A Garage Remodel Can Pay Back Big Time

The garage is a catchall, right? Right. But should it be? According to recent statistics, a clean, bright, updated garage may be a big selling point with today’s buyers.

Currently, remodeling the kitchen will return 70 cents for every dollar spent and a renovated bathroom will give you a return of 60 cents on the dollar. But updating the lowly garage, including a good storage system, will net you 65 cents per dollar spent…more than a bathroom!

Take the homeowner who added to the value of his property by building a garage. This homeowner spent $10,000 on construction, but when the home was reappraised, the garage had added $30,000 to its value.

Even purchasing an upscale garage door will generate a return on investment of more than 70 percent by improving your home’s curb appeal, according to a recent article in RISMedia.

Why the popularity of garages? Quite simply, buyers want the extra space. Downsizing baby boomers, in particular, want a place to store possessions they can’t fit inside.

Or lack of inside space could turn the garage into a dual-purpose man cave/storage area with a big-screen TV and comfy couch.

We’re talking clean, well-finished spaces, however, not the usual dusty, dark, and dingy garage.

Some buyers, particularly those with dreams of a workshop, are bringing in heat and light with their workbenches, and using cement paint in current colours to brighten it up.

Tips for renovating your garage: Get everything up off the floor and into a well-designed storage system, hang bikes on the walls, add lighting and flooring, and paint inside and out.

According to contractor Scott McGillivray, you can do a basic renovation for $10,000, although with add-ons you can spend a great deal more. However, it’s the best of all worlds: a well-appointed garage that can be a joy while you own the home and a moneymaker when you sell.

Buyer Beware: There Are Downsides to Buying a FSBO

Purchasing a property for sale by owner (FSBO) may make sense to many; because the seller doesn’t pay real estate agent commissions, the price should be lower. However, buyer beware. There are downsides to purchasing an FSBO. According to research conducted by the National Association of Realtors┬«, fewer than 10 percent of FSBOs are actually sold.

Why? There are any number of reasons, ranging from sellers not knowing how to price the property to potential problems with the condition of the house.

For example, without the advice of a real estate agent, the seller could overprice the home. So when your lender has the property appraised (which you will pay for), you may find that the appraisal comes in lower than the seller’s asking price. And because the lender is only prepared to lend against this appraisal value, not against the price the seller is asking, you may come up short.

A home inspection is always advisable, but with an FSBO, it’s essential. Even with an inspection, the seller may refuse to fix the items identified in the inspection and the deal may fall through.

In purchasing an FSBO, you will need your own real estate agent to represent your interests-even if you pay his or her commission yourself. Your buyer’s agent will evaluate the property in the light of current local market conditions, negotiate on your behalf, ensure that the transaction closes seamlessly, and more.

Your home is the purchase of a lifetime; if it’s an FSBO, make sure it’s done right.