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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Money well spent

From today's NY Times comes an article on renovations with an eye for resale. Although geared for the New York apartment market, the realtors and homeowners interviewed offer sage advice that can apply to all redos. One broker says she renovated to the "sell sheet," meaning she included most everything today's home buyers look for in real estate ads - Sub-Zero refrigerator, Viking stove, stainless steel appliances. Brands for baths include Toto for the toilet, Dornbracht or Hansgrohe for fixtures, and Duravit for sinks. Today's buyers are looking for a minimum of two sinks and a separate shower and tub in a bathroom. Whirlpool baths are on the decline, while requests for steam showers and underfloor heating are increasing.

As for the rest of the house while stone floors do say "upgrade," a more generic oak or walnut hardwood floor that can be easily stained and refinished (no pre-finished) is better for resale. Stay away from trendy sinks (hello, bowls on counters), colored or glass tiles, and any countertop color other than white, black, or a natural. Never get rid of a bedroom and keep your floor plan as simple and straightforward as possible.

"Indeed, for resale purposes, the best stylistic line to toe is neither ultramodern nor ultraclassic, but rather something in the middle that might be called clean classic, with an urban flair."

Side note: When LB and I renovated both bathrooms in our home Stateside three years ago, I was adamant we keep everything as neutral as possible. The main bath had a classic Traditional Home magazine kind of feel, while the other featured a slightly more contemporary design. LB was crazy about a cobalt blue light fixture, but as popular as the color blue is it can be very difficult to decorate around. So I said,"" A year later, our house sold for very close to asking price within three-and-a-half weeks on the market.


The Nerdy Fashionista said...

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I completely understand why it makes the most practical sense to renovate for resale and not necessarily your personal taste. But then I also sort of feel, well, if you have the money to renovate at all, wouldn't it be nice to take advantage of that, and get what you really want? Within reason, naturally. I'm not going to put in a bowl sink but I WOULD want a fancy countertop (Corian or concrete, depending on which imaginary house I am renovating).

And I hate tiny, cramped bedrooms, so if I had a house with four or five of them I might want to hack into one to resize two of the others. I guess really it just depends if it's a "for now" house or a "for the rest of our lives" house. I say this as if I will ever be able to afford to own a home in New York City.

perchance said...

I know what you mean about expressing oneself. I would lurve to have a Moroccan tile backsplash. We knew we wouldn't be in that house more than another year or two, so I went as generic as possible. One friend asked what color I'd painted the guest room and I said,"Resale White."