Home Repair: Cost vs Value

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log home

Log Home After Staining

Spring is a great time to work on your home, but where do you start? If you are considering selling your home in the next year or two you may want to consider the cost versus the value. This is different for every home owner.  Major home renovations are less likely to recoup in value when it comes time to sell your home. Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report is available for those of you in western Michigan check out the greater Grand Rapids area estimated project costs and value.  If you want to sell sooner rather than later here are a few tips to guide you.

Kitchen Improvements:

If you have a stained sink, leaky faucet or beat up cupboards consider remodeling here first. Most kitchen remodels have a decent return on value and in some cases, a home wont sell unless the kitchen is brought up to date to match or beat the competition.  This doesn’t mean you have to put in granite counter tops. Resurface the cabinets, replace the doors and hardware. Or if they are painted, put on a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Newer faucets and sinks and updated appliances can make a big impact.

Bathroom Remodel: Focus on the master bathroom and/or the bathroom on the main floor that will get the most use. Brighten with paint, updated lighting, new fixtures  and flooring.

log home

Log home exterior before staining.


One of the lower cost – higher impact – higher returns on investment is paint. Nothing cleans and sparkles like a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling.  When it comes to painting, professional painters are worth the investment.  Properly patch holes and cracks in the ceiling and walls. Use neutral colors – or consult with a professional stager to help select the proper paint color and sheen. Remove all wall paper. Wall paper is such a personal choice and it’s usually not the buyers choice. It doesn’t take long for wall paper to be out of date so get rid of it.


If you have hard wood floors make them look like new. Many buyers will come to your home because it has hardwood floors. Polish and keep them looking like new. If you have carpet that is more than a couple years old – replace it. New carpet always makes a home look cleaner, fresher and brighter. Stick to neutral colors. It is better to replace the carpet than it is to offer a ‘carpet allowance’. Buyers don’t want to worry about negotiating this to be completed before they move in and why turn them off with warn carpet? If you have tile, keep the grout lines clean. If you can replace the cracked or chipped tiles do so – but install brand new ceramic tile as the cost is high compared to the return.

Curb Appeal: Roof, Siding, Decking, Landscaping, Etc.

Bite the bullet and put on a new roof if yours is leaking or the shingles are cracking and pealing up. Again, don’t offer an allowance for the buyers to do this job – they want the home ready to move into and do not want to worry about negotiating the cost, quality or timing of the job to be complete.  Other curb appeal related renovations include fresh landscaping, resurfacing asphalt driveways, patch cement drives and sidewalks, paint fences and repair as needed, paint the front door and update the doorknobs and locks.

The effects of re-staining the log home (shown above right) makes all the difference in the rich look and feel of this elegant log lodge.

Be prepared to make your home in ‘move-in’ condition, unless a buyer is interested in a handyman special and you are ready to drop your price to accommodate their repairs. Buyers are not interested in deferred maintenance. Their cash is going towards the purchase of the home. Buyers are looking for a home that has updated plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and new appliances.Refer to the 2014 Cost Vs Value Report as a guide, and remember, what seems trendy or high tech today may not be next year.


About the Author
Leslee is an associate broker of United Country Michigan Lifestyle Properties based in Richland Michigan, just outside of Kalamazoo. Learn more about Leslee at http://www.MichiganCountryHomes.com

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