Hi neighbors! This is Nancy Bennett, your local realtor.
Today marks the launch of the Claycord.com Real Estate Column, a bi-weekly blog that we’ll publish on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Get ready – this is going to be fun!
I’ll be discussing anything and everything related to real estate and homes in the San Francisco East Bay, and especially in our immediate neighborhoods of Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Martinez, and surrounding areas.
Are you interested in real estate? You’ve probably seen all kinds of articles in magazines and newspapers about “national real estate trends.” These can be thought-provoking as a point of comparison to what’s happening right here, but the fact is the Bay Area is a unique environment for real estate. Each geographic slice of the Bay Area has its own real estate microclimate. That’s what makes a column like this on a popular site like Claycord.com so exciting – it’s focused and relevant to your immediate neighborhood as well as to real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area.
As we enter spring 2014, many Bay Area homeowners are thinking about updates and improvements they’d like to make this year – everything from repairs to major remodeling projects. Improvements make our houses more enjoyable to live in, and – if we’re educated and strategic about these updates and renovations, they can add solid, proven value to the most valuable asset most of us own: Our home. No matter where you live in the US, updating your home stands a chance of increasing its value – but for homeowners in the Bay Area where real estate markets are frequently robust, certain updates can really generate a strong return on investment.
So how do you choose which projects to prioritize and which vendors to hire?
As a first step, you probably want to factor in how long you plan to stay in your home. If you’re there for the long haul – say 10 or more years, then choose the updates that fit your personal style, and enjoy! If you’re thinking you’ll sell within the next five years, I recommend you also consider the return on investment for your home improvement projects.
If you’ll be selling within two years, I strongly recommend you educate yourself on the types of updates that todays Bay Area buyers are willing to pay (and even overpay) for. Some updates can really pay off when you sell your home, and should be chosen carefully to maximize your proceeds.
Why? Because in today’s market, buyers expect to be presented with an updated, polished and staged home. This has become more the norm in 2014, and the data clearly supports that prepared houses sell for more money. When you decide to sell, the realtor you select will tell you which improvements you need to make to best leverage your home’s value – updates that will likely cost a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Why make all these improvements at the last minute for your buyer to enjoy? Why wait until then? Why not make updates right now and enjoy them yourself for the next few years, until you decide to sell?
The main point I’d like to stress this week is that updating your home in the Bay Area can be an important decision for reasons beyond just making your home more comfortable for you and your family – especially for homeowners thinking of selling within the next few years. When you plan home improvement projects prudently, they can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line. And all of us can understand that!
In the next column, I’ll go over my top three general home improvements tips for you to consider right now.
If there are topics for the Claycord Real Estate Column that you’re interested in learning more about, just email me directly at Nancy@BennettBetter.com. Until next time….
Nancy Bennett has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience, with 10 years selling real estate in the East Bay.
She’s an award-winning, top 1% realtor in Contra Costa County, the #1 Realtor in The Crossings neighborhood, and leads The Bennett Team – the top real estate team at Keller Williams Walnut Creek.
Nancy is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the California Association of Realtors, the Contra Costa Association of Realtors, the Fortune 400 Masterminds, and Contra Costa Realtors in Motion.
She serves on the Agent Leadership Council, as well as being a faculty member and mentor to new agents.
Nancy is a licensed foster parent and a volunteer with local organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Youth Homes in Walnut Creek.
For more information, see www.BennettBetter.com.
Nancy can be reached at: Nancy@BennettBetter.com.