These seven home renovation projects are fantastic ways to add function, beauty, and genuine value to your Scottsdale home, whether you're preparing it to list it to sell or if you're seeking ways to maximize its long-term appreciation.
The best part is that most of these modifications can be accomplished on a weekend once you have all of the needed materials. They also don't necessitate a lot of particular knowledge or experience. So gather your tools and get ready to increase your home's charm as well as its resale value, or equity and personal enjoyment if you plan on remaining in your home!
How is your yard looking?
You hear the term "first impressions". Whether you're thinking of putting up your Scottsdale home for sale or just want to enjoy living in it, you should take a look at the front of your property. Landscaping enhancements can increase the value of a home by 10% to 12%.
But which outdoor elements are most important to buyers? A healthy lawn is at the top of Realtors' priority lists, according to a poll. If your lawn is in need of some TLC, overseeding or installing new sod might be a good investment, with returns of 417 percent and 143 percent.
Not all Scottsdale homes have grass any longer. Some residents are opting for "desert-scape", or xeriscape, with rocks, stones, cacti, succulents, and zero grass. Arizona, and the west in general, is suffering drought conditions and water sources, like the Colorado River, are losing reserves. Because of this, residents that want that green look are turning to artificial grass. Proponents of artificial turf push the fact that you don't have to water or fertilize it and it stays green all year long. This is saving our precious water and can also save you a lot of money on your water bills.
Another excellent technique to improve your home's curb appeal is to plant flowers. Your blossoms should return year after year if you choose a perennial. Consider planting a tree for a longer-term influence. A mature tree can contribute up to $10,000 to the value of your property, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. /p>
My husband's favorite tree is a boojum tree. A mature boojum can cost upwards of $30,000 in a nursery. He recently planted some seeds but I'm not sure we'll be alive if a tree actually grows from his planting.
If you live in an HOA area, be sure to check with the rules of what you are allowed to plant. We love palm trees, but many HOA's prohibit planting them because they're not native to Arizona and they consume a lot of water, unlike our local plants.
What shape is your home's exterior?
Painting the exterior of a stucco look home is probably something you need to hire a pro for unless you're willing to take on such a task. But maybe it only needs some touch-ups or patching. Some spots might attract dirt and you need to properly clean them.
Many people use a pressure washer for exterior home cleaning, but be sure your exterior can withstand that. Otherwise, just use soap and a scrub brush. A pressure washer might be a good idea for sidewalks and patios, but again, be sure whatever you have can handle it.
If your home really needs to be painted, tackle it yourself if you can. But a bad paint job is visible so this might not be a DIY project. Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, if you're Scottsdale home is located in an HOA, be sure to check what colors are acceptable.
An HOA will normally require neutral colors and that's a good choice for anyone. Unless you plan on living in your home until the end, don't choose a personalized primary exterior color.
Let's step inside
We always do a lot of updating right before selling one of our properties. One time we redid two bathrooms, one within a year of selling and the other right before. My son asked why we waited so long because he loved the final results. I told him it was because they wouldn't have looked new and we wouldn't have been able to advertise them that way. Buyers like new!
How are your floors looking?
One of the first things people notice when stepping inside a home is the floors. We get used to our living spaces and accept the current condition of certain things.
In one of the last homes we sold, we finally changed a tiled floor and an area with older and cheaper-looking laminate. I'd say these floors were done in the 90s. I had hated those floors since we moved into the house a decade prior. I don't know why we waited so long, but I guess being a real estate agent I kept telling myself, wait until we're ready to sell. When we updated them to beautiful laminates, I fell in love.
I swore we wouldn't wait so long with our next house. Unfortunately, we have pre-finished hardwood floors but they're not a color I would have chosen and my husband has to keep fixing pieces that are popping up. The new laminate flooring is so nice now that sometimes I can't tell if it's hardwood or laminate when I'm showing Scottsdale homes for sale. /p>
Our prior home didn't have any carpet at all. Our current home has carpet in the bedrooms. I'm kind of liking the carpet, but it does require more upkeep, especially with our dogs. Take a look at any carpet you have. Does it need to be cleaned?
