What Home Improvements To Make For 2015

Scates Real Estate Team | Thursday, February 19, 2015

Homeowners each year would like to make an investment in their homes to improve for the family’s own enjoyment and additionally to increase their return when it sells. In today’s economic climate you’ll want to make sure you spend your money wisely, especially if you plan to put your home up on the market soon. Brian Scates has always recommended to homeowners that you stay on top of basic home maintenance. Beyond that however, it can be difficult to determine which features are appropriate to add or make necessary updates to your home. You don’t want to waste your money on needless or inappropriate improvements that may soon go out of style or simply too costly to recover your investment upon the sale.

You probably catch yourself asking "How do I know which update I should go with?

One way to tell if a certain feature is desirable is by looking at real estate listings online. Real estate agents have a limited number of words to describe a home for sale on the multiple listing service data base, so every word for them matters a great deal. By looking at what descriptive words they include on a property can give you an idea for what they see as a potential selling feature of your home.

As a Real Estate broker I have recognized some of the necessary features now included in new homes while out on home tours. I then looked for keywords in real estate listings on www.scatesrealestate.com website to see which have grown in popularity over the past couple of years.

For me, Stainless Steel Appliances have been a kitchen mainstay since 2008 but this is a very personal preference of mine. This is one idea of a good, solid investment that will show your home well while selfishly you can enjoy the rich look and low maintenance at the same time.

Read on to see which five home features made my list.

1. Quartz Counter Tops is Taking its #1 Position


For years, kitchen counter tops made of granite has been the must-have feature in any modern kitchen. However, in 2014 we began to recognize quartz counter tops showing up all over the twin cities and western suburbs namely, Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Medina and Orono / Long Lake area. While granite is dominating the market of real estate listings, it’s only a matter of time before we see quartz counter tops take over.

A cabinet manufacturer friend of mine stated that "Granite counter tops have become less common to be used in kitchens; quartz or other unique materials like sandstone has become the pinnacle material used for counter tops. Quartz provides numerous benefits over granite: it’s not as porous and therefore requires less maintenance; it is less prone to staining; and, it is better able to withstand abuses during its lifetime.” Home buyers are in static when they see Quartz counter tops in a home.

2. A Smart Home Has Become the Standard and Valuable Choice by Home buyers


A home that features Smart Home technology advancements are still an uncommon place for most available real estate listings. Nevertheless, we have witnessed a significant rise over the past 3 years and every year thereafter it’s growing to be much more standard practice to add to newly built homes.

"Smart home systems that control security alarms, heating and cooling, lighting and digital sound systems have become more conventional,” stated by our Twin Cities Home Builder Association. "But a word of warning; it’s best to choose a system with hardware that can be updated by software uploads allowing you to utilize new features coming out. Otherwise, your smart system will be out of date within a few short years.

3. Stainless Steel Appliances is your Safest Purchase


For me, Stainless Steel Appliances have been a kitchen mainstay since 2008 but this is a very personal preference of mine. This is one idea of a good, solid investment that will show your home well while selfishly you can enjoy the rich look and low maintenance at the same time.

Today, Stainless Steel has become a gold standard for kitchens across the U.S. however new appliance finishes like slate are gaining a great deal of interest as well.

4. Backyard Fire Pit/Gas Fireplace/Outdoor Kitchen has become a Hot Commodity


Fire pits soared in popularity in 2012 and have remained a popular feature in listings throughout 2014.

Today, simple fire pits to complex grilling stations with gas fireplaces is now a desired backyard feature. Executive style homes add a pool with these fine features nearby to really create a valuable recreational feature.

Backyards have become a place to lounge, party and come together with family and friends during the summer all dressed up with full kitchens, fireplaces, pools with digital audiovisual equipment. Estate home buyers have placed more importance on backyard get-a-ways to host visitors and enjoy family gatherings.
 

5. Creating a Luxury Bathroom with Master Freestanding Tub and/or Over-sized Shower


For years, having a combined shower and tub as a space saver was a common practice. It allows more room for a His and Her Vanity. But, if you have a comfortable sized Master bathroom, you may want to contemplate adding an Over-sized Shower and/or Freestanding Bathtub. We have seen the use of "freestanding tubs” and "Over-sized Man Showers” elegantly styled on the rise every year since 2008. Most people take showers on a day to day basis nevertheless when family members want to relax they want to jump in a freestanding tub/spa and light scented candles to soak in the water.

Do spend your money cautiously on improvements and updates on your home if a possible move is in your future. Normally, with these types of improvements to your home you will be able to add great value but don’t over build, conform to space and try to stay more conventional with design concept and color palette.
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