and bathroom) and newer shag carpeting in the dining and family area on the bottom level of our home. We have a “great room” which means the kitchen and all the areas are combined into one larger room. We were thinking about installing Hardwood flooring to make our living more compfortable and appealing and possibly adding value to our home. The question is do you think this is a good investment? Will we see a return on the flooring that will cost about ,000 ( we are getting a smoking deal) This is actual hardwood…NOT laminate.

    Thanks in advance!

    • ANSWER:
      It ll add the beauty and warmth that you want , but as far as getting the investment back or a large portion of it no you wont get it.. But the selling and appeal of it may help sell it and thats sometimes a good investment that way. GL

  2. QUESTION:
    Is a lifetime crib a good investment?
    We’ll in my quest to search for the right toddler bed for my 2-year-old boy, I came across the Lifetime Crib. It converts from a crib into a toddler bed, and then into a full size bed. I seen one at Babie’s R’ Us. Most of them were like 0 and up, but this one was white, and was about 9, which was more of my price range for good sturdy furniture. I want to decorate my son’s room, and since my floors are hardwood, I thought the fact that the crib and dresser being white, would be quite lovely. So what do you think, is a lifetime crib a good investment? I’m going to school for Interior Designer, so I see this purchase as a chance to work on the project of rearranging my son’s room, the goal is to have a nice look with plenty of space for him to run, and his theme will probably be Cars or Sesame Street.

    • ANSWER:
      I bought a crib that converted to a toddler bed for my child. I didn’t buy the lifetime crib for a couple of reasons. 1) I plan on having another child and wanted to use the crib for him/her. 2) The lifetime cribs only convert to full size beds not a twin bed. I wanted a twin bed for my daughter’s room because it left more room for her to play in the room.

      My daughter used the crib/toddler bed until she was 3.5. Then I bought a set of bunkbeds for her bedroom. The crib is now set back up in my room awaiting the arrival of my second.

  3. QUESTION:
    anyone have information on softwood flooring tiles?
    I have a work out room and a bedroom in my basement and i would like to put hardwood flooring in but its a little too expensive i would like to put in the softwood hardwood flooring becuase it would be perfect for the work out area and i would enjoy the softness in my room. Do you know if this is a good investment? Expensive? Cheap? Look good? Look Bad? I tried looking for good websites to see what a floor looks like with these tiles. if you have any info please fill me in!

    thanks so much.
    SORRY I MEANT TO SAY…
    SOFTWOOD FLOORING TILES.

    • ANSWER:
      Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot stores and see what they have to offer for a laminate flooring. Or go to some flooring and carpeting stores and inquire more of what you want on a basement floor to soften the feel for you work out area. I am sure they can direct you on what will work the best.

  4. QUESTION:
    Moving – Best return on investment?
    I am planning on putting my house up for sale in early 2009. I have a new roof and have painted the interior. What other projects give a good return on my investment? I was thinking of things like finishing the basement or putting hardwood floors in the kitchen. Any ideas on what buyers really want vs the cost.

    • ANSWER:
      Great question! Don’t put any more money into the house. First go through with a critical eye and look for eyesores. This is the number one thing that potential buyers will be seeing. If you keep walking past a dent in the wall you don’t see it after awhile. Put more into the curb appeal (what does it look like on the outside)- people will drive by first if they don’t like what they see they won’t even bother coming in.
      If you have a budget I do this for clients all the time. Seek a home stager for more assistance it’s worth the investment!

  5. QUESTION:
    Which is better..wood laminate or carpet?
    I live in a manufactured home and prefer hardwood floors but I know I would not get my money back for those.I want to remodel my living room and den area in my home. What would be a better investment, laminate wood flooring or carpet? I look to put my home up on the market in a couple of years.Any suggestions would be great.

    • ANSWER:
      Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product, fused together with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or stone, in some cases) with a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. There is sometimes a glue backing for ease of installation. It has the advantages that it is durable, as compared with carpet, and attractive, at a lower cost as compared to natural floor materials.Laminate flooring practically took over the flooring scene in the nineties and quickly became the alternative consumers were searching for.Today, laminate floors are also known as “click laminate floors” and are installed by simply snapping two planks together, requiring no glue whatsoever. In fact, laminate was the first to offer a click locking system. Laminates literally changed the way we thought about flooring, and since they’ve become one of the most popular types of flooring in the world.A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of “pile” attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene, and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their structure.If I were you, I go for laminate floor instead.

