By elle smith, realtor

J&B Real Estate, Inc.

Wow! Can you believe summer is almost over? In the real estate world, we are preparing for our fall season. A lot of people think spring is the selling season, but, traditionally, fall is also a busy time of year in real estate. It’s also a good time to plan for winter projects. This month, I want to focus on what type of repairs and home improvements bring the most return on your investment.

Per the National Association of Realtors Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report, millennials make up the largest share of buyers today and are looking for move-in condition properties. They want to avoid the expense of significant repairs. To appeal to the most buyers, there are some specific home improvement projects and repair projects that will give you the highest return and will increase your home’s value.

Focus on your curb appeal. Make sure your siding is in good condition. Power wash your sidewalk, porches, decks, siding, and windows. Make it shine. Spruce up your landscaping, trim bushes, weed, mulch, and mow and edge your lawn. Replacing siding, garage doors, windows, and exterior doors provides the greatest return on investment, per Remodeling Magazine.

Everyone knows the kitchen is the heart of the home. The kitchen is also what sells a house. If a complete remodel of your kitchen is not in the budget, there are some cost-effective things you can do. Replace old faucets and fixtures. Make sure all drawer pulls and cabinet hardware match. Upgrade the lighting fixtures. Paint the cabinets a light color to make the space feel larger. Replace or refinish the flooring to make it shine. And never underestimate how much a fresh coat of paint can improve any room—remember to patch and sand any drywall damage or nail holes prior to painting. 

Along with kitchens, improving or upgrading your bathrooms is a great investment. If adding a bathroom or a complete bathroom remodel is not in the cards, focus on the same things as the kitchen. A fresh coat of paint, some new fixtures, and even a new vanity are inexpensive items that have a huge return. If you can, upgrade the flooring with luxury vinyl plank or ceramic tile. You can never go wrong with upgrading or improving kitchens and bathrooms.

A few other areas that add value and have a good return on the investment are new flooring; luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is popular, but hardwood never goes out of style. Adding decks or patios is always a good addition. Upgrade your lighting fixtures throughout your home. Fresh paint is always a good idea.

Finally, there are things you can do that cost nothing but will help your home sell better. Declutter and organize as much as you can, steam clean the carpets, clean the windows on the inside and out, replace broken blinds or screens, and update curtains and blinds. It’s never too early to get your home sale ready.

The market is changing. There are 25 properties for sale in the Catoctin High feeder district. There are 14 properties in the Walkersville High feeder district. Per the BRIGHT multiple listing service, days on market has increased to 11 days. Frederick County has 712 new listings in June versus 642 in May.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a property in Maryland or Pennsylvania, please give me a call.

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