Many people are planning to stay put in their own homes until the loan market steadyies. Perhaps that will happen when the new proposals that will tighten up the mortgage market go through.
This waiting period seems a good opportunity to improve the value of the existing home by decorating and renovating. There are still safe lenders out there who will lend you a little cash based on the equity that has mounted up in your home. Your original lender is the best place to start. They have proved reliable, and they will have to be involved in any other loan, as they probably hold the deeds of your property. Some home improvements are ‘worth more’ on the housing market than others, one of the first questions you must ask is if you are actually trying to improve the property for yourself, or for the re-sale value.
It seems that renovating has been popular this year. The Remodelers Chairman of the National Association of Home Builder’s (NAHB), Mike Nagel, views the amount of renovations happening as a positive sign for realty. “Though down a bit from the previous quarter, the remodeling market is not experiencing the dip in production and sales being seen by the new home building sector of the industry.”
Also, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, spending on residential remodeling and home repairs has climbed steadily, setting a new record this year. If you are undecided about which improvements to actually splash out on, you will be interested to know that there is some sound advice written about this.
There have been surveys carried out to see which type of renovation will add value to which type of house (houses fall into lower, middle or higher price bracket).
For instance, if you are in the lower bracket of your area, then a fireplace or new flooring come in at 6th or 7th, whereas remodeled windows and a new paint job are tied at 4th and 5th. The top three are bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation and new roof, in that order.
It only gets interesting when you see that for instance, windows are placed third most important in the middle and upper price groups, which seems more logical. Kitchen is first in both those price ranges, but in the middle price range a renovated bathroom is second on the list, and a roof is fourth. If your house is in the highest bracket, then the roof is number two priority with a bathroom only listed at fourth, flooring comes in fifth.
Some of these results were quite surprising, but they are based on genuine calculations. In all groups, kitchen, bathroom and roof were in the top four, albeit in a different order. Perhaps the bad news is that if you were planning a cozy fireplace, it may not be quite the buyer-trap that you thought it was – although it would be for me!