2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value: Less Is More

I thought this was an interesting article from Texas Realtor magazine from 2015. If you are preparing your home to sell, this gives some great insight!–Katie Clark, Corner Post Real Estate, LLC

Smaller replacement projects, particularly those that enhance curb appeal, remain the most cost effective way for sellers to improve value.
JANUARY 2015 | BY STACEY MONCRIEFF

With home price gains slowing in most parts of the country, sellers will be looking for ways to get top dollar for their listing. Cleaning and staging make a big difference. But for some sellers—such as investors seeking to bring a property up to neighborhood standards before the sale—remodeling work may be the ticket.

What Is the Cost vs. Value Report?
The Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling magazine in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Magazine, provides estimated costs for 36 midrange or upscale home-improvement projects, along with the percentage of cost that owners can expect to recoup when they sell. Projects range from a new garage door to a master suite addition.
Project costs for the 102 markets surveyed for the 2015 report were provided by RemodelMax, a publisher of estimating tools for remodelers, using Clear Estimates remodeling software. NAR members provided the expected value of the projects at resale.
To learn more and see all 36 projects broken down by region and market area, visit Remodeling at CostvsValue.com.
Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, ©2015 by Hanley Wood LLC. Republication or re-dissemination of the Report is expressly prohibited without written permission of Hanley Wood, LLC. “Cost vs. Value” is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood LLC.
As the 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report makes clear, large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers their full cost. But there are improvements worth doing in anticipation of an upcoming sale. Some will return almost 100 percent of their cost. Others may not have as great a payback, but they can improve the market position of the property in relation to the competition. (Think about the impact of beautiful kitchen photos on online home shoppers.) In addition, several pricier projects can provide owners with a few years of enjoyment while still offering a decent payback down the road.

As a general rule:

Simpler, lower-cost projects tend to return greater value. The national average cost for a steel door replacement was $1,230, for example. That’s the least expensive project on the list, and it ranks highest on the payback scale, returning 101.8 percent nationally on average. In fact, in 43 of the 102 markets surveyed, REALTORS® said the new door would recoup more than 100 percent of its cost. Other projects expected to top 100 percent payback in multiple markets: the midrange garage door replacement, the upscale garage door replacement, the midrange wood window replacement, and the minor kitchen remodel. Notice a pattern? With the exception of the kitchen job, they’re all replacement projects. In general, replacements cost less and provide a bigger payback than remodels or additions.
First impressions are important. The replacements that offer the greatest payback are the ones that are most obvious to buyers when they first view a house in person or online, such as new door or garage door. Siding replacement also provides great value at resale—particularly this year’s one new project, manufactured stone veneer, which is expected to recoup 92.2 percent of its cost nationally on average.
Kitchens still offer the most remodeling bang for the buck. The only remodeling job breaking into the top 10 in terms of payback is the minor kitchen remodel with a national average cost of $19,226 and a national average payback of 79.3 percent.
Top 5 projects nationally in terms of cost recouped:
1. Entry door replacement (101.8%)
2. Manufactured stone veneer (92.2%)
3. Garage door replacement—mid-range (88.5%)
4. Siding replacement, fiber cement (84.3%)
5. Garage door replacement—upscale (82.5%)
Expect bigger payoffs in the West. In addition to reporting national averages, Remodeling magazine breaks down Cost vs. Value data by Census region. In the Pacific region—which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington—six projects are expected to top 100 percent payback. The nearest competitor is the East South Central region—Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee—where two projects are expected to top 100 percent payback.
Just how much sellers can expect to recoup from home improvements depends on the job and the region of the country they live in. There are also factors that vary from house to house and sale to sale, such as what updates are typical for the neighborhood, the quality of the work, and how important the improvement is to a particular buyer. And while you can’t apply this data directly to any specific house or neighborhood, you can use the Cost vs. Value Report as a starting point in discussions with buyers and sellers about the cost and value of remodeling.

Seguin Christmas Season Kicks Off with Parades, Strolls and Tour of Homes

Holiday Stroll Parade: There will be a Lighted Holiday Stroll Parade in downtown Seguin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3rd. For further information call 830-401-0810.
Cocoa Sip ‘n Stroll: The 5th Annual Cocoa Sip ‘n Stroll will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4th in downtown Seguin. For more information call 830-401-0810.
North Pole Stroll: The North Pole Stroll will be held in Central Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5th.
There will be also be a Holiday Tour of Homes from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5th. For further information call 830-401-0810. – See more at: http://seguintoday.com/default.asp?pid=932650#sthash.rzdlfdmu.dpuf
Geronimo Sip n Stroll in downtown Geronimo, TX. . .December 11th 6-9pm Come see us at the Corner Post Real Estate office for a cup of cheer and fellowship!

