Home Improvements: Is it Maintenance, an Upgrade or a Personalization?

Reblogger Lori Cain
Real Estate Agent with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors License #142914

This California Realtor, Michelle Carr-Crowe, has done an excellent job of describing the difference in home improvements - whether they are maintenance, upgrades or personalization. If you are considering making improvements to your Tulsa home in anticipation of putting it on the market in the future, please call me for a consultation!

Home Improvements: Is it Maintenance, an Upgrade or a Personalization?

by Michelle Carr-Crowe, Silicon Valley Top 5% Residential Real Estate Agent

When it comes to home values, comparables and owner changes, there is often a big disconnect between the seller's and buyer's opinions of value for the same items.

Here is a quick way for sellers to assess whether their changes are worth extra dollars to the type of buyers in their marketplace.

1) Is it Maintenance? Yes, a new roof is expensive and appreciated by the new buyer. However, it is a maintenance issue.

2) Is it an Upgrade? There are two types of upgrades - upgrades as compared to the original quality level of the home and neighborhood, and upgrades to modern tastes. For example, formica counters were common and popular in mid-century Eichler-style homes. Now, unless it's a designated historic neighborhood such as we find in Cupertino and Palo Alto, those original formica counters would be a negative and replacing them with granite, marble or tile is an upgrade.

3) Is it Personalization? Colors of paint and carpet are often personal - yet easily changed. While building a lighted, heated dog house big enough for you to sleep in may be a perceived plus to a new buyer, they will NOT pay more money for that feature. Not sure if it's personal? Here are some examples: sponge-painted walls, a uniquely-colored appliance (think fire engine red or retro aqua), a beer dispenser you can reach from the couch.

If a feature is so unique that people say, "It's so YOU," it's probably personalization. That means unless you find another buyer who is so much like you that they will have the exact same values and tastes, it may not add value to the price.

Regardless of how much an item cost, the only part that matters is how much a buyer is willing to pay for it in this market.


Aloha & God bless you,


Michelle C. Carr-Crowe, DRE #00901962, and the Get RE$ult$ Team (established by the late Judy Carr) are known as the "Lynbrook and Cupertino Schools Experts." Michelle is a creative catalyst for positive change in people's lives.She is a Silicon Valley-based multi-million dollar real estate consultant who works by referral only. Her designations include: Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR), Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS), Accredited Staging Professional (ASP), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE),  Property Marketing Expert (PME), Real Estate CyberSpace Specialist (RECS), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). In addition, she is an internationally-published freelance writer with over 1,000 traditional articles in print and online, as well as over 51,000 blog posts on Blogger, ActiveRain, MySpace, FaceBook, Realtor.com, Trulia, RealBird and others. She enjoys reading, traveling, animals, dancing, staging and praying. Check out her blog at www.activerain.com/results or visit her online at www.michellejudycarr.com or www.lynbrookhighhomes.com. For RE$ult$ ... Just Call ... (408) 252-8900.


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David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Simple and concise, missed the original blog, thanks for re-posting it. Happy New Year.

Dec 30, 2010 09:08 AM #1
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Selling Silicon Valley Homes in Top Schools San Jose, Cupertino, Saratoga, Palo Alto-Just Call 408-252-8900
Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Lori, thanks for the re-blog and kind words. Keep up the good work!

Dec 30, 2010 09:41 PM #2
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Lori Cain

Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer
Happy to answer your real estate questions!
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