These last few months, I’ve been talking about the importance of making informed home improvement decisions that will protect or increase your home investment. In the last of this series of postings, I want to share a success story. I’ve had the good fortune to work with a family making a move to another state. The sale of their home is an excellent and well timed example of making all the right remodeling decisions.
What is the metric for this success story? The tremendous interest in their home the day we put it on the market! We had an out pouring of eager Buyers who not only wanted their home, but were willing to pay top of the market price for it.
Here are some pictures that illustrate some of the details about this home:
This home was built in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s and is a popular vintage home style. It is located in a registered historic neighborhood, therefore enjoys a property tax reduction for maintaining the original look. These homes used burnt adobe block, a popular regional building material for that time period. The owners did not change the look or cover the material. Rather, they put their resources into preserving the exterior trim and kept the original windows.
The kitchen is a typical galley kitchen with skylights. The ceiling has wonderful tongue and grove wood that was stained, but they did not paint over it. The counter tops are formica with an aluminum trim. To update the kitchen, rather than change these distinctive features, they put their resources in painting the solid wood cabinets and modernizing the cabinet faces using baltic birch plywood, with traditional aluminum cabinet pulls. The material choice is important here because where the midcentury and modern design styles meet, baltic birch is a very popular material to integrate old with new. Other modern details are a stainless sink and upgraded stainless appliances, except for the wall oven which is an original stainless faced beauty. The modern light fixtures are another place where vintage meets the modern look.
Another example of integrated renovation is the bathroom tile, cabinet and toilet. All are original and luckily in good shape. The photo doesn’t show the details of the tile colors, but they were a combination of cantaloupe with a lavender trim. Not colors we would use today! But rather than resist the temptation to replace these details, this family very cleverly chose a floor tile that brought this color combination together by using a small traditional tile pattern and color combination that flattered the other details.
Finally, The entry tile is a 6″ concrete tile with a simple geometric pattern, common in this era of home. The tile is in excellent condition. We are seeing a resurgence on this style in contemporary tile today. Keeping this tile was a wise choice.
The outcome of marrying traditional details and complementary modern upgrades to this home garnered multiple offers within days, and sold for above asking price.
Even though your home may not have this particular set of features, the point is that research, thoughtful consideration of the changes you want to make, and honoring important existing details can preserve and increase value.
Starting next month, I will talk about location. I’ll debunk some of the myths, warn you about those seemingly great deals, and how to pick the best location to protect your investment in unstable economies.