Real Estate Information Archive


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10 Home Features Buyers Want

by Mark Brace

Home designers and builders speaking at the recent International Builders Show in Las Vegas say that buyers are seeking cost-effective features and rejecting things that don’t have lasting value.

“It's all about family togetherness – casual living, entertaining and flexible spaces," says Carol Lavender, president of the Lavender Design Group in San Antonio.

Paul Cardis, CEO of Avid Ratings, which conducts an annual survey of buyer preferences, identified these must-haves in new homes:

  1. Large kitchens with islands
  2. Energy efficiency, including energy-efficient appliances, super insulation, and high-efficiency windows.
  3. Home offices
  4. Main-floor master suite
  5. Outdoor living space
  6. Ceiling fans
  7. Soaking tub in the master suite and/or an oversize shower with a seating area
  8. Stone and brick exteriors rather than stucco or vinyl
  9. Community walking paths and playgrounds
  10. Two-car garages, but three-car garages are even more desirable

Source: Realtor Magazine

10 Big Impact, Low-Cost Remodeling Tips

by Mark Brace

According to Realtor Magazine there are 10 ways you can update your home for sale without breaking the bank. These ideas are all proven to make an impact on potential buyers without making a huge impact on your wallet. Check out the ideas below:

1. Tidy-Up Kitchen Cabinets-Potential buyers do typically open up cabinets and peek inside. An easy way to make them look better is by organizing with baskets or roll-out organizing trays.

2. Add or Replace Tile-By adding new tile inexpensively you can make a space look much brighter and cleaner than it was. Many stores offer tile for $1-$2 and under. This is an easy way to update bathrooms as well.

3. Add a Breakfast Bar-When a wall separates a family room from a kitchen, cutting out an opening to create a breakfast bar is a low cost upgrade that adds value to the home. This can be done for around $500.

4. Install Granite Tiles instead of a Granite Slab-Granite counter tops are an extremely hot commodity in the home buyer's market, but a granite slab can go for more than $3000. An easy alternative is installing granite tiles, which gives the feel of granite counter tops for around 1/10 of the cost!

5. Freshen Up a Bathroom-Add new light fixtures, updated hardware, a new medicine cabinet and re-grout existing tile. All of these are low-cost ways to improve and freshen up a bathroom.

6. Freshen up the Basement-Even if you don't have a finished basement, there are ways to freshen it up. If you have poured concrete walls, have a contractor fill the cracks with cement and paint with a waterproofing paint. After the waterproofing paint you can add a top coat to add color.  You can also paint the basement floor with a good floor paint.

7. Add a Room- Look for large spaces that can be enclosed to create a bedroom for just the cost of creating a wall. Adding rooms adds value.

8. Spruce up Cabinet Fronts-Recondition old wood cabinets or even paint them. Both of these are less expensive than re-facing or replacing.

9. Replace Light Fixtures-Replacing light fixtures is the easiest way to update a home.

10. Tech up the Garage- The easiest way is to replace the garage door opener with a remote touch-pad entry system.  The cost is low, but makes it look like you have a high-tech garage-opening system.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Contact Information

Mark Brace, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CRS, SRES, e-PRO, A
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Michigan Real Estate
3000 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids MI 49525
Direct: (616) 447-7025
Cell: (616) 540-7705
Fax: (616) 447-7025

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Michigan Real Estate is a full service, locally operated real estate brokerage company backed by the strength of a solid national and global brand. Our full service businesses include Residential, Commercial, Relocation, Mortgage, Insurance, Home Services and New Homes & Land. Our core values, service philosophy, cutting edge technology, and most importantly our people are what make us the leading real estate company in Michigan. We are committed to providing the highest quality real estate services possible and making each customer's experience one that surpasses their expectations.