Posted by Peggy Farber on 8/5/2015

If you are looking for ways to increase the value of your home, then there are some simple guidelines to follow, as well as a few projects you may want to consider avoiding altogether.  Depending on the region, a particular home remodel has the potential to make or break a potential sale. Swimming Pools - Homes with swimming pools generally do better in the warmer states, where they can be seen as a welcome addition during the hottest months.  However, a home in New England that has a pool is increasingly likely to be viewed as a headache.  Maintenance costs, family safety, and seasonal accessibility make this addition one that is in reality more likely to hurt the chances of being able to sell your home quickly.  Not to say that you shouldn't have a pool if you have your heart set on it.  Just don't count on it making your house more appealing.  If you already have a pool, then try to sell your home in the spring or summer, when the pool is in use.  This will help potential buyers see the benefit of the addition, without reminding them of the headaches associated with upkeep. Koi ponds and indoor aquariums - These items, while beloved to a homeowner, may turn off a buyer who isn't interested in being a pet owner.  There aren't a lot of uses for an aquarium installed in a wall for someone who doesn't like the idea of having fish.  Similarly, koi ponds on the property have the capability of turning off an owner that doesn't necessarily want to have a portion of their backyard dedicated to a project that they have no interest in taking over. Converting garages and second bedrooms - While these renovations generally arise from necessity, they can hurt your resale value in the future.  Garage space is fairly desirable these days, and especially so in cold climates that deal with large amount of snow.  Converting a garage in New England isn't generally a good idea unless you absolutely need the space.  This is also true in the cases of converting second and third bedrooms into office spaces.  While a new buyer may consider at a later date to convert an extra bedroom into an office space, they may not want to have the option forced on them.  Most of the time, a two-bedroom house with an office will remain on the market longer than a three-bedroom house. Fireplaces - They can be beautiful, yes, but fireplaces are quickly falling out of favor with buyers, and are increasingly being seen as a messy addition to a home.  In 2009, a consumer preference survey from the Nation Association of Home Builders ranked fireplaces as No. 1 on a list of what NAR called “Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style.”  Not to say that fireplaces don't have a market.  Many people are still looking for homes that contain one or even two.  But installing a fireplace in an existing home can be very expensive, and the return on your investment wouldn't be that great.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 4/22/2015

Whether it be simply the preference of the homeowner, or an attempt at increasing home value, hardwood flooring is increasing in popularity.  Hardwood floors can add a touch of class to a smaller home, and make larger homes really show off their square footage in a way that carpeting cannot compete with. If you are considering outfitting your home with hardwoods, style and durability will be your two biggest categories to explore, after cost.  Some hardwood options, while stylish, lack the durability of others, and care would need to be taken in order to not wear out your new home addition prematurely.  Below, I'll list some of the more popular varieties of hardwood flooring options. Wide-Plank - Wide-plank flooring is quickly becoming one of the more popular options for people looking to add a touch of class to a room or home, without sacrificing their floor's durability.  This style of flooring gives you a wide variety of wood options and styles to choose from, but woods with complex grains are the preferred way to go.  Wider planks allow the natural beauty of woods like Hickory and Tigerwood a chance to shine. Reclaimed Pine - This eco-friendly option is also a popular favorite.  Perfect for homes that already possess a rustic flare, reclaimed pine flooring can add a touch of historical class to any home.  And because one of the primary sources of reclaimed pine flooring are historical buildings, this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to some of the more extravagant hardwood varieties, like Brazilian hardwoods, or teak.  Reclaimed pine is just one of many varieties of reclaimed wood, so shop around a little.  Almost all reclaimed hardwood options will add a touch of mature class to a home. Eucalyptus and Ebonized Hardwood - These varieties are extremely dark and elegant.  Best paired with contemporary homes. If you are partial to white furniture and decor, this variety will serve to complement your design style immensely. Red Oak - This variety of flooring is gaining a reputation for it's ability to successfully coordinate with any design style, as well as it's durability.  Red Oak is a fantastic choice for homes with children, as the durability of the wood will prevent most scuffs and dents that a high-traffic family would normally dish out on a less-resilient wood variety.  The lighter, warmer colors of the wood also serve to heighten the brightness and color of a room, which may be preferred in houses that don't get a lot of natural light. Brazilian Cherry - This variety is the classic "mosaic hardwood".  The natural variation in color from plank to plank is an eye-catching addition to any home, while the affordability factor is also an appeal.