  6. QUESTION:
    what’s better hardwood or laminate floors?
    I’m planning on removing my carpet and installing either Hardwood or laminate flooring. I only plan to live in the house another 5 years. Which option would give me the best return on investment?

    • ANSWER:
      First, can you actually install wood floor? It’s not recommended for below-grade cement floors due to moisture intrusion. Laminate is ok there as are some engineered woods.

      Generally, wood floor looks richer and feels nicer underfoot while laminate is easier to install, cheaper and tougher.

      As for ROI, opinions are all over the map. I’ve included a link below that assigns an approximate value to flooring, but it really is all about what your buyer wants.

      So a few things to consider:

      What is the finish level of your home? If you plan on upgrading your kitchen to natural materials like granite or marble then laminate would look out of place.

      What do other homes in your area have? Yours will be compared to them when it comes on the market. With this weak housing market like we have now, if they have wood and you have laminate your house will be considered less attractive. On the other hand, in a booming market most buyers will overlook this and be willing to redo the floor to their own tastes.

      Then there’s the range of wood options – solid strip or plank, engineered, parquet, even bamboo. Speaking of which, I bought 5/8″ bamboo for about /sq ft, it’s even less now (about .) Laminate is very close to that.

  7. QUESTION:
    Buying new construction condo 5 mins from Boston, 2 bds, 2 bths, 2 pkg near the T. 0K. Good investment?
    My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a brand new construction condo in Malden, MA, off of the train line five minutes from Boston. It’s a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 parking spot (one garaged) condo with 18 units in the building. It’s in a nice area, but we are first time homebuyers and are obviously nervous about the purchase. It seems like a good investment at 0,000, but I wanted to hear other peoples’ opinions. Other info on the property – it’s on the third floor (top floor) in the corner (although windows are only in one direction because there is a stairway to one side – not the main stairway). The building has an elevator that comes off of the garage. The living room is huge. The kitchen is granite and stainless and there is a small dining room and small closet area for a washer/dryer, which are included in the price. There are hardwoods in the main areas, tile in the bathrooms/kitchen/dining and rugs in the bedrooms. The unit is 1170 sq/ft. Is this a good investment?

    • ANSWER:
      doesn’t seem bad for the boston area. what incentives is the seller offering, how does this compare to other condos in the area. negotiate for some upgrades or help with closing cost, price discount. its a buyer’s market – take advantage of it.

      good luck!

  8. QUESTION:
    Which home improvement will be the better investment?
    When I bought my condo, it came with a home equity line of credit exclusively for home repairs and upgrades. Come next March, the remaining balance is rolled into my mortgage and the line of credit goes away. My plan is to live here for another 3-5 years and I’m wondering which upgrade is the better investment. I know neither will recoup it’s full cost and the reason I ask is that I have only enough available to do one or the other:

    1. The living room and dining room have carpet and the kitchen has linoleum flooring. Our thoughts are to replace all of this with hardwood. It doesn’t have to be top of the line and we’re open to the nail down kind or the snap together kind.

    2. The bathroom is separated into two parts: the first has the toilet and tub/shower with linoleum flooring and the other part has the counter, sink, and mirror with carpet. We’d like to move the carpet back to the hall and replace all the flooring with ceramic or porcelain tile. In addition, replace the cheap shower kit with actual tile on the shower walls. We’d also like to replace the current sink/counter with a nicer material and install a second sink.

    • ANSWER:
      That’s a tough call. Asking a realtor in your neighbourhood would be a good start, as they know what people are generally looking for. And they usually give free advice like this.

      You have to ask yourself what will make a bigger impact when a buyer walks in. Hardwood throughout the main floor, or a completely redone bathroom. Both are great selling points.

  9. QUESTION:
    Should I buy the condo?
    I looked at a Condo in Atlanta (Northern suburb, good area) love it. My problem is that the owners will do any type of assisted load (FHA) they want a traditional loan with 10% down.
    I can not cover the closing AND 10 % down. The realtor I met with loves the condo so much that she said she had been thinking of buying it. We started talking about a lease to purchase for a year. I have PERFECT credit and gross 00 month.
    The lease to purchase would only be a small amount more than what I pay for rent right now and where I am is old and falling apart ect. This is a brand new condo, granite counters, hardwood floors, stainless appliances etc.
    1. People tell me wait and buy a house, that a condo is not a good investment. I don’t want a house. I want to be on a second (or more than second floor) to feel secure as I’m a single female. I do want a smaller place. Even if the condo sold for what I bought (as the market is bad) in a few years, would I not be better off than if I stayed renting for a few more years until I have the 10 %.
    2. The money put aside in the lease money each month goes towards a kitty for my down payment at the end of the agreement (I believe the agent said a month). If I do not buy the property at the end of the agreement, I loose that money correct?
    3. I pay a deposit when I move to the condo (for the owner in case I damage the place and do not buy it). Do I get this money back when I buy?

