Why Homebuyers Should Look Beyond Décor and Consider Sweat Equity
If you have ever gone on a tour of a potential new home and thought
“The house is beautiful, but the kitchen is too plain” or “I don’t want to be stuck with that pink room,”
perhaps you’re not looking at the bigger picture or considering all of your options.
While it is a good idea to have a “wish list” of what you want out of a new house, remember that there is also a chance that you won’t find a home in your area that has everything you’re looking for. Once you’ve looked at several homes, it’s very easy to start nitpicking details like the décor, wall colors or carpet, which are all parts of the home that can be cheaply renovated.
Teresa Mears from US News writes
“Part of home shopping is learning how to judge the ‘bones’ of a house – the floor plan, the natural light, the way the rooms flow together – and ignore the decor.”
Rather than nitpicking the details that can be changed, you should focus on what the home already has to offer and make plans for a few renovations.
Something that homebuyers often consider is how the value of their home can increase over the years depending on trends in the housing market or by simply making improvements to their home. This is where sweat equity comes in.
Luke Whittaker from InstallItDirect.com writes,
“One way to increase the value of your home is to make additions to your home or take on home improvement projects. You can do this by hiring contractors, architects and designers to complete the projects for you, or you can take on some – or all – of these projects yourself. The labor – or sweat – you contribute to maintaining or improving your home in a way that increases your home’s value is “sweat equity.”
Whether you are handy with DIY projects or need to hire a carpenter or architect, there are several home improvement projects that are worth the money and will increase your home’s value over time.
Is that pink bedroom keeping you from fully committing to that house that has almost everything you want in a new home? Don’t let pink walls keep you from buying a home. All that room needs is a quick trip to a home improvement store and a free weekend to put on a fresh coat of paint. Try to pick out versatile, neutral shades such as tan, gray or even greige (a combination of gray and beige), which Sherwin Williams defines as
“warm grays grounded in yellow and brown.”
Does that kitchen need something to spice it up? Painting your cabinets, changing out the hardware, adding granite countertops or a new backsplash can really transform that space. Like many DIY projects, backsplashes aren’t too difficult to install and will probably only take up a weekend, but “it's not a project to complete sloppily if you want it to add value and appeal to your home,” writes Devon Thorsby from US News. If you doubt your ability, research experts in your area that can get the job done for you.
Whether your home has worn carpet or hardwood floors, you can consult with a general contractor or flooring expert to upgrade certain parts of your home. Whittaker says,
“You can instantly improve the look of any room by sanding the floors, applying new stain and following up with polyurethane or another protective coating. You can purchase stain at your local home improvement store, which likely also offers free seminars on how to stain wood floors.”
It is also important to maintain your yard and curb appeal.
“As the first thing any house hunter will see when they come to tour the home, it’s important to seed any dead patches of grass, mow the lawn regularly and add a bit of color with flowers or bushes without overwhelming the yard,” says Thorsby.
If you or someone in your family has a green thumb, a large yard can be freshened up by seeding dead grass or starting a garden.
A new home will probably be the biggest investment you will make. While it’s important to know what you want out of a home, you can also do your own part and create your own dream home.
“Great Grays.” Sherwin Williams. https://www.sherwin-williams.com/home-builders/color/color-education/sw-.... Accessed 10 March 2017.
Mears, Teresa. “5 Signs You’re Too Picky of a Homebuyer – And How it May be Holding You Back.” US News. 3 November 2016. http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/5-signs-youre-too-pick.... Accessed 7 March 2017.
Thorsby, Devon. “11 Popular Home Updates that Are Worth the Money.” US News. 6 March 2016. http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/articles/11-popular-home-update.... Accessed 7 March 2017.
Whittaker, Luke. “What Is Sweat Equity, and How Can You Build It in Your Home?” Install It Direct. http://www.installitdirect.com/blog/what-is-sweat-equity-and-how-can-you.... Accessed 7 March 2017.