Investing in electronics
By Sirena Rubinoff, Networx
Today's home electronics bring the ultimate modern technology right into your living room. Some people enjoy watching their movies from a home theater. Others prefer curling up with a good book while listening to a classical music concert on their home audio system. Everyone likes walking into a heated home come wintertime. None of us can live without electricity, but the question for home sellers is whether or not investing in additional electronics is worth it. The reality is that oftentimes, personalized electronic gizmos and gadgets add curb appeal but not monetary home value.
A home theater might sound great to you as an avid movie watcher, but the same might not hold true for every potential buyer looking at your home. If you will be spending a few more years living in your house before you sell it and you know that you will get a lot of enjoyment out of having a plasma TV or a wall projector with a great audio system, then adding these personalized electronics might not be a bad idea. A great home theater could make your home stand out from others on the block when it comes down to selling time and adding curb appeal never hurts. However, the actual dollar for dollar value of installing a home theater will most likely not add much to your home's selling price. A safer bet would be to install a great speaker system with in-wall or hidden wiring that has the ability to be connected to whatever electronic gear your new buyers bring into the home. Not everyone wants a massive TV in their home, but almost everyone listens to music. Again, however, a superb audio system will still most likely only increase interest in your home, but not add home value.
Heating and A/C
If you live in a climate with extreme winter and/or summer temperatures, many buyers consider central heating and air conditioning a must. Oftentimes, buyers use online real estate listings to start their new home search and they will select central air as a requirement for the search engine. So, if you don't have a good A/C system, your home might not even come up on the list as a viable option for a number of buyers. Therefore, we suggest adding central heating and A/C as a profitable home improvement investment. It will add value and interest to your home.
Like home theaters and audio electronics, adding new kitchen appliances may increase curb appeal by giving your home the extra "wow factor," but it will not increase the home value dollar for dollar unless you've done an entire renovation. (If this is the case, remember to limit spending to 15 percent of your home's total value so that you can recoup most of your remodeling costs when you sell.) Top-of-the-line appliances make the home more desirable, which could lead to a quicker sale, especially if you end up with two or more buyers trying to outbid each other for your home. But the actual monetary value added to a home with updated kitchen appliances is minimal in comparison with the rest of the house necessities that buyers will be looking for, such as modern bathrooms, spacious rooms, natural lighting, etc.
The ultimate key to adding home value is to focus on the things that are important and necessary to buyers. Modern kitchens and bathrooms are much more necessary than a home theater. However, if everything else remains equal, a home with a theater set-up might draw more interest than a home without. The problem is that it's too subjective to spend lots of money on expensive new electronics if you won't get any benefit out of them yourself. It's better to make sure that all of your electrical outlets have been updated to accommodate whatever electronic gear your buyers choose to bring with them, instead of providing them with electronics that they may not want. Added phone lines, internet hook-ups, and data jacks are also a good investment in preparation for selling your home.