Archives for category: Real Estate
1. Kitchen Updates
Want to add an average of ~ $25,000-$30,000 in value?
Purchase a stainless steel kitchen appliance package, update the back splash, install a carrara marble, white quartz, solid black granite or solid toffee colored quartz, gray cabinets or white cabinets – you can paint the current ones and add modern hardware or get new cabinets if yours are completely out of style. Get a new square sink and duck neck faucet. Make sure you match the faucet and cabinet hardware with the same finish – i.e. brushed nickel or chrome.
White cabinets or grey cabinets look good with the 1st photo and a black counter-top can also go well with the 3rd photo:
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2. Floor Shade
Having an outdated floor stain like Golden Oak or Brazilian Cherry can seriously out-date a home. More up-to-date colors will compliment and pull from the tones in the paint, kitchen finishes and more modern furniture such as grays, toffees and golds. This can add ~ $10,000-$15,000 in value.
Sand and stain the floors with a rich medium-dark color like the Miniwax© Jacobean / Classic Grey mixed or Special Walnut / Classic Grey mixed. Theses shades sets the home in ahead of trend and looks very distinguished!
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3. Paint Color
Paint is one of the most important things to add onto your checklist outside of purging your hoarded belongings, keeping the place spotless and smelling nice. This helps buyers feel more at ease in the home either subconsciously or consciously. Nevertheless, it will get your home sold faster!
Paint the homes either of these colors (straight light grey or a very light grayish sage green blend, maybe even lighter than the below):
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4. Make Your Bathrooms Timeless
4 decades that have infamously failed in the bathroom design area: 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Pink, blue or yellow sinks, bathtubs, wall tile and toilets – each matching in tasteless unison.
Just glaze it all white change the faucets, mirror, light, hardware and change shower fixtures to a brushed nickel or chrome. All fixtures should have the same geometric theme and metal finishes.
If you can afford to do a full rehab on the bathrooms, the value would increase by ~ $10,000 each and cost roughly estimated $8,000 on the lower end to redo a small bathroom.
You can pull out money as a home equity line of credit or refinance into a renovation loan with a renovation lender to pay for these updates and get more profit from your home sale if the numbers work out on thd sale side verses how much you’re spending on the rehab. You will definately want to consult with a local real estate broker to weigh your as-is value, construction budget and projected resale net profit.
I personally have done a few fix an flips, made a good profit and also have an in-house renovation lender who can see how you can qualify for a refinance into a renovation loan. Contact me for additional questions about the value of your home in the Chicagoland area as well as any basic real estate questions!
Barbara Barker
Real Estate Broker
Cell: 312-798-9675
Written by Barbara Barker of RE/MAX Edge November 2014

You may currently be renting an apartment and considering buying or at the last steps of your purchase heading to the closing table. If you are buying a home and thinking “this is going to weigh so much more stress on me” or “here’s to my new depressing and fun-free adulthood”, it’s more fun and more rewarding than you have expected! That is, if you have not exceeded your allotted purchase limit. 1. Homeowners are on average 20-40% wealthier When you purchase, you’re saving quite a bit! Take a look at these numbers: Lakeview, Chicago, IL 2 Bed 2 Bath Purchase Price- $270,900 5% Down Payment- $13,545 P&I- $1,304 Taxes- $285 HOA- $160 2 Bed 2 Bath Rent Rent- $2,000/mo Deposit- $2000 Move in fee- tbd Taxes- n/a HOA- n/a P&I- n/a ————————————————————– Total Monthly Payment- $1,749 to buy vs $2,200 to rent You save more than 20% each month! Not to mention the property taxes are tax deductible. 2. DIY is fun and adds value at a low price As a renter, you don’t want to touch a thing, that’s why you’re renting right? Maybe you despise those cream cabinets with the wood trim? You know you are itching to paint them, but can’t. Well, scratch that itch as a homeowner and have fun painting your cabinets on a weekend with a buddy. Call in the pizza, grab a drink and roll on that cool color you love! Just add some hot hardware and BAM, you have a new kitchen! Before: Laminate-Kitchen-Cabinets-2 After: country-painted-kitchen-cabinets-lacquer-painted-kitchen-cabinets- Well… not quite – but you get the idea! It’s smart to buy homes that need work at the lower price than to buy homes at the market price already fixed up. This way, you can control the costs of the rehab instead of the seller making all the money on the upcharges. If you are smart about the way you spend your money on useful upgrades that add value to your home and you resell your home in a seller’s market in a good market climate – you should be able to either break even or gain profit on your resale. 3. More Trips to Home Depot As a homeowner, Home Depot is a candyland filled with shiny new bling you can add to your home. You can be sitting on your couch watching TV on a Sunday, then all of a sudden, you’ll want to change your blinds. You’ll soon be off your couch and in the store looking at the endless possibilities in literally 30 minutes. The following weekend, it’s the closet doors that have to go. It’s almost like a DIY addiction. Thank goodness they have really helpful home decorating consultants to turn your ideas into reality. 4. Tax Write Offs As a homeowner, you can deduct many items associated with purchasing, selling and owning your home. Property taxes for an example, are a big deduction you can count on getting back. You may be able to write off interest, PMI, MI and some home efficiency improvement costs if the filed tax year allows for that. You’ll need to speak to your accountant, to confirm your specific situation pertaining to that specific tax year. 5. Moving Less Did you know the top 5 stresses a person can deal with are 1. death of a loved one, 2. terminal illness, 3. divorce, 4. job loss and 5. moving. Moving also costs a lot of money and time planning. In Chicago, most renters tend to move every 1-2 years. Homeowners occupy the same home for 5-10 years. If moving is one of the top 5 stresses, why would someone want to go through that every 1-2 years?? Hiring movers, packing your boxes, organizing / throwing away old junk, cancelling and starting new utility service, purchasing new furniture and selling the old stuff sounds great right?! If you have a job, this is the worst thing to add to your checklist. Moving is such a time consuming ordeal and labor intensive regardless of having movers or not. Not to mention costly!