Keep housing market in mind when choosing renovation projects

Keep housing market in mind when choosing renovation projects

If you’re thinking of remodeling in order to sell your home, or thinking of doing the house-flipping trick, be warned, it’s not as easy to make money off renovations as you might think. In fact, as the housing market continues to improve, the money made by flipping is getting lower by the month. In the San Fernando Valley of California, for instance, home prices have climbed 29% in the last year and are at the peak of their value since the crash of 2008. This is good news for people wanting to sell the homes they’ve lived in for a long time, but not so good for house flippers.

Home flipping becoming less profitable 

Ron Henderson is president of Multi Real Estate Services in West Hills and he said, "The easy money has been made. The local real estate market is in a transition from an overheated, low-inventory market with well-funded foreign and institutional investors . . . to one where inventory is increasing and traditional buyers rule again, but squeezed by higher prices and interest rates."

Another setback for home flippers set to go into place early this year is a the Dodd-Frank mortgage regulations, which will affect the entire nation. They will place regulations on banks, lowering the number of average Americans who can qualify for low interest rate loans.

Most common renos

If you’d still like to have a go at remodeling, it might be wise to stick with doing your own home, for now. And remember that every dollar you put into a renovation doesn’t necessarily beget a dollar in return. Ian Levy of Sky Renovation and New Construction out of Van Nuys, CA, said, "Our most common renovation is bathrooms. After that it’s kitchens and flooring. That’s where you add the most value. Inside is where it’s at."

On the other hand, Jane Peters of Power Brokers International said doing extensive renovations on the bathroom or kitchen won’t be worth it if you’re doing it just to up your sale price. "The kitchen and the bathroom would be the two things to remodel. But to do it to sell? No. you do it for yourself because you want to live in a nice place."

Improve curb appeal for better sales

Another cost-effective remodel might be adding a coat of paint to the outside to up the home’s curb appeal. Pat Zicarelli of Style Reality in Tarzana said, "A few hundred dollars’ worth of touch-up paint can generate as much as $10,000 more on the sales price."

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Always measure left to right, and twice for accuracy

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