To Stage or Not to Stage…

Thinking of Selling? Have your house Listed? Staging a home is recommended by Realtors often; some clients choose to and some don’t. Does it help? Here is an article posted by NAR on the Texas Association of Realtors on February 16, 2015…you decide…

Does Staging make a home sell for more?

01/29/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

If you want to increase the price that buyers offer for your listing, staging the property might be the way to do it. According to NAR’s recently released 2015 Profile of Home Staging report, 32% of buyer agents surveyed said staging a home can increase the amount buyers are willing to offer by 1% to 5%. Sixteen percent said it could increase offer prices by 6% to 10%.

According to the report, the median dollar value to stage a home is $675, and 62% of seller agents offer the service to their sellers. If you want to give staging a shot, but do it on a budget, start with these five tips:
1.Try a theme for each room, like a reading nook or movie theater.
2.Remove personal items so buyers can picture themselves in the home.
3.Rework items a homeowner already has rather than making new purchases. This could be as simple as rearranging the furniture to highlight a room’s feature, or using old frames to display new artwork.
4.Paint the walls neutral colors.
5.Get a third party to suggest changes if you’re concerned about a seller having a negative reaction to your ideas.

1,500 Rooftops coming to Seguin!!!!!

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release Contact: Terry Treviño
December 15, 2014 Phone: (830) 401-2476
Email: ttrevino@seguintexas.gov
Contact: Danny Welch
Phone: (210) 602-7859
Email: dfrankwel@cs.com
1,500+ Rooftops Planned for Seguin, Texas Update on 299 Acre Greenspoint Development
Seguin, Texas serves as the county seat for the second fastest growing county in the nation, Guadalupe County. According to the US Census, Guadalupe County has seen a 47.75% increase in population from 2000-2010. Guadalupe County has a 154% projected population growth increase from 2010-2040 according to the San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization. Seguin also serves as the retail hub for 3 major counties-Guadalupe, Gonzales and Wilson. Seguin is seeing business expansion city-wide, with many nationally known retailers entering, returning and expanding in the market. With Seguin’s abundant growth, Seguin’s housing is booming-with over 1,500+ new single family rooftops planned. This includes: 800+ homes for Mill Creek Crossing by Perry Homes, 382 homes for The Meadows at Nolte Farms by D.R. Horton and 400+ homes for the Greenspoint Development.
One of Seguin’s new major housing developments is Greenspoint. Located along SH46 at Rudeloff Rd., Greenspoint is a 299 acre master planned community on the City’s west side near the NewQuest Properties’ Seguin Commerce Center being developed along IH10. Greenspoint will include more than 400 homes in Seguin ISD.
“We saw it as a great opportunity to invest in Seguin’s growth,” Al Kay, Greenspoint Development investor, said. “We’ve got a lot of room to expand and a lot of interest in what we are doing.” After closing on the property in September, Greenspoint entered into a Public-Private
Partnership with the City of Seguin to install a sewer line. Sewer line construction will be the
first visible sign that development has begun. “We’ll put the sewer project out for bid and a contractor will build it for us,” Harry B. Jewett, development manager/partner for Greenspoint said. “Once we have the sewer line in
place, it opens up the rest of our property for development. The other utility systems are
already in place. We’re in a good spot and we are ready to go.”
“The scale of the Greenspoint Development will allow us an opportunity to craft this property into a very desirable Seguin community,” Jewett continued. “With the amount of acreage
we control, we can develop a variety of residential communities including single and multifamily neighborhoods, garden homes and senior living facilities”. These will have easy access to the commercial businesses planned for the SH46 frontage.
The development is going to incorporate low impact drainage design. “We are trying to incorporate systems in our subdivision design so we don’t end up with a lot of drainage infrastructure,” Jewett said. “We’re going to do that more naturally in a manner that is green and sustainable”. Greenspoint also worked with the City on Seguin’s major thoroughfare plan. An important part of the development agreement is the design of the outer loop parkway.
“The developers of Greenspoint are committed to the implementation of the vehicular circulation pattern that incorporates elements of the major thoroughfare plan for the city,” Jewett said. “This means that the residential and commercial facilities in our development will benefit from the maximum utilization of SH 46 with a planned 200 foot-right-of-way parkway. These two major facilities will create the framework for the pattern of collector streets, neighborhood streets, walkways, bike lanes, parks and open spaces that will be essential characteristics of the final Greenspoint development project.”
The Greenspoint development has a contract with Corner Store. The Seguin Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved the Corner Store’s preliminary subdivision plat for the site at the southwest corner of SH46 and Rudeloff Rd. “The Corner Store is the leading USA based company that is committed to bringing a very high level of convenience service to the traveling public,” Jewett said. “We believe that the facility that they will construct as part of our project will be a model of the most up to date facilities for a convenience store experience.” “We felt that Seguin was a new frontier for all the growth that’s going on,” Danny Welch, Greenspoint Development, marketing, said. “We are excited about Seguin and the new companies coming in here and the chance to bring in some rooftops. We’re looking forward to working with Seguin.”