    • ANSWER:
      First off I recommend you NOT buy a condo. you would be better off buying a townhouse. Remember too, at today’s interest rates, every 0 of condo fees is worth about k in affordability. If your condo costs 0k with a 0/month condo fee, it’s like qualifying for a 0k townhouse instead with no condo fee. condo’s are NOT good investments in a declining market. In this market, you’ll probably have to live there for 10+ years to make up for all the condo fees, interest, PMI etc. Your condo board has WAY TOO MUCH power over how you live, and will put restrictions making it difficult for you to buy/sell the property. They will make rules and regulations while you live there that are stupid, and make you change your way of life. Boards often have the power to do pretty much whatever they want, because not enough home owners go to the meetings to object.

      Second off, your sellers can’t be choosers. It’s a buyer’s market. if you have given them a sound offer, why do they care how you intend on financing it? The money will be there at closing. An FHA loan only requires you to put 3% down, so what’s their problem?

      If someone doesn’t like your offer then move on… there’s nothing wrong with an FHA loan with 3% down.

      You’re better off staying and renting for a few more years until you have the 10% down for a Townhouse.

      As for question 2… you’re an adult. You can save your own money. Keep the in your own bank account where you get to keep the interest. It will take some dicipline, but you can do it!

      for question 3… it depends on the lease/contract.

  10. QUESTION:
    What should I Do buy or not buy?
    Im looking into buying a house. Its a 80′s model double wide (3 bedroom and 2 baths) with two car garage and a 2 car barn with kitchen and a big size yard. All for only 35,000 dollars. I will have to redo the kitchen completely and my plans are to put new carpet in the bedrooms and hardwood floor in the living room and den area’s ext. amount to be around 10,000 dollars. My gf plans on moving in a helping with the bills but im not sure if its a good investment or should i just rent. Its in a wonderful area and close to town what do yal think
    It also has a brand new roof, Air Condition, and hot water heater.

    • ANSWER:
      Snatch it. The land is worth that. The home can slowly be fixed up. Owning some land is very good.
      You can make your own rules in your own home. You go by the landlords rules when you rent.

  11. QUESTION:
    Condo on the market for years, so how low can we offer?
    My husband and I are looking to be first time homebuyers. Two years ago, we looked at a condo, but decided due to the uncertainty of possibly moving, to hold off on buying. Now that we’re likely sticking around, we’ve found that that same condo is still available and are wondering how low to offer, and generally if it seems like a good investment, which we think, for us, it is.

    About the Condo
    -It’s 1 of 11 rowhouse style condos. From what I can tell on MLS sites, there’s anywhere from 3-6 units available. They are all the same layout, just with different finishes.
    -It’s new construction (well, 2007), and at least two units are not yet completed, meaning we could pick the finishes, but model includes like hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, washer, dryer, 1 car garage for list price
    -Over 1600 square feet
    -3 bedroom plus den, all with plush carpet
    -1 & 1/2 bath
    -Balcony on main level with patio on lower level
    -Open concept
    -Low condo fees

    Over two years ago, they were asking 5,000. Now listed for 9,000.

    It’s in a “condo cul-de-sac” I’ll call it with multiple complexes of different styled units. Maybe 50 separate garden unit condos (850 sq feet for about ,000), maybe 20 town home units (1000 sq feet for about 0,000). All of them are new construction and/or completely remodeled units in the last 5-10 years. The rest of the neighborhood is mixed of older apartments and million dollar homes on the lake, those being within just a few blocks of the development.

    It is a 5-7 minute drive to downtown (jump right on highway, take an exit, and on your way to the Capitol) where we both work, but a commuter bike path, which we would both rather use, is right in sight as well. A bus line runs nearby throught the city, as well.

    The whole “cul-de-sac” has actually been owned by the city housing authorIty after an owner from out of town couldn’t do it.

    Rent is ridiculous downtown, so we figure if we buy a brand new condo this close to downtown and have a lower payment than rent, it’s worth it. We know condos can be tough to sell (obviously as evidenced by these still being on the market) but the size, construction, layout, and location really are perfect for us. We honestly think we could live here 10 years and figure even if it does take awhile to sell years down the road, we could live with the location and start a family with plenty of room, and keep saving to build our dream home.

