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Ready For a Facelift? For Your Bathroom!

Jul 30, 2008
With the housing market slowing down, many homeowners are choosing to stay put and renovate instead of moving out and up. Still others are renovating to make their homes more attractive on the resell market. Renovations can be very satisfying and rewarding, giving a new look to your existing space and improving your home's future resale value. Maybe your spaces are truly outdated and you just want to update, or maybe you want to transform your master bath into a personal retreat, or maybe you're looking to update and upgrade your home for reselling and you know an investment in new kitchen and bath fixtures will pay big dividends on the resell market. No matter what your reason for choosing to renovate, it can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.

If you don't plan on selling your home any time soon, like within the next 10 to 20 years, go ahead and make your kitchen and bath as personal and quirky as you want it and install that pink tile backsplash and gold swan faucets. But, if you have any vague notions of possibly putting the house on the market within 10 years, tread carefully and stick with tried and true, keeping your budget reasonable to recoup the cost of the renovation, and keep it up to date and classy without crossing into trendy. Whew! Tall order, isn't it?

Bathrooms and kitchens can make or break a sale. Buyers coming in and seeing an outdated bathroom, especially one that isn't spotlessly clean and shiny, will simply walk right back out. They're also very personal spaces, and too much custom work will make a buyer feel like they could never be "at home" in the space, hardly a feeling you want in a bathroom! Spend your money wisely, and invest in quality products, take a look at bathroom vanities by companies like Fairmont Designs, the investment in quality pays off in the long run. It's easy to spend a lot of money on new tile, a whirlpool tub with separate shower and beautiful fixtures, but don't overlook the commode. Toilets come in all shapes, sizes and colors and should match your décor as much as possible. Again, opt for quality brands like toto toilets to get the most for your money.

Unless your existing bathroom is woefully outdated and horrible, a mid-range reno, where you don't go over the top, will recoup about 75% on resale. Do your research, check out what comparably priced homes in your neighborhood have, and ask your realtor for tips. You don't want to renovate your home out of the neighborhood's price point! Remember, in this market, the renovation may not recoup more money, but it may make your home more appealing, which translates to a quicker sell--always a good thing.

If it's your kitchen that's stuck in the '70s with Formica counters, renovating that room can be the most cost effective upgrade you can do. If you're renovating right before a sell, keep your costs low, about 10% - 15% of your home's value. If you plan on staying at least five years, ramp that number up to 25% or more. Most of the time, a reasonable kitchen reno that stays within the "norms" of your neighborhood will recoup 100% of your investment.

The kitchen reno can seem really overwhelming, but it's not. You may not even need to do a full renovation. You can give the room a facelift by just updating paint and opting for new hardware, faucets and fixtures. Next up the line is opting for low-end cabinetry and counters, but this is really doing it "on the cheap" and you may be better off doing a higher-end facelift, or saving money to manage better quality cabinets and counters. Of course, there's the full rip out and rebuild option as well, which, depending on your choices in cabinetry, flooring, counters and appliances, can add up to some very high dollar work.

This is another case where investing in quality is wise. You don't' want to spend all that time and effort on making over your kitchen only to have the final look and feel ruined by cheap faucets. Look for quality products like faucets by whitehaus or rohl, and blanco sinks. Remember, you might be better off investing in a facelift with quality fixtures and faucets, and updating paint and finishes rather than opting for a full renovation using low-end products, especially if you're about to sell your home. Buyers are looking for what still needs to be done, and if they're looking at a kitchen full of apartment-grade products, they're going to imagine dollar signs flying away as they upgrade the quality.

So, whether you're getting ready to sell, or you're just wanting a new look for you and your family, updating the kitchen and bathrooms in your home can be a cost-effective solution, giving new life and a new look to old spaces, and adding value to your home.
About the Author
This article was written by Rochelle Karina for www.homeandstone.com, providing and exquisite array of bath fixtures, including blanco sinks and tiles from around the world.
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