Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-23-2011, 07:04 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
OP said he is planning to sell in the next few years.

Good luck to anyone who has to sell a house in the next few months!
Yeah, I know. Well, not the next few months, but we hope to sell our place by next spring. Sucks to be us
__________________

__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-23-2011, 11:03 PM   #22
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatordoc50 View Post
I wouldn't replace anything. You won't get back what you put in. Price sells in this market. Besides, if you can't sell, then you might want to rent it and you don't want tenants destroying your investment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purron View Post
I have wondered how useful it would be to give an "allowance" to prospective buyers to replace old countertops/applicances etc. so they can pick out what they like.
Any opinions on this?
Spouse and I are the kind of open-house junkies who can walk into a place and see its potential... and of course the things that are screwed up. We can appreciate the layout, the walls & ceilings, and the things that are difficult to change. Decor is just decor, it's not as hard to change, and the crappier it looks then the better for us as potential buyers.

What we've learned, though, is that we are in the microscopic minority of open-house visitors. The vast majority of the HGTV generation cannot see the potential in a place. They can't visualize what it would look like with granite counters. They can look at a granite counter and decide whether or not they like it, but they don't want to have to look at Formica and think about how it would look in granite.

So not only is "do nothing" not an option, but a decorating allowance is not an option either. You can do what the realtor suggests and make it attractive to a high percentage of the viewers, while charging them a higher price for having done the upgrades, and with less time/hassle.

Or you can wait a long time for the one customer who can see the potential in the place, and who knows enough about what they're doing to lowball you. I think the time/hassle will outweigh the potential savings of not doing the upgrades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
We learned that builder-grade granite looks blah, and stains easily. Not all granite will stain easily - if it did, it couldn't be used for statues and buildings that are exposed to the elements for hundreds of years. Also, you will find 3/4-inch granite veneer bonded to plywood, which costs far less than the solid stone.
Based on research, we decided that in a used home, we'd rather get good Formica or Corian than builder-grade granite.
We're much happier with Corian too, and it doesn't need maintenance.
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2011, 11:29 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
So not only is "do nothing" not an option, but a decorating allowance is not an option either. You can do what the realtor suggests and make it attractive to a high percentage of the viewers, while charging them a higher price for having done the upgrades, and with less time/hassle.
Having sold two houses in Chicago in the last 1.5 yrs (latest was May 2011), you can do the what the realtor suggests, and you DON'T get to charge a higher price (or may even have to reduce the price). Some of the comps I saw did upgrades and reduced their price for a short sale. Like it or not, that's the current housing market here. Hopefully by the time you sell, the market gets better.
__________________
Dimsumkid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 06:34 AM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Quote:
Based on research, we decided that in a used home, we'd rather get good Formica or Corian than builder-grade granite.
Agreed, Amethyst.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 06:41 AM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,293
Hey, Nords, we are the same.

We always do a lot of scouting and buy a needy house in a good neighborhood and fix it up.

It amazes us that many--maybe most--people cannot see potential. All they can see is what is there, not what could be.

The only allowance that makes sense to us is a carpet allowance. (In general, for other folks, not us. We either buy a house with a wood floor or tear out the carpet and put wood flooring in.)

We have also found that if a house needs upgrading, we do it for ourselves, long before we have to sell. That way we get to enjoy it. Doing it at the last minute in order to sell may trick you into doing something that doesn't make sense, that you wouldn't do for yourself.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 07:15 AM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
How old are the appliances? How much more out-dated will the kitchen look when you sell "in a few years"? Why not redo all the kitchen stuff now and enjoy it til then.
Because it will cost $20 to $30K to do it all, just not worth it for 2 years IMO.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 07:21 AM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
What we've learned, though, is that we are in the microscopic minority of open-house visitors. The vast majority of the HGTV generation cannot see the potential in a place. They can't visualize what it would look like with granite counters. They can look at a granite counter and decide whether or not they like it, but they don't want to have to look at Formica and think about how it would look in granite.

