Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
Total agreeance on the garage. The one car garage at our rental is useless. I have a little SUV and I can't open the doors far enough in the garage to finagle the kids into their car seats, so it is worthless.
I disagree that window replacement and some of the other structural improvements Arkey described would not increase a home's sales value/price *at all*.They probably won't return 100%, and may return much less if they are ill-chosen (e.g., extremely expensive, divided light, custom sized windows on a cheap house; cheap-o vinyl on an expensive house; the wrong style or materials on a historic house, etc.), but the surveys pretty consistently show that buyers will pay something for them.For example, a recent survey:best returns on home improvementsAn article on hgtv.com that I couldn't find again also claimed a new roof had a better return than many of the improvements a lot of people believed were more bang-for-the-buck.It also may be a good time to make some of these improvements because of the energy credits on taxes. On the other hand, if the sellers are jacking up the prices in response to these credits and the increased demand they may be fostering, that cancels out the benefit.Still, I agree with Arkey that whenever you are looking at a serious fixer, you have to be really careful to note what has to be done and what it will truly cost.
Ace-The one thing to be careful about on the HGTV list is the degree the owner needed to do the work. If you take 5-10 year old window and replace them with energy efficient windows you probably will not get a good return, but if the windows are 40+ years old and in bad condition you will get a much better return. I could be wrong, but I feel like the average buyer doesn't really know the difference between actual quality improvements vs. visually appealing improvements. So unless something is visibly worn they will not give you much benefit for replacing the item.
HB, I agree - the difference between the old and the new is a major factor in determining the return you get. Most of the time that windows are replaced, for example, though, the previous windows were in terrible shape. Windows are so expensive (including installation) and aren't sexy, so most homeowners don't replace them unless they absolutely have to. Probably true for roofs as well.
HB, also, the linked survey was to Remodeling magazine. I couldn't find the HGTV article to link. I think most of the estimates were for professional installation. If so, and if you are skillful but value your own labor at $0, you could probably get much better returns than shown in the survey, if you d-i-y.Also, another related factor has to do with the current size and amenities of your house compared to those in the neighborhood. For example, if you add a modest, nicely planned bathroom to a 3 or 4 BR, 1.5 bath house, using carved out space, my guess would be in most neighborhoods those of us on this board are looking at, you'd get nearly 100% return. But if you have a 5 BR, 4 bath home in a a 3 BR, 2 bath neighborhood in Annandale, for example, and you put in a top of the line 5th bath in your basement, I don't think you'd get 50%.
http://franklymls.com/DC71848449 months UC....jeez.
contrarian, From the sounds of things, the school is located in an area where zoning rules prohibit moderate density housing, keeping enrollments and tax revenues down. The Clifton parents can't expect others in Fairfax to continue to subsidize it so inefficiently, though it's understandable that they want to. Maybe Fairfax could have offered them some type of super-premium tax as an option to renovate it. So I am not sure it's a sign of anything for other areas.
FCPS enrollment projections haven't been particularly accurate in the past. They are often viewed as manipulated by FCPS staff when staff or a School Board member wants to achieve a particular result, such as a redistricting or school closing. Projections about a single school can't be read to support any broader conclusions about housing demand in the area.
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