PURIM Unmasked

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By: Karen Behfar

Should you renovate before selling? This is one of the questions that realtors get asked the most. The answer to the question is maybe, and it all depends on your unique living situation. Your agent will be able to point you in the direction of what should be upgraded vs. what can be left alone.

Not all renovations are of equal value. Typically, making your home more energy efficient, improving the exterior of the home, small kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, and flooring fixes tend to get you the most bang for your buck. Think of all the things you would not like to see if you were viewing your home for the first time. You do not need to overhaul the whole house, but rather fix the areas that are lacking in order to place the entire space on an even playing field.

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling are the most popular because those are the areas that attract buyers the most. They are also good atgaining value with even a limited budget put into improvements. Countertops are some of the things that eyes are easily drawn to, so making sure these are in top condition (consider natural stone surfaces) is one easy way to add value before selling.

Thatbeing said, if you are putting in a kitchen of $10K and expecting to receive $25K more, you will be very disappointed. Buyers are savvier than ever before. For some homes all that is needed is a walk-through to get rid of many things and see where you need to declutter.

How Can You Be the Best Neighbor
When It Comes to Matters Like
Snow and Garbage Collection?

If you’re renting or sharing a space with other tenants in your home, who should be doing the snow shoveling and putting out the garbage, among other street-related maintenance? Ultimately, it comes down to a few things:

1.  What is in your lease?

2.  What is in the by-laws for your area?

3.  A mutual respect and understanding with others
          who share the rented space.

A lease or written-up agreement is a good starting point to find out information about things like this. Sometimes there will be no mention, but sometimes landlords would rather handle these duties in order to make sure that their home stays up to their standards. That being said, it is not always convenient for the owner of the house to be doing all the work, especially if they are away or live elsewhere, so picking up the slack can help produce a sense of community and mutual respect.

It is important to take into account the safety of others as well. When it comes to garbage, collectors want you to know that shards of glass can be dangerous to them if not disposed of properly. Do your part to make sure everyone who interacts with your living space is safe. Additionally, if the garbage is not put outside properly, the garbage collectors may have to stop in awkward spots on the street, which can be hazardous to the flow of traffic. Keep everyone in mind when it comes to safety. If your downstairs neighbor or landlord is unable to shovel for a few hours and the snow is piling up, they would welcome a helping hand.  I have heard many renters complain that they are moving because of “neighbors.”  Be clean, respectful, and sensitive to others’ needs. I had a past client call me saying he rents the first floor and the couple renting upstairs wears shoes in the house and not slippers.  He wanted me to get involved, and although I obviously didn’t, I did mention to him different ways to go about dealing with it. I told him that for future reference, if you are sensitive, a first-floor apartment isn’t for you.