We owned a townhouse in Scottsdale that we were going to sell. We had originally purchased it years ago as a second home before moving to Arizona full-time. We were never snowbirds as we were both licensed REALTORS® in the southwest Chicago suburbs of Illinois.
We would let our friends stay there and one of our friends would invite her friends. She called me up and told me we needed to get new carpeting because our "oatmeal-colored" Frieze was black. I was a little angry because we had just cleaned it before she came and it looked fine. The carpet was on the staircase to the upper level that had the master bedroom suite and a loft that we used as a bedroom. So whoever went up those stairs must have had their dirty, dusty shoes on and made a mess.
When we came back to our townhouse we hired professional cleaners and couldn't believe what a great job they did. We always rented those carpet cleaners from the hardware stores and they obviously can't handle deep dirt as well as a pro. We sold the townhouse about a year later and we were actually asked if the carpet was new because it looked so nice.
It made me happy when I updated the floors in my Illinois house prior to selling and I wish I had done it sooner. So even if you're not thinking about selling your Scottsdale home in the near future, you might really enjoy some new flooring. My husband did the new laminate install himself, so it is a great DIY project.
When is the last time you updated your window treatments?
I've always loved plantation shutters, and I've had them in my most 3 recent properties. They are white and I feel they brighten a room and are a classic design.
I remember the first house I purchased back in the 70s. It was a real handyman special and originally looked like a little red schoolhouse. We had fun fixing it up, and one of my favorite updates was the crisp, cotton cape-cod curtains that were hung in the large, combination living and dining room. I purchased oversized so they would drape beautifully when they were gathered at the sides, and they overlapped dramatically in the center with a pretty valance. Because they were a creamy colored cotton, they weren't heavy looking. Visitors would ooh and aah when they would step into the front door. I haven't seen this style in years. If you still have them, it might be time to update them.
I once had an elderly seller of a very nice Scottsdale townhouse that had spent $5,000 on her ornate and very heavy custom draperies. She was very proud of them. I never did tell her that the first thing her new buyer did was to replace them.
In most of my homes after the first one, I went lighter and lighter on the window treatments. I stopped liking drapes or curtains and in one of my prior homes, I used nice blinds with toppers, some made of painted wood.
Window treatments can make your home look bright, clean, and modern, or dark, dirty, and drab. They can be very personal choices, and might not be neutral or updated enough to appeal to a wide range of buyers if you are thinking of selling your place. And I still see heavy old draperies in some Scottsdale homes for sale.
Updating window treatments can certainly be done by yourself and they don't have to be expensive. There are many nice-looking blinds, shades, and curtains you can buy without having to go custom. If you have a DIY spirit, you can even change out curtain rods, which can also update your decor.
Interior fixtures can be a great DIY project
This can be affordable and one of the easiest of the projects on the list. I mentioned selling our Scottsdale townhouse. The upper-level master bathroom had the old-fashioned Hollywood-style lights. Once again, we lived with them for years. I loved the new light fixtures we chose and it was the only update we did in the upper level. That small change really spiffed up the bathroom.
You might not love your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. There are a couple of DIY projects that you can tackle that can make a huge difference.
The easiest would be to change cabinet doorknobs/handles or add them to cabinets in your bathrooms or kitchen that never had them to begin with. The kitchen cabinets in our townhouse never had any knobs or handles, but we chose not to add any.
However, we're trying to decide what we want to do with the bathrooms in our current home. Do we keep our vanities and paint or stain them and add new handles and a new top, or do we just go for an entirely new vanity? The issue we have is that they seem very low, almost like they were built for children. I'm not tall, but I can tell the vanity isn't as tall as the vanities and sinks in prior homes.
This brings us to another trend I've been seeing a lot in Scottsdale homes for sale, and that is painted kitchen cabinets and vanities. I've seen them done wonderfully where I really had to investigate to see if they were painted or if that is how they came. When we bought our current home my musician husband, who used to have a license plate RKN RLTR, fell in love with a home that was owned by another person in the music industry.
