Business / Economy

New column: San Benito Real Estate Snapshots

Remodel your home and enjoy the monetary and aesthetic benefits.

Are you thinking about remodeling? Sometimes we remodel to make spaces more livable for ourselves, other times because if we have to look at the stained wallpaper with brown flocking one more time we may go insane.  Sometimes we are addressing functional needs, sometimes emotional ones. 

Before you start, make sure you are clear about one thing: Your remodel addresses your priorities but may not add value to your home when you sell it. A pool is a perfect illustration.  You might want one, but it could make it more difficult to sell your home because a water feature is a big responsibility a potential buyer may be unwilling to accept. But if you want to swim all summer long for the next few years, go for it!

Studies show that a kitchen or bathroom update is most likely to return its cost, sometimes recouping more than the cost of the improvement. Not only does it look better but usually there is a substantial energy and water consumption decrease with newer fixtures and appliances. These room remodels are generally a good investment.

Paint is another great investment.  Nothing like a coat of paint to make things fresh and clean! Don't be afraid of color. According to DIY Home Design Ideas, the trend in 2014 is toward beautiful nontraditional neutrals such as a pale teal or green to provide a muted canvas for vivid coordinating colors. 

The best thing about paint is it is relatively cheap.  You can always repaint in Navajo white or sandstone when you decide to sell your home if you are nervous.

According to Fresh Home, the top colors for 2014 interiors are turquoise (I always used that color first in my Crayola box), Parisian black and white and mix-and-match blues.  The take-away here is, "Be gone, boring beige!"

According to the National Association of Realtors, the San Jose region showed overall a recoup of roughly eighty percent of all costs for any remodeling project, including replacement windows and new garage doors.

What do you think totally paid for itself? I never would have guessed this: Replacing the entrance doors with steel ones.  Whoa, doggies I guess they are worried about the Zombie Uprising in Santa Clara County.  Close behind doors came the addition of a deck. Here in San Benito County, where the weather is practically perfect, that would be a huge value.

So if a deck is good, what about the rest of the yard?  According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, the top three things people want in their outdoor spaces are lighting (including whimsical light strands), covered dining areas and the use of native plants.  (This is good news for the weekend garden warrior…they need less care than imported species.)

I have been a Realtor for almost 20 years. (Yes, indeed, I started when I was 12 years old.)  I have seen time and again people who fix their homes up to sell them only to realize it was fairly easy and it improved their quality of life for the short time they remained in that home.  My advice to you is this:  Do it now and enjoy it for yourself. You deserve it.

As of Oct. 29, there were 142 homes listed on the multiple listing service ( ranging from $159,000 to $5.75 million. Something for everyone, right? Call your Realtor to find that new home, to sell the existing house or to discuss who can help you remodel your current home.

It's a good life!


Nants Foley - Broker Associate

Nants Foley is a real estate broker DRE 01222234 and writer who works throughout California. She makes her home at Quicksilver Farm in San Benito County.