    Truly, I’ve done research, and can’t figure out why they haven’t sold. It’s not our absolute perfect location (industrial park meets older big box stores) but half a mile up is the main highway through the city and a mile the other way is a newer shopping center with restaurants, grocery, and other businesses.

    So the big question, how much should we offer? Being that they were built in 2007/2008, with multiple units still available, could we go in really low? Does the fact that the city owns it now help us or hurt us in terms of getting a great offer?

    Would love any advice you’ve got!
    Oh, it was also assessed in 2008 for 8,000, way below asking price.
    According to their website, there are only 6 garden units left and the town houses have completely sold. They’re now advertising 75% of units sold. So, it appears to be a desirable place. Maybe people just don’t like that it’s split on 3 floors?

    • ANSWER:
      Get a buyer’s agent. They will get paid out of the commission the seller has already agreed to pay and so it will not cost you anything. The buyer agent will represent you and be able to tell you why that condo hasn’t sold and why you might want to stay away from it or buy it. They will also tell you what it’s market value is currently (so you know what to offer). Use a local competent, experienced loan officer.

  12. QUESTION:
    I am thinkig of buying a home in Sacrameto to live in with a future investment potential.?
    This house is located by Eastern and El Camino near a school (not near the busy street). It seems to have good houses around it and is on over 1/3 acre with some fruit trees. It is priced at 149,000. It was last sold for 0,000 in 2006. but we know that does not say much these days. I checked out the neighborhood and it seems good, but what else should I consider? The house has updated central heat and air, kitchen and bathroom. It has hardwood floors..Looks cute. It is a short sale.

    • ANSWER:
      You need a GOOD buyer’s agent to go over this with you. She needs to pull comps and run a comparative market analysis.

      You should also walk through other houses on the market near this house. Is this house comparable in its amenities?

      You also need an excellent home inspection to ensure that you are not walking into a money pit. On top of that, ask for home insurance to cover problems over the next year.

      I’d also want to know how the schools actually are. If you have the nicest home in an area with bad schools, you’ll never be able to sell it for what you think it’s worth.

      And finally, remember that some short sales are taking 6 months minimum to get approval from the banks.

  13. QUESTION:
    Harassment from mortgage company?
    First read this question, it has something to do with this::

    http://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=ArbuxwCbyRg3ZS0iTpJSBF7BFQx.;_ylv=3?qid=20080822071247AAeNXyg

    THEN read this.

    Our mortgage company majorly screwed up. In August, we switched banks (our mortgage is not with our banks). We usually have direct withdrawl for our mortgage payments. We told them we would be afew days late with out payment while we switched banks. After we were 3 days late, they demanded we pay them immediately. They would not accept registered mail (to send a cheque or cash for it), but only Western Union or a bank payment. We opted to send a Western Union payment, so we would have a receipt of the payment.

    We sent the payment, and called the mort. company with a reference #. They accepted it no issues, and we thought the matter was closed. 2 weeks later (and 2 days before our wedding) a court officer showed up at our door with paperwork that the mortgage company was commencing legal action over non-payment of our mortgage (our payment is 8 bi weekly, we had been late with ONE payment). We called our lawyer and the mortgage company, and they said to dis-regard the notice, it had all been worked out- the Western Union payment hadn’t been submitted by their internal billing dept. in time for them to cancel court proceedings. We got a letter from the mortgage company stating to disregard the repossession proceeding papers we had gotten. We considered the matter closed.

    Last Friday, a Sheriff of the court showed up at our door, served me papers that we had 7 days to leave the house and have all our stuff gone- they were repossessing our house. I freaked out, called hubby @ work and he came home. We again called the lawyer then the mortgage comp. We had to fax them the Western Union receipt for proof we paid. We did so, and the next day we had a notice from the Canadian Superior Court of Justice saying to disregard the notice of Intent to Repossess, and that the suit was closed, our mortgage was paid up and in good standing. So, again, we considered it over with. The lawyer for the mortgage company told us they were faxing the dismissal papers over to the local court (and sheriff and court officer who was supposed to evict us).

