(The following is a guest post from Jim Vogel)
For most people, their home is the product of a life of hard work. It’s only natural that as you get older you make the most of your home investment for the Golden Years. Consider the ways in which this most important of investments can work for you. This is why it’s not at all rare for seniors to sell their homes as part of their downsizing efforts and use the proceeds to set themselves up for a safe, comfortable, and fun life after retirement.
If you, like many others, see this as a viable future for you, then you’re on the right track. Of course, you’ll want to sell your home at the best possible price for your post-retirement lifestyle goals to come to fruition. In many cases, however, this will entail making strategic improvements to the property to make it more compelling to the current market.
Update key rooms.
When it comes to selling a house, you have to spend money to make money. This pertains to the improvements that need to be made to key areas of the home that potential buyers usually zero in on. And while you can, of course, keep these projects simple to keep costs low, in many cases, this simply won’t suffice.
First, consider your kitchen. If you’ve had the home for many years (decades, even), your kitchen might need an update. This can run the gamut from appliance upgrades to a full redesign to make it more modern and functional. It sounds like a costly project, yes, but it’s definitely interesting to note that it can impact home value considerably.
A bathroom remodel is also not far behind in terms of ROI. Averaging at around $18,000 for a full renovation, you’re looking at getting approximately 66 percent of that cost back in your home’s resale value. So consider updating cabinets, fixtures, and countertops, as well as installing new tile and maybe even adding luxury features like heated floors and a shower seat.
Spruce up curb appeal.
Now, the objective of your home improvements is to put your home’s best foot forward. No doubt, the best way to do so is to increase curb appeal—that is to say, the property’s outward appearance. At the most basic level, you can have your home’s facade power-washed and repainted. Landscaping—or at the very least, tidying up your yard—is also a good way to go.
The little details shouldn’t be forgotten, either. Consider painting your front door a nice color, sprucing up your mailbox and house number, patching up cracks on the walkway, and more. Bear in mind that first impressions last, so work on making the best one for your potential buyers.
Put effort into staging.
Next, you also need to “stage” your home in a way that encourages buyers to see it as theirs. As a rule, clutter and personal items are a no-no. So why not take this opportunity to downsize by weeding out your possessions, getting rid of clutter and other things that you likely won’t need in your next home, and packing away valuables and keepsakes? At the same time, you create a blank canvas of sorts that can then be staged to great effect. Win-win.
Keeping your home clean while it’s on the market and during showings is also very important. However, this can be challenging for seniors, especially those with physical limitations. Consider hiring a housekeeper to take the load off your shoulders. Unlike a run-of-the-mill maid service, a housekeeper will not only help with linen changes, yard work, and other general upkeep tasks, but can even help you in meal prep and the like.
Be ready for the unexpected.
Finally, even with the best-laid plans, it’s still a good idea to have contingencies in place. Some great resources to keep on your roster:
- Find Local Plumbers
- Emergency Carpet Cleaning Near You
- Find Garage Door Repair Near You
- Roofing Contractors Near You
Ultimately, the success of your home sale hinges heavily on preparedness—that is, your preparedness to make necessary improvements and utilize the many resources available to you to make them happen. There’s little doubt that the payoff is worth it, after all. So look to the future and don’t look back.