Atlanta Property Management Blog

Getting the Best Return on Your Home

System - Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Property Management Blog

This is an extension on my previous post Getting the Best Return. I added all the rest of my content.


Preparing to sell your home or making simple upgrades to update your home are important investments. You want to spend your money on things that will pay off in the end. In this article you will find information about what rooms should be upgraded for maximum profit, inexpensive upgrade ideas, tools and accessories to make your transformation work and helpful videos to help you along the way.

Are you preparing to sell your home anytime soon? Even if you are not planning to move soon make sure you update your home for the best return on the money spent.

According to HGTV here are the average returns you can expect by doing these home updates:

- Minor bathroom remodel: 102%
- Landscaping: 100%
- Minor kitchen remodel: 98.5%
- Exterior of the home: 70%
- Updating the living room/family room: 83%

For more information on home repairs make sure you check out my article: Does Your Home Have Pizzazz

Minor Bathroom Remodel

"It costs about $10,500 to replace the tub, tile surrounding, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures," according to HGTV. "You'll get back an average of $10,700 at resale, a recoup rate of 102%." The bathroom and kitchen are the two most important rooms when selling a home. Prepare to spend a large majority of your upgrade budget on these rooms. $10,500 is quite a large budget. Here are some tips for a cheaper fix:

  • If the grout is dingy and needs to be replaced pick up some Caulk Be Gone to get rid of the old caulk and re-do it (Quick tip: As the grout is drying, fill up the tub with water to help the grout stretch)
  • If it costs too much to replace the tub or if the tub is too large to remove from the room try re-glazing it to give it a new look
  • To make more room in a 5 x 7 bathroom use 2 pedestal sinks with wooden shelves between rather than a vanity. It opens the room making it appear larger, says Mark Riley of Mark P. Riley Luxury Real Estate Group.
  • To make more room in a 5 x 3 bathroom consider replacing the tub with a tile shower and glass doors to make it appear larger.
  • Replace the toilet seat if a new toilet is out of your budget
  • Get new accessories to modernize such as new cabinet knobs, towel rods, shower curtain rod, etc.
  • Landscaping Upgrade

    landscapingTraditionally speaking you should expect to spend approximately 5% to 15% of your homes value on landscaping. That equates to $12,500 to $37,500 if your home is valued around $250,000. This budget is generally outside the reach of many who are preparing to sell their homes. However, spending on landscaping is estimated to give a 100% return at resale.

    Try landscaping on a budget:

  • Joanie Clarke from Classic Nursery and Landscape Co recommends improving the soil for your plants by amending your soil with compost and other ingredients. You can buy soil for as little as $27 a yard plus the cost of delivery. Or you can consider using your own compost to fertilize your yard.
  • Get permission from local demolition sites to take bricks and old stones. They make a beautiful addition to any landscape and are very cost effective: FREE!
  • Do as much work yourself rather than hire a professional. A perennial that costs $3 to $4 could cost up to $12 to be put in by a landscaper. However, remember to consult professionals when needed for example to have tree limbs removed.
  • Plan to do your landscaping towards the end of the summer into the fall when mulch, shrubs, soil, etc goes on sale.
  • Look for plants that take minimal water. This will help on your water bill while doing your landscaping.
  • Other quick and cheap fix-ups: trim shrubs, cut and water the grass, de-weed the yard and flower beds and pot flowers to place by the entryway
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel

    "A minor kitchen remodel averages $14,913 and brings in $14, 691 at resale, a recoup rate of 98.5%," according to HGTV. You are looking at approximately $15,000 to do a minor kitchen remodel as opposed to $43, 862 to do a complete kitchen remodel which only has a 91% recoup rate at re-sale. Stick to minor renovations, it is cheaper and brings in more for the money spent. Here are some quick and in-expensive tips:kitchen

  • Buy stainless steel appliances to give the kitchen a more modern look. It is not necessary to buy the most expensive appliances to get an expensive look.
  • Re-face the cabinets and drawers for an instant make-over. If this is out of the budget consider painting or re-staining the cabinets to give them a fresh look.
  • Replace the sink and fixtures if needed
  • Re-laminate the countertops. (If you have a higher priced home consider using something higher end than laminate)
  • New flooring if needed
  • Home Exterior

    "The average national cost to replace 1,250 square feet of vinyl siding is $7,239 with an average return of $6,914 with a recoup rate of 95.5%," according to HGTV. If your home simply just needs to be re-painted keep in mind that a gallon of paint covers approximately 400-450 square feet. Remember if your home is older to test the paint for lead before scrapping. Here are some easy and inexpensive upgrades for the exterior of your home:

  • Paint the front door and trim
  • Get a new and updated door knob
  • Get a new and updated mailbox
  • Get new house numbers
  • Living Room/Family Room Update

    living room

    Simply updating some of the existing things in your family room/living room and the rest of your home for that matter can give you an 83% return. According to HGTV, spending approximately $1,350 can get you: new light switches, outlet covers, floor registers, crown molding, chair rails, drapes, fresh flowers and accessories. Approximately $25 can get you neutral paint to paint a room. Painting your home gives you the best return, it is rather inexpensive and gives your home a fresh new look. Remember when preparing to sell your home to use more neutral colors. Many sellers think that all white walls and white trim appeals to buyers however off-white, beige and pale green are only among the potential options. As long as they are neutral colors you are in the clear! You should definitely consider spending $100-$150 on getting your carpet professionally cleaned. Replace carpet if it is torn, snagged, stained or smells bad (especially with pet and cigarette odors).

    Other Important Ideas

  • Replace light fixtures. "When buyers see fluorescent lights in the kitchen, they think 1970's. When they see brass, they think 1980's. When they see brushed nickel, stainless steel or blown-glass style light fixtures they think purchase offer," says Susan Huerta from Long and chandelierFoster Real Estate, Inc.
  • If you have another room such as a den or office that is not considered to be a bedroom because it lacks a closet consider turning it into another bedroom. This will add quite a bit of value to your home. It is quite easy to a add a custom closet system and dry wall it in for less than $1,500, says Nicole Persely of Real Estate of Florida.
  • Install Ceiling fans or a chandelier in the dining room or foyer
  • In all rooms update the doorknobs, outlet covers and light switches. Make sure you buy them all at the same time to eliminate the possibility of them either being sold out or discontinued on your next visit to the hardware store.
  • Accessorize with brighter accessories. Since your walls are neutral you can play with color with throw pillows, towels, blankets, drapes or other accessories.
  • Bring the outdoors in: put fresh flowers in the kitchen, living room and possibly even the bathroom if space permits.
  • Please see the actual article on my Squidoopage to see DIY videos as well as access more resources.


    Top 15 Home Updates : Home & Garden Television

    10 cheap fixes to boost your home's value - Improve & Repair - MSN Real Estate

    17 ways to landscape on the cheap - Lawns & Landscaping - MSN Real Estate

    Contact Jason Tolley, Realtor, Backyard Realty Group LLC. Licensed Realtor in Georgia at 770-315-0789 to list your property for sale, to purchase a property or to manage your rental in Northwest Atlanta: Cobb, Cherokee, Paulding, Bartow, Fulton and Dekalb counties.

    To view properties for sale visit Backyard Realty Homes for Sale. You can search for listings as well as view our listings. We know the Atlanta Area and will help you with your real estate needs.

    Jason Tolley - Real Estate Agent, Property Manager, Community Manager

    Copyright © 2008 By Jason Tolley, All Rights Reserved.