    We had to go to a funeral yesterday for my hubbys uncle. We were gone overnight about 3 hours from home. We got home @ 12 noon today, and notices were taped to our windows, all our door locks had been changed, and bars put over our windows so we couldn’t get into our house (keep in mind it is COLD here in Northern Canada, in November- and we have 2 children under age 3). So esentially we were locked out of our home. We both FREAKED out, smashed a garage window and broke into our house. The sherriff and whoever changed the locks damaged some of our property- we need a new rear entry door, our front door is damaged and the door jamb needs replacing, they left the old knobs on the floor, our hardwood floor by the door is damaged, and our elderly INDOOR cat was sitting out in the cold by the front door when we arrived at home. Our dog had been taken by Animal Control to the pound where we had to pay to get her out.

    We still have ALL the paperwork pertaining to this issue, I took photos of the damages, and filed a report with the police about unlawful entry.

    We want to sue, but the mortgage company lawyer just laughed at us and said “Good luck, we have every right to protect our investments”.

    The thing is, this is NOT our fault! It seems like every time we turn around, this company is screwing up something major. I’m worried to leave the house now in case we can’t get back in and are stuck in the cold with the kids.

    What can we do about this?! I am so p-i-ssed off, I’m shaking still. We are in our home right now but I’m worried someone will show up to evict us or charge us for being in here. My hubby had to go to work or he would probably lose his job, so I’m here alone with the kids and freaking out.

    I’m also really concerned about the ownership of our home- and about our credit rating and all the legal aspects of this….

    HELP! WHAT SHOULD WE DO?! We go to talk to a lawyer Monday about filing a lawsuit and suing the company for harassment, emotional and financial distress, unlawful entry, damage to property and whatever else we can sue for. This is insane and we have to do something…
    We cannot afford to pay for penalties to switch our mortgage, we would be content with suing them for the balance of our mortgage (4 thousand) and legal fees- and for the money to fix the damages and for the 0 we had to pay to get the flippin’ dog out of the slammer.

    I’m just so MAD. I told hubby I was going to call the most major newspapers and tv shows in the province and tell them about this, and see how the company likes it. Also going to file a disupte and complaint against them with the Better Business Bureau, which will basically put a mark against them if any potential clients check their BBB rating…

    • ANSWER:
      It sounds like you are on the right track – legal action at this point is your only recourse.
      Also, as soon as your mortgage term expires, I would be looking for a new lender. Depending on how old your mortgage is and what you still owe, you may even decide that it would be worth paying penalties to refinance with a different company.

  14. QUESTION:
    Refinance Negative Equity Mortgage?
    Here’s my situation. I purchased this house for 0k back in 2005 and did about 0k worth of remodeling to it, however, I have not added any new square footage. It’s all been in stuff like dual-paning the windows, upgrading electrical, paint, hardwood floors, bathrooms, kitchen, etc.

    So, let’s say a 0k total investment. The neighborhood I live in is quite old and has not had many sales in recent years.. everybody living here has been living here for like 20+ years. The last sale occurred when an old guy died a year ago. There just aren’t any real comps to go off of. Also, with the exception of 1 or 2 houses in the area, they’re all built in the 50s and have seen nowhere near the level of remodeling that I’ve done to my house.

    I’ve had two appraisals done and they’ve both come back at around 0-0k. I currently owe about 0k. Ok, fine.. so my house has lost 30% from what I purchased it for but let’s say I get even 50% out of the improvements I’ve made, doesn’t that bring the value up to 0k+? It seems like the appraisers aren’t valuing the improvements I’ve made at all, and I have even given them a sheet with a breakdown of how all the money was spent and what was improved. I have no doubt that if I had to sell this house, I could get 0k in a heartbeat. It’d be a steal at 0k but then I can’t prove that without actually selling it, which I don’t want to do. I much prefer to hang on to it for a while until the value catches back up a little.

    Unfortunately, my neighborhood is within a half mile of a pretty poor neighborhood where houses have been getting foreclosed on all over the place and selling for as low as k. There are some other decent neighborhoods within 1 mile where similar houses (in terms of bed/bath sqft) have sold for 0-0k but those are very few, and I’m sure again that they haven’t been remodeled as extensively as mine.

    Now, I understand that I’ve probably “overimproved” my house beyond what it could ever fetch in this neighborhood but for chrissakes, it’s definitely worth more than 0k.

    The problem I have is that my ARM has just gone adjustable to nearly 9%, and according to the appraisers, I owe more than the house is worth. I don’t have the k+ cash to make up the difference for a refinance. I’ve spoken to a few banks and they all say that they’ve gotta go with what the appraisers tell them and they can’t give a loan for an amount more than the house is worth (according to their appraiser). My FICO is around 660 and I’m sure I could get a much better rate on a refinance if I could only find a way to have the appraisers up the value a little.