Shared from Seguin Economic Development Corporation 12/15/2014

Marketing your Home on the Internet

We focus on internet based marketing here at Corner Post Real Estate, and hope that Buyers feel comfortable searching for FREE on our MLS Search. This article sums up what we do. . . .–Katie Clark, BROKER


Why is my house being sold all over the Internet?

I signed an agreement with one real estate broker to sell my house. But now my house is not only on his company’s website—it’s showing up for sale on a bunch of other websites, too. What gives?

Maximum exposure for a home is a good thing. The more people who know your home is for sale, the better your chances of finding a buyer. “Casting a wide net” may help you find a buyer sooner, sell your house for more money—possibly even create a situation with multiple buyers competing to purchase your home. And there’s no wider net than the Internet. Most brokers have agreements and systems in place to display listings on a variety of websites, including other local brokerages and national listing portals, like realtor.com and texasrealestate.com.

Look at your listing agreement. If it’s the Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement Exclusive Right to Sell from the Texas Association of REALTORS®, you’ll see in Paragraph 11 (Broker’s Authority) that it authorizes the broker to display the property on the Internet without limitation unless one of the following sections is checked. If you’d like to restrict display of your property, talk with your broker. Just realize, though, that you’ll be limiting the number of potential buyers who know that your house is on the market.

Why you should consider selling a home you haven’t even bought

You’ll consider several criteria when purchasing your first home, but have you thought about how easy it will be to sell later? Things like location, features, and nearby amenities—the same criteria you’ll consider—can affect a property’s resale value.

You like it, but will they?
If it’s your first home, you may only plan to stay in it for a few years. And while you may be willing to buy a house that, for example, is located on a busy street or close to railroad tracks, ask yourself, “Will future buyers feel the same way?”

Keep the next buyers in mind
Once the home is yours, think about how to improve or maintain the home to appeal to future buyers. This can include things like upgrading bathroom or kitchen fixtures, improving the landscaping, or using paint colors that have broad appeal.

Ask an expert
If you have questions about whether a property will be easy or hard to sell in the future, talk to a Texas REALTOR®. He or she can offer advice about purchasing a home you love that will also appeal to the most buyers when you’re ready to move.

From TexasRealEstate.com
Courtesy information from Corner Post Real Estate, LLC

New Residential Construction in Seguin

Corner Post Real Estate is knowledgeable about several reputable builders for new construction in the Seguin, New Braunfels, and San Marcos area. Contact us with your needs and requirements and we would be happy to help you get with the right builder and right location to meet your needs. Are you looking for acreage to build on? We have 2 upcoming acreage homesite developments that are in the works!! We would love to tell you more about them and what they will have to offer. Both are in Navarro ISD.

3 Tips To Prepare Your House For Selling

While you don’t have to do a complete overhaul to get your house market-ready, you do need to make an effort. Your Texas Realtor® can suggest some ways to make your home appealing to buyers, but here are three ways you can prep your house for selling.

Don’t ignore fixable problems
Maybe you’re used to living with the dripping kitchen faucet, but a potential homebuyer may not be able to ignore it during a showing. Sure, it might be an easy fix for a new homebuyer, but it might be easy fix for you, too.

If there are repairs that you’ve been putting off, it’s time to consider which ones are worth making. You can also ask for some advice from your Texas Realtor® about which home repairs should be on the top of your to-do list. Some may be too large to tackle at this stage in your sale, like a major renovation. Others, like a leaky faucet, can probably be fixed for less money and in a short amount of time.

Remember, while you may be willing to lower the asking price because you’re not interested in remodeling your outdated bathrooms, you can get a can of paint to freshen up the walls.

Keep your clutter to a minimum
If you are living in your house while you’re waiting for it to sell, it’s going to look like someone lives in it. Buyers expect occupied properties to look, well, occupied. But that doesn’t mean that they need to see your dirty laundry pile on the bathroom floor.

Although Texas Realtors® encourage their buyer clients to look past those small things, many buyers have a hard time with it. If it’s not difficult for you to put a hamper in the bathroom to store your dirty towels, you might as well give it a try. If you’re having trouble deciding how much de-cluttering to do, ask your Texas Realtor® for some guidance.

Make sure the price is right
You made a lot of memories in your home, and maybe you even invested your time and money into improving it, but the fact is that the market is what dictates the sales price.

If you price your property based on sentimental value or the remodeling costs you hope to recoup, you’re probably not pricing it properly. When a property is priced too high, it doesn’t sell quickly. In fact, it might not sell at all. Your Texas Realtor® will be able to help you come up with the right asking price. She’ll even take into account those updates you made, but she’ll do so with accurate market information.

