Smartening Up an Older Home for Profit

by : Gary Ashton

If you have just bought an older home with a view to renovating it and flipping it (a sort of slow flip at the moment!) then you will do your best renovating work if you have some respect for the homes' original character.

Many people do actually like to buy a 'character' home as we so tactfully call the old beaters, and if the renovating work has been done in a fashion that preserves it, yet gives new life to its style, it will be much easier to sell. Attempting to push the modern look into what is obviously the older look is like putting a ninety year old in a bikini - it shouldn't happen!

Becoming accustomed to a smaller sized room can take a while; it helps if you can find smaller furniture. Many older homes have smaller rooms that even if knocked 'through' - one into the other - can often still feel small or awkwardly sized.

However, there are some people that actually want to buy small homes; this will be especially true in a few more years when the baby boomers retire. They will start selling up their large (and empty) family homes and re-buying smaller homes. Smaller rooms are easier on the heating bills so they may be a big plus soon!

Realtors inform us that certain improvements add money and others are not worth doing unless it is for your own choice. One well known realty chain even carried out a thorough survey that estimated the percentage amount of return value each renovation was worth.

However, in order to get the maximum returns, you would have to modernize the home according to its own unique style. For instance, if you modernize the living room by uncovering the original hard wood flooring, then it is good sense to beautify it. But if you add sleek stainless steel wall lights and black leather furnishings you will not be enhancing the house's style.

However if it has mediocre flooring and you add new carpeting throughout, you will also be adding value to the property according to the survey. If you are seriously renovating your home as an investment property you need to think in terms of neutrals and pale colors; many people do not find purple carpeting throughout the house appealing!.

One up-grade that will give good returns and may also be essential on an older home is the modernization of the windows. This will increase the value of your property by as much as eighty per cent of the amount that you pay to replace the windows. Having double glazed windows will also appeal to the green buyers out there.

The same percentage amount can be expected from replacing the roof. This is quite a costly job, but as four fifths of it will be returned to you when you sell the house, it is a good investment. If you are planning to replace the roof, you may consider the added investment of a wood stove. If you buy a new government approved air tight one, you can apply for a federal grant to help pay for it. You can get as much as 94% back on the cost of your fireplace when you sell the house.

One of the biggest percentage returns you can get on one renovation is to add on a bathroom. This will get you a whopping 96% return on your original cost. But it is still not the biggest return you can get.

That goes to the most labor intensive and tedious job you can imagine - painting the house! For this you will probably spend about $700.00 in outlay and it will be returned to you by 200% plus - of course the plus is for the back ache!