partnered post • by Tali Wee of Zillow
Given the wide variety of home upgrades available today, house hunters are even pickier about what they are looking for in a potential home. Without the proper fittings, a standard home can get lost among those with voice-activated garage doors and state-of-the-art wine cellars. A Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate study found that 77 percent of young to middle-age homebuyers expect properties to reflect the technologies and upgrades seen in mass media.
In order to keep up with high expectations, consider these three home upgrades to attract home shoppers in the ever-growing real estate market.
It seems as though more entrepreneurs, web developers and professional bloggers are entering the workforce each day. Sellers who implement organizational tools and work-related technologies – like charging stations for electronics – into their homes help professionals envision living and working in the space. Consider converting unused square footage into a home office with built-in shelving, a new desk with ample storage and décor to inspire creativity and productivity.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2013 Report, a home office remodel typically costs around $27,292. While expensive, the potential return on the investment is $11,911. Homeowners concerned about taking away a spare bedroom and potentially reducing the number of interested parties should install temporary home office essentials such as a lightweight desk and rolling chair. This way, the room can be transitioned back into an extra bedroom to suit the needs of future homeowners.
Wall-to-wall carpeting was popular decades ago because of its heating qualities and comfortable design. However, today’s homebuyers aren’t interested in purchasing a home with used carpet. Plus, hardwood floors are much more aesthetically pleasing as a modern design trend. If a home has carpeting, it may be worth investigating the material underneath. With refinishing, the original hardwood floors can look as good as new. However, homes built in the latter half of the 20th century may not have hardwood floors underneath, making this project slightly more labor-intensive for homeowners. Pre-finished wood floors cost $8-12 per square foot after installation. The National Wood Flooring Association conducted a national survey amongst real estate agents and 90 percent of those agents stated homes with wood floors sold faster. Regardless of refinishing flooring or fitting brand new planks, sleek and modern hardwood floors impress house hunters.
Media rooms have been popular in the housing market for more than a decade. However, technology has come so far that standard home theatres just don’t cut it anymore. Automated locks, HVAC touch screen controls, bowling alleys, webcams and home audio systems are just some of the newer features homeowners should consider installing. Companies like Smarthome feature a variety of home automation gadgets, from wireless plant sensors that regulate garden health to hidden security cameras monitored via homeowners’ smart phones. It seems like a risky investment considering how quickly technology changes over time, but incorporating some of these features help homes stand out in today’s competitive market.
Depending on how intricate the office is, the type of hardwood floors used and the number of tech gadgets installed in the home, these upgrades can range from low cost to extremely pricey. However, even the slightest improvements can leave lasting impressions on home shoppers.