Like many Scottsdale home buyers, he was seduced by the decor that included guitars and other musical decorations. I looked at the floorplan, the awfully painted kitchen cabinets that barely opened and closed, and the teeny, tiny wall cut-out in a hallway in the main level where a stackable washer/dryer resided. I guess that was the laundry alcove. No cabinets, no extra space or storage. This wasn't a small or inexpensive house. It did have a massive master bedroom with a double-sided fireplace and separate walk-in steambath and a beautiful backyard and pool. We did not buy that house.
Changing fixtures like lighting, cabinet pulls/handles, doorknobs, and even bathroom mirrors can make a huge difference and can be affordable and a true DIY project. Painting or staining cabinets in your house can take more time and elbow grease and needs to be done correctly in order for it to look good, but if you have the will and the know-how, it can make a dramatic difference and save you a lot of money.
Does your closet need some help?
You might think this is more organizing and decluttering, but a great DIY project could be installing better, more efficient closet storage systems. You can buy these systems at hardware stores or online and customize them yourself. They come in a range of styles and prices and can really make you a happy camper when the project is completed and can add to your resale value down the road.
Don't forget your pantry. I'm forever trying to organize my pantry but it will start off great and then it gets cluttered again and looks unkempt. One of these days I'm going to revamp the entire pantry so I can find things easier and not have to keep buying food items I already have hidden in there somewhere.
Is your home smart?
When we purchased our current home we made an appointment just prior to our final walk-through, or maybe it was the final walk-through and found out that someone had removed the key from the lockbox. Luckily, the listing agent was able to get hold of the sellers who were able to open the garage door from their phone.
I'm on the fence about the need to have a smart home, and I love new technology. I feel we're in a very safe neighborhood and I work at home unless I'm out showing Scottsdale homes for sale or doing everyday shopping and chores.
I don't need to talk to a machine to have lights turned on or off. Even if we travel, our adult son lives here and he takes care of the dogs and the house during our absence. It is rarely left vacant for any long period of time.
With my love of tech, however, I have thought about a Ring doorbell and exterior cameras in both the front and back. Many years ago, my mother lived in a very safe neighborhood and a drunken, stoned man in his 30s thought he was at his own home. He climbed over the back cement fence and kicked open the locked screened-in porch door (which had actual windows and was built with the house), and then the kitchen door.
He ended up in her bedroom where she was sleeping with her tiny Yorkie. He was just walking around in a daze and I think she even called the cops while he was in there and when he stepped into her master bedroom closet she made a dash outside (she was in her 70s at the time) with her dog. I remembered her telling the story of how she told the police to try not to shoot him so there wouldn't be blood all over her carpet.
She did end up pressing charges and went to court, even though his pregnant wife and his mother came to my Mom's door and tried to talk her out of it and offered to pay cash for the damages he caused. He obviously needed rehab, and we told her to teach him a lesson and I'm hoping the court made him go to rehab. I can't remember.
Our current neighbors have a trail camera attached to one of their trees in front of their house and have been able to view the wildlife at night like coyotes, bobcats, and javelinas that have walked by or on their front yard. We were able to get a close view of javelinas on our porch and front yard after our first Halloween in our current house. I forgot to get rid of the decorative but real pumpkins I had on the porch and a family of seven of the peccaries came by for a little snack. We stayed on our side of the storm door screen to catch some photos and a video, although it was night and wasn't very good quality. I'm not sure I have the patience to go through a trail cam video just to get a quick glimpse of the wildlife at night.
Before you do anything to your Scottsdale home before you sell it, contact me
I know what today's buyers want and expect. I've seen too many sellers that thought they needed to spend thousands on things that wouldn't give them a good return on investment or help their home sell quickly. Some of the items were actual turn-offs.
I've helped sellers get quick sales just from decluttering and rearranging their furniture. So don't do anything until you call me first - 480-877-1549Posted by Judy Orr on