Before investing in a major remodel, decide where the house fits compared to other homes in the neighborhood. “Projects that take a home significantly beyond community norms are often not worth the cost when the owner sells the home,” said Scott Robinson, president of the Appraisal Institute. “If the improvements don’t match what’s standard in a community, they’ll be considered excessive.” And, some renovation mistakes could inadvertently lower a home’s resale value. For example: • Fix minor damage! To better protect an investment, touch up chipped paint, repair leaky faucets, and remove carpet stains before listing a home for sale. The house has to look better on the day of the open house than it has ever looked before. • Remove trees that pose safety hazards. Though trees can be a major selling point, they need to be well maintained and planted in the right spot in order to boost the value of a home. Trees planted too close to a house could pose a fire hazard, or a tree’s root system could damage a home’s foundation. A tree planted in the right location could be aesthetically pleasing … and also potentially lower energy bills. • Weigh garage conversions carefully. A quarter of Americans say their garage is too cluttered to fit their car inside. So some homeowners may decide to convert the garage into a bedroom or den—but that could be a big mistake at resale. While it may earn extra square footage, these spaces tend to be poorly insulated. Also, buyers may prefer the covered parking space instead.
Eight grants remain for prospective homebuyers
Only eight grants of $2,500 each remain to be awarded to qualifying first-time homebuyers who are recent college graduates. The grants, which do not need to be repaid, are part of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors’ Charitable Foundation’s 2018 Homebuyer Grant Program. They are offered in partnership with the California Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Fund. The application deadline is July 1. Each grant can be used to defray closing costs in the purchase of a home using the services of a member of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors. SRAR and C.A.R. offer grants to qualified prospective homebuyers who meet specific qualifications. Apply now for one of the eight grants still available in this year’s program. For an application form, details on how to apply, and eligibility rules, go to www.srar.com/grants
. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. M. Dean Vincent is the 2018 chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Division of the 10,300-member Southland Regional Association of Realtors. David Walker, of Walker Associates, co-authors articles for SRAR. The column represents SRAR’s views and not necessarily those of The Signal. The column contains general information about the real estate market and is not intended to replace advice from your Realtor or other realty related professionals.