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Home Features That Buyers Love

We rarely recommend homeowners make substantial upgrades to their homes when it is time to sell. After all, you won’t be living in the home much longer, and most home remodeling costs will only increase your home value by 50% to 80% of the cost of the upgrade. If during your life in your home you have made upgrades, improvements, and maintained your home in good condition, you will reap the benefits of these improvements upon the sale of your home. A well-maintained home and a home with added features will spend fewer days on the market, will distinguish itself from other homes (especially in a production built community), and will return a higher sales price. Never forget, the real benefit you will gain from your improvements is that along the way you enjoyed the changes/upgrades you made. NAR Statistics (National Association of Realtors) confirm that making small upgrades over time benefit the seller immensely. The improvements you make do not have to be costly as some of the improvements listed below prove, you can get a good ROI without breaking the bank. The following features are features home buyers look for. Most of the homes in Solivita are constructed with the features below, but If you have an older home, some of these features can be accomplished without a huge expense.
  1. Laundry Room – 91% of buyers surveyed by the National Assoc. of Home Builders’ (NAHB) request this feature.
  2. Energy Efficiency – 89% of buyers surveyed request this feature. Buyers are drawn to properties with Energy Star Appliances.
  3. Lanai – 87% of buyers surveyed request this feature. A screened lanai extends your living space and offers buyers the opportunity to enjoy outdoor living at ease.
  4. Ceiling Fans – 85% of buyers surveyed request this feature. Ceiling fans improve a home’s aesthetic, and a home’s energy efficiency for a small cost.
  5. Garage Storage Space – 85% of buyers surveyed request shelving, peg board storage, and/or cabinetry in their garage. We all seem to have too much stuff these days, and this is an improvement that will return a big bang for a small investment.
  6. Hardwood Flooring – 83% of buyers surveyed look for this feature. Hardwoods can be quite expensive, but today engineered wood flooring is available at a reasonable cost and will update the look of your home instantly, plus bring you a good return on your investment. Most buyers today look for carpet free homes.
When BVR develops your listing, we highlight all the features in your home that are of special interest to buyers. A clear, concise description along with photos will peak a homebuyer’s interest and will bring clients and real estate agents to your door. The more traffic we can generate the quicker your home will move from Listed to Sold. It is not always about the photos, but a combination of the narrative and photos that attract a potential buyer. Cabinetry in your laundry room or garage may be no big deal to you, but according to a recent survey, can be an attractive incentive to a potential buyer.
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Hooked on the Home Improvement Craze!

I am seeing lots of clients following the home improvement craze and re-doing a room or two in their homes. I have been keeping track of the re-dos, and the room leading the pack for the most renovations seems to be the Master Bath. The beauty of our homes in Solivita is every model has a generous master bathroom that lends to an easy renovation. Some of the renovations I have seen are simple - a tile change, a lighting update, or a shower door or mirror change, but I have seen a few extensive remodels. My informal survey tells me that every resident who has changed their master bath loves their redone space. Proving that whatever you decide to do, chances are you will love it. That is, once the dust has cleared. Gray seems to be the color this year; from gray walls to gray cabinetry, this color is still hot. Some of the changes that are quite popular are premium features such as dual showers, one-piece toilets, vessel sinks and floating built-in vanities. I personally love the look of the built-in floating vanities as this style also visually enlarges the size of your space. Seems that lots of mixed metal are currently in style, with gray mixed with matte nickel and polished chrome, shimmering glass and stainless light fixtures being not only popular, but stunning. Contemporary seems to be the way my homeowners are going with their renovations. After meeting with a few homeowners, their advice is to simply add or change your master bath to meet your wants for now but plan for your future requirements. Some homeowners have removed their bathtubs and replaced them with enlarged showers, some have added dual shower heads, rain showers, plus, I have seen one or two steam showers. The other change I see is the bathtub area being replaced with a linen closet, cabinetry, or a dressing table area. One of my homeowners replaced their built-in tub with a free-standing statement tub. Nearly one quarter of my homeowners have changed their bath layout, but every homeowner incorporated accessibility features into their new master bath. Some of the accessibility features include the installation of seats in the shower, grab bars in the showers and tubs, the installation of non-slide floors, and adult height toilets. These changes will not only enhance your daily life but will also increase the value of your home. The cost to renovate a bath depends upon the type of renovation done. The industry estimates you can expect a ROI of about 60% of your renovation cost therefore; do not renovate your master bath to sell your home but rather for your enjoyment now and the ROI later.
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Small Changes Can Make A Huge Difference

Upgrade Your Entrance!

The entryway to any home has a huge impact on how welcoming your home is. Upgrading the front door is a great way to increase your curb appeal and UP your welcome quotient. Recently Ken and Ellen, friends from Solivita, felt the living room of their home was too dark. They considered repainting it and adding a sky window, but after evaluating the cost and the mess, they decided to upgrade their front door. A visit to Lowes revealed that a front door upgrade is an easy fix. They selected their glass panel insert at the Lowes Store and made an appointment for a Lowes Rep to visit their home to take measurements. In no time, the door was measured, the glass was ordered, and light was about to stream into their living room. This fix was quick, less expensive than a new door, and highly successful. The door looks great, and Ken and Ellen now have a living room filled with natural light and The Lowes Installation Team did not even have to remove the door from the hinges to install the glass panel. Thank you to Ken and Ellen for this quick and easy home improvement tip.

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Shopping For Your Home: Memorial Day Weekend Sales To Take And Avoid

By now you have been blasted with Memorial Day Weekend Sales promotions from big box retailers for things such as patio furniture & grills, mattresses, appliances, and other home goods. It can be difficult to decide what offers are great and which are more talk than an actual deal, but I'm here to help! I did a bit of research on what Memorial Day Weekend Sales you should jump on and which you should avoid, and here's what I found (credit goes to FatWallet, a deal-hunting website):
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Safe Eye for the Aging Guy: Home Improvements to Promote Safety

As your favorite senior heads into his golden years, a home improvement  “makeover” may not be the first thing on your mind. But, I’m going to tell you why it should be.

I’m talking about making over his home to improve his safety. By improving his home, you help him age in place. You are not only upgrading a home, but you’re also improving a life.
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Nearly 2 million homeowners no longer 'seriously' underwater on their mortgages

Surging home prices have helped nearly two million homeowners get back above water on their mortgages over the past year.

During the first quarter, 9.1 million, or 17%, of homeowners were seriously underwater on their home, meaning their debt exceeded the home's value by 25% or more, according to RealtyTrac. That's down from 10.9 million, or 26%, of all properties a year earlier. States with the highest percentage of seriously underwater homes included Nevada, Florida and Illinois. Read full article at CNN