    So, I guess the question is kind of 2 parts..

    1. Is there any way to refinance when you’ve got negative equity? If yes, how do I go about doing that?

    2. Do you have any recommendations for getting the appraisal up another k so I can do a regular refinance?

    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      #1 The only chance you have of refinancing with a negative equity is thru your current investor/lender. They are already on the hook for the property and may have the only reason for helping you out.

      #2 The list you gave to the appraiser was a good idea but listing the money you spent was a waste of space. They will only care about the value added- not the money spent. So the list should only talk about the quality of the products and workmanship- and maybe how it would benefit any future owner (energy savings or comfort or such).
      It sounds like you spent money on stuff that did not raise the value much. New windows usually don’t raise the value much if any and neither does electrical. People also don’t usually want to pay a lot more for a house than it appears the neighbors houses are worth.

      But rewording that list to aim more at what benefits you have added rather than how much you spent might help.

      Also have someone help you look over the comparables used and see if any mistakes were made (On mine they said one house was on the lake when it was not) or if you can have a real estate friend help you look for better compareables.

      Good luck.

  15. QUESTION:
    Split question about purchasing a home and it’s resale value…?
    My fiance and I are about to close on a beautiful 3 bedroom 1 bath starter home, and I want to reassure myself that it’s a solid purchase.

    It has a huge front porch with white columns and railing, wood siding, an open kitchen/living area, and plenty of closets throughout. It has a .25 acre fenced back yard with a solid wood storage building and crawl space foundation. Central heat and air, with nice hardwood floors original to the home. Almost all new energy efficient windows- all but 2 in the back of the house. Already had the inspection- it got an all clear except for the fact that the roof will need to be replaced in the next five years or so. 1,000 square feet. Termite- free. Nice neighborhood with good schools.

    We’re closing at ,900. I guess I’m just nervous about the purchase in general, it’s a big ccmittment.

    As for it’s resale value, we do plan to upgrade eventually, but in the meantime we want to add granite counter tops and tile in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as adding a jetted tub and new fixtures in the bathroom. Several other small improvements will also be done, such as landscaping.

    How much should we reasonably expect as a return on our investments when the day to sell comes?

    Thanks for taking the time to help, and I understand there are no sure answers to these questions, I’m just looking to get an idea of where things stand.

    -Logan

    • ANSWER:
      You may see a 60% – 80% return on kitchens and baths… or you may see nothing. It will really depend on what other similar homes are going for when you go to sell. Obviously, the longer you stay in the home… the better. Don’t do any upgrades for at least a year… after that you’ll know what’s most important to you. Don’t over-improve for the area. If no other homes have granite in the area… then it’s not going to offer you much of a return when you sell. I’ve got a relatively small home as well and am selling quicker than I expected (due to an inheritance that will now allow me to build in one of the nicer areas in town). I purchased for 64900 three years ago and am under contract for 67000 (listed at 69000). I put around 7k into the home over the last three years because I had planned on staying longer – adding additional cabinets and counters to the kitchen, refinishing both decks, adding guttering and shutters, building a privacy fence, adding rails to the front and back decks, adding additional cabinetry to the laundry area and bath, etc… obviously, I’m seeing a very low return – but, that’s my choice for choosing to sell so soon. If you think you’ll be in the place for 5-10 years, I would suggest doing the upgrades that you can afford and that make you happy… just be careful not to go all granite if everyone else in the neighborhood has laminate. Good luck to you and congratulations!

  16. QUESTION:
    I’m buying a new 1 bd/ 1ba condo, is it wise to update the bath/shower combo to a modern large shower suite?
    Although the condo is new construction all the amenities were already selected – the kitchen is gorgeous – yet, the all white bathroom with white tile floor, white cabinets, and a bath/shower combo is so basic. In light, I would love to update the bathroom with a more modern feel that matches the rest of the house – granite, hardwoods, stainless steel, etc – I would like to update the space by updating the tiles on the floor, installing beautiful wood cabinets and a updated sink and hardware, as well as removing the tub and installing a large walk in shower with updated tile. I know this will really pull the house together. However, I wasn’t sure if is a good idea to remove the tub, since this is the only bathroom in the house…is this a bad investment? and will this hurt the condo’s resale value?

    • ANSWER:
      You can’t lose with a bath or a kitchen remodel. So… yea, go for it.

      One bed/one bath is for a single person so updating to a shower isn’t much of a risk. It will be wise not to over do it.


good investment on hardwood flooring