So not only is "do nothing" not an option, but a decorating allowance is not an option either. You can do what the realtor suggests and make it attractive to a high percentage of the viewers, while charging them a higher price for having done the upgrades, and with less time/hassle.
Wow, my sister used to be a realtor and this is exactly what she said almost verbatim. I was just hoping she was wrong.

I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and do the counters and floor. I can change all the appliances in a day or two, so I won't do that without testing the waters first. I may live to regret it, but I don't want to replace the cabinets, and painted cabinets look awful to me so I'm not going that route.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 07:46 AM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Because it will cost $20 to $30K to do it all, just not worth it for 2 years IMO.
Having recently built a house and sold a house, I would suggest that you replace the countertops, appliances, flooring and refinish the cabinets. We shopped around a lot and I think you can do it for a lot less than $20k (possibly 1/2 of that or less) particularly if you do some of the work yourself.

We decided on Corian rather than granite as DW liked the integrated sink and was worried about dropping a heavy pan on the countertop and cracking the granite. I will admit that the granite looked nice. We took advantage of a sale and the Corian was $39/sf, including a free sink, about $2,200 in total. We also shopped around for our appliances as well and were able to buy good quality Kenmore SS appliances (French door fridge, dishwasher, stove, microhood) for a little over $3,000 and picked them up ourselves in our truck.

On the countertops, there are products out there to refinish Formica countertops and make them "look" like stone, but the result looks a bit chintzy to my eye. There are also some nice products out there for refinishing the cabinets.
__________________
pb4uski is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 09:46 AM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,037
I would do the counter tops ,floor & appliances . The old appliances will drag down the other updates and an appliance package is not that much more money .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 10:48 AM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Costco occasionally offers a Whirlpool kitchen suite of appliances for, well, I forget, maybe $3000...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 12:22 PM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,019
I agree with those who have recommended replacing countertops and appliances, but refinishing the cabinets provided they are well made, in good structural shape and the layout works. I've seen some beautiful cabinet refinishing jobs.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 02:20 PM   #32
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Marco island
Posts: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

Spouse and I are the kind of open-house junkies who can walk into a place and see its potential... and of course the things that are screwed up. We can appreciate the layout, the walls & ceilings, and the things that are difficult to change. Decor is just decor, it's not as hard to change, and the crappier it looks then the better for us as potential buyers.

What we've learned, though, is that we are in the microscopic minority of open-house visitors. The vast majority of the HGTV generation cannot see the potential in a place. They can't visualize what it would look like with granite counters. They can look at a granite counter and decide whether or not they like it, but they don't want to have to look at Formica and think about how it would look in granite.

So not only is "do nothing" not an option, but a decorating allowance is not an option either. You can do what the realtor suggests and make it attractive to a high percentage of the viewers, while charging them a higher price for having done the upgrades, and with less time/hassle.

Or you can wait a long time for the one customer who can see the potential in the place, and who knows enough about what they're doing to lowball you. I think the time/hassle will outweigh the potential savings of not doing the upgrades.

We're much happier with Corian too, and it doesn't need maintenance.
The suggested asking price you will get from realtors will be 20 % less than what you think your house worth. Add to that the 7% of closing and realtor costs. If you want to make things worse go ahead and spend more money on your home. HGTV is a good lesson. They make improvements and then have an open house. And the house never sells. And that's with doing 20k of improvements for 2 thousand bucks. Lol.
__________________
Gatordoc50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 02:23 PM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatordoc50 View Post
The suggested asking price you will get from realtors will be 20 % less than what you think your house worth. Add to that the 7% of closing and realtor costs. If you want to make things worse go ahead and spend more money on your home. HGTV is a good lesson. They make improvements and then have an open house. And the house never sells. And that's with doing 20k of improvements for 2 thousand bucks. Lol.
Spoken like a true veteran of the Florida real estate bust...
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 02:34 PM   #34
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Marco island
Posts: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo
Spoken like a true veteran of the Florida real estate bust...
Good point. If you look at the thousands of foreclosures, many were remodeled before they were taken back by the bank.
__________________
Gatordoc50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 02:58 PM   #35
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Marco island
Posts: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo
Spoken like a true veteran of the Florida real estate bust...
I'll add that it is so bad down here that you can buy a home for the cost of a kitchen remodel. It's hard to ask much more than 100 bucks/sq.ft. So, that is part of my bias. For sure.
__________________
Gatordoc50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 03:05 PM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,460
Regarding rock counter tops:

A stonemason ex-neighbor told me that statues in Europe are preserved against acid rain with paraffin. I'd asked about a slab of white marble that I want to use on top of the tile counter. The slab has been out in the weather and was all stained and nasty - asked about polishing it and sealants so it would work in the coffee making area as well as a surface to knead bread.

He claimed that I didn't want a high polish for my purpose, but rather a gloss which I could achieve with 400 grit silicone carbide paper (also said Harbor Freight had a random orbital set of pads for wet use/high production for $15 or so). After cleaning and polishing he said I could put the marble into the oven at 250 degrees, then paint with melted paraffin. He said it penetrated very well, was highly resistant to staining, and was easy to touch-up or repair. Also said that putting the marble on a good hot chunk of asphalt for a while would also do the heating trick.

The pad sander with sandpaper has brought the marble back to white and a smooth glossy finish - hot pavement is readily available down south, so I'll be giving his method a try.


Regarding tile counter tops: I do not like them; grout joints are dirt and stain magnets
__________________
calmloki is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #37
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,982
I would not choose granite myself. But right or wrong, if you watch HGTV House Hunters and other programs like it (as I have been since we've started planning to sell our house), almost invariably couples seem to be looking for granite and stainless steel. Some of them insist they want granite and then can't even tell what they are looking at, have to ask the realtor 'is this granite?'

Kitchen floors aren't quite as well defined, but we have vinyl which no one seems to be looking for (and I agree frankly). And cabinets seem to be a wild card too, though high end is of course preferred. Fortunately our kitchen size and layout are good...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 05:00 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Dawg52's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central MS/Orange Beach, AL
Posts: 7,444
I will have to do some updating when I sell my house down the road. In my neighborhood, granite counter tops is overkill. Will just do Formica or something similar. Floors, will go with vinyl. And will need a new stove. Hate to even spend all that as this house will not go for top dollar due to poor location. But maybe it will help sell it.
__________________
Retired 3/31/2007@52
Full time wuss.......
Dawg52 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 05:09 PM   #39
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
I will have to do some updating when I sell my house down the road. In my neighborhood, granite counter tops is overkill. Will just do Formica or something similar. Floors, will go with vinyl. And will need a new stove. Hate to even spend all that as this house will not go for top dollar due to poor location. But maybe it will help sell it.
I would suggest that you go to see your realtor before doing anything, to get his/her recommendations, and then follow those recommendations as closely as your budget for upgrades will allow. Realtors are glad to help sellers make the house more appealing, so that they have a better chance of selling the house quickly.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2011, 05:24 PM   #40
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Regarding rock counter tops:

Regarding tile counter tops: I do not like them; grout joints are dirt and stain magnets
Put tile over formica in our former rental soon to be main residence. Turned out nice. Given I use glass/plastic chopping boards, I'm hoping this won't be a problem. Time will tell though!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Counter Project1.JPG (414.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Counter Project2.JPG (430.6 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg Counter Project4.JPG (425.8 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Counter Project5.JPG (410.4 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg Counter Project6.JPG (440.1 KB, 2 views)
__________________

__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
School lunches - frugal or cheap? Aiming_4_55 FIRE and Money 51 09-15-2011 01:21 PM
Question about cheap printer cartridges kaneohe Other topics 19 07-20-2011 10:33 AM
Kettle Grills - Go Cheap or High(er) End chinaco Other topics 42 07-14-2011 04:21 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:43 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.