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Are some home upgrades more important than others?

Hello, I am so sorry for the delay in content! This summer has been so busy, however, I am back at it! I thought I would start back off with my recent Auroran article. A reader was asking if some home upgrades are more important than others? Enjoy!

Read the article HERE!

Hi Julien, I am a long-time reader and I very much enjoy your articles and social media!  Julien, I am a renter and I am starting to look into buying a home.  I’ve noticed some listings will say things like ‘new composite decking’ or ‘new 25 year shingles’.  Are these important to consider?  Thank you in advance, Clara.

Hi Clara, congratulations on starting your home search!  It can be both overwhelming and exciting.

Upgrades can be tricky and are subjective

  Upgrades can be tricky and are subjective. They require consideration for both the seller and the potential buyer.  It is no secret that certain upgrades, like updated kitchens and bathrooms, typically do add value to a home. However, some upgrades may actually decrease the value of the home and others just justify the asking price. 

For example, as a long-time reader, you probably read my article about the shower beer fridge.  This is a rather unique item that may not have a lot of appeal to other homeowners so it would not likely increase the value of the home.  In addition, if this shower fridge was not properly installed, or if it is difficult to remove, it could potentially decrease the value of the home.  Pools are a great example of an improvement that does not increase the value of a home. 

Some buyers will be pleased to have a pool in the back yard and won’t be put off by it.  However, some buyers are turned off by a house that has a pool and finds pools a burden and an extra expense they do not want to take on. In fact, I have a close family member who bought a house because of its great location, and then had the pool filled in!

In your question, you mentioned composite decking.  This is often a positive upgrade for a home. 

When I see composite decking in a home, it tells me that the current owner cares for the home and has invested in it.  Composite decking is expensive compared to wood alternatives. This is a feature I would point out to my clients as we are assessing the total package offered in the home if we were to extend an offer to buy it. But like everything, there is not a single perspective.  One of the downsides to composite decking is that it tends to be warmer on the feet in the summer months. I recently had a client who stated that they did not like this feature. 

It is pretty simple…

Clara, it is pretty simple.  If you walk into an unkempt home that has not been updated, the price you pay should reflect this.  Typically, a home that needs a lot of improvements is going to sell at a lower price than a fully renovated home.  However, if the home is clean and cared for with thoughtful upgrades, then it may make sense for you to pay close to the listing price.  As I said, upgrades are tricky and subjective so it is best to work with a Realtor like myself to help navigate those waters.  Happy house hunting!