Selling Your Home: Old House Renovations That Have Great Returns
If you live in an older home that has plenty of character, you'll have to deal with some exterior renovations and updates that owners of modern homes don't have to deal with. However, investing in some key areas of improvement will have great returns for you when the time comes to sell your home.
Here are some improvements to consider:
Replacement windows provide a number of advantages. Many old houses have original windows, and when these have not been properly maintained, they are not suitable for use. Many old windows are warped and cannot open, have been sealed shut, or have pieces that are broken or missing. Many older windows sadly have parts that have been removed, like the original sash weights and pulleys.
Restoring old windows is an option, but many people do not have access to a craftsman who can do the proper repairs, including reglazing and refinishing wood frames and sashes. The alternative is replacement windows, which are appealing to buyers because they are more familiar. They also provide an insulating factor, which can help your house show well in the winter time, since many old houses can feel drafty.
Fortunately, replacement windows have a nice return on investment. You can expect to see as much as 70-80% returned to you on the sale of your home, plus you can add in the savings that come from lower heating and cooling costs.
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Curb appeal is a major deciding factor when people look at buying a home. Your house may be beautiful on the inside, but chipped paint on old wooden siding looks like the house is is worse shape than it is. Fortunately, old wood siding on a house is easily fixed. if the siding is in good shape (not rotting or cracking), you can sand away the old paint and give your house a fresh new look. Fresh paint will do wonders for old siding, and it will make your house look inviting.
If the wood siding is in bad shape, you can either repair small sections with new wood siding or you can reside the house with cement fiber or vinyl siding. Cement fiber will look more authentic to the period of most houses. If your exterior is brick or stucco, you can repaint, patch, and paint these as well.
Siding repair may cost you more initially, but if your curb appeal is improved enough, you could see 80% of your investment back in your pocket at sale time. If the market picks up and becomes more competitive, you could even see a profit.
Updated Electrical Work
Electrical work is not glamorous, and it might not do much to raise your sale price, but old houses with ancient electrical systems are hard to sell and insure. Many potential buyers might skip over your home for fear of electrical problems or trouble getting insurance. It's worth doing the updates for your own safety, but it's also important to do them for the peace of mind of potential buyers when they tour your home.
Refinished Hardwood Floors
Many old houses have beautiful hardwood floors made from old-wood trees. Newer hardwoods don't have the same warmth and patina as older floors, and vintage, reclaimed flooring is very much in style. If you have wood floors hiding under layers of vinyl or carpet, pull up the flooring and refinish the wood before selling the home. The newly finished wood floors will do wonders for how well your house shows during open houses. It's less expensive to refinish floors than it is to replace them, but you get the benefit of showing an old house with "new" wood flooring.