If the price seems lower than you want, don’t be afraid to ask why. But don’t forget that you might be accounting for emotions more than a buyer would.

You Really Can Afford To Buy A Home

You’re probably hearing that mortgage rates are at favorable levels and that now’s the time to buy a home. But maybe you’re also thinking, “I’ll never be able to afford a mortgage.”

Many potential homebuyers feel this way, but the good news is that there is help available. Homebuying-assistance programs at the local, state, and federal level make homeownership accessible for more buyers. This could be in the form of low- or no-interest loans, help with closing costs or even mortgages that don’t require a down payment.

Help is out there
Assistance programs are available for a variety of qualifying buyers, such as first-time buyers or low-income buyers, and there are even programs available for specific types of homes. And if you don’t qualify for one program, you may meet the criteria for another.

When you decide to buy your next home, the best first step is to talk to a Texas Realtor. He’ll have the latest information about assistance programs and their eligibility requirements, and will know about any changes to existing programs.

Here are a few examples of homebuyer-assistance programs in Texas that you may not know about.

Get rewarded for doing your job
In Texas, there are homebuyer programs that certain professionals—educators, law-enforcement officers, fire fighters and military veterans—might qualify for.

In addition, some Texas cities and counties have partnered with local employers to offer housing incentives for employees who buy a home within the city or county limits. Your Texas Realtor will know if these options are available in our market.

The property itself may qualify
Instead of the buyers, some homes could meet eligibility requirements for certain state or federal assistance programs. For instance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has a program to encourage development in rural communities.

Or, if you’re willing to put some work into a home, the property may qualify for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rehab program for properties in need of repair or updating.

Where to start
The list of assistance programs is extensive and varies for each buyer’s situation. You can visit TxHomePrograms.org to search for local, state and federal homebuyer-assistance programs to get an idea of the many programs available. Then, when you’re ready to make that move, ask your Texas Realtor to help you find which programs you may qualify for.

Learn more about buying property in Texas at TexasRealEstate.com.

Home Won’t Sell? Check these things…

If your property has been sitting on the market for a while, don’t blame buyers. Re-evaluate your strategy. Take a look at what you’re offering and see how you can make your home more attractive and increase your chances of a sale.
Is it overpriced?
Overpriced properties discourage potential buyers, who may not even view the property if they think it’s worth much less than the asking price.
This doesn’t mean that you should underprice your home, but you should put some thought into pricing your home to sell. If you suspect your house isn’t selling because you’ve asked too much, ask your Texas Realtor® to conduct a new market analysis and decide whether to lower the price.
Properties priced too high sit on the market, and buyers often assume there’s something wrong with them. If your listing has become shopworn, look at reducing the price or offering incentives. These strategies may help pique buyer interest.
If you think your home is appropriately priced and everything else seems to be in order, it could be that the market has changed since your initial listing. It’s important to understand the state of the current housing market and to stay on top of what’s happening in your neck of the woods, which is where a Texas Realtor® can be so effective.
Is it accessible?
Most sellers opt for a lockbox to make it easy for buyer’s agents to access your home. Without one, agents representing buyers are forced to work around your schedule, setting an appointment to gain access and view your home. That may prove too much of an obstacle for potential buyers.
Additionally, imposing restrictions on the times the home is available for showings can dissuade traffic. Your house probably isn’t the only one a potential buyer is going to view. If your house can only be toured after 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’re reducing the number of potential buyers.
Does it need repairs?
You say it’s a “fixer-upper.” Well, those typically sell for substantially less than other properties. Maybe you’ve already accounted for your home’s condition in the price, and it’s still not selling. You may want to look at making major cosmetic repairs or review ways to improve serious maintenance problems. You might also entice buyers with a cosmetic allowance. A cosmetic allowance is money allocated by the seller to the buyer to offset the costs of repairs. If you already offer a cosmetic allowance but buyers still aren’t biting, you may want to consider fixing major problems and removing the allowance.
Is it your neighbor’s fault?
Nearby homes and neighborhoods can significantly affect the value of your property. If you believe the condition of your neighbor’s property is stifling your opportunity for a sale, it’s time to address the situation. It’s important to open the lines of communication and look for a win-win solution. The sooner you do this, the better your chance of success. Voice your concerns to the property owner and see if you can resolve the problem. If the condition of the neighbor’s property is affecting the entire neighborhood, get everyone to work together to find a solution. If feelings get hurt and the problem escalates to name calling or worse, you may need to bring in a neutral party, such as a friend or community arbitration board.
You can also review local laws and zoning ordinances. If your neighbor has a disabled vehicle in the front yard, a typical “junk vehicle” ordinance may apply.
Many factors may affect the sale of your home, including price, condition and location. If your property is shopworn and potential buyers are just not coming around, sit down with your Texas Realtor® and discuss measures that may boost your chance of a sale.
For more on selling your home, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.