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Selling North Shore Homes: Remodeling Projects That Don't Pay Off



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By : Jameson Real Estate    99 or more times read
For owners of North Shore homes in Chicago, remodeling costs might not be worth the pay off in price when you sell your home. The North Shore real estate market has been struggling, and though there are deals to be had in the Northern suburbs, buyers haven't found the confidence to return to the North Shore market.

So, looking for ways to improve their chances at selling, many North Shore homeowners make renovations to increase their homes' appeal to buyers. Whether it's re-landscaping the front yard for curb appeal or making maintenance improvements to provide value to the buyer, the costs of renovating might be more than what renovation will return in the price and desirability of your home.

Not only is the benefit of remodeling less nationwide than it has been in the past, it has even less of an impact in Chicago particularly. The payoff of remodeling an existing home is reduced because competition in the Chicago market is so stiff-- there are so many new construction condos that are in short sale or foreclosure that they are often favorable to buyers over rehabbed homes with remodeling costs factored into their prices.

President of the Chicago Association of Realtors, Genie Birch, explains the problem: "[New construction condos] have the granite fixtures and the heated flooring—all the bells and whistles." First time buyers are powering the market at the moment. Because they have no home to sell before they buy, they can take advantage of the current buyer's market with confidence. While this is good for sales overall, first time buyers are probably looking for a new home within the city and are generally drawn to new construction.

But existing homes do have an advantage-- they are not in short sale or foreclosure. First time buyers and buyers in general might prefer existing homes in this case because the sale and move-in time is shorter. An improved existing home might cost more, but buyers don't have to wait for the bank approval involved in closing that can stall or halt the sale.

There are some improvements for mid-range homes in the Northern suburbs that add desirability to your home and usually see most of their price recouped. According the a Remodeling.com Cost Value report, renovations that are beneficial include:

  • Adding/finishing an attic bedroom.
  • Adding a backup power generator.
  • Basement finishing or remodeling.
  • Replacing the roof.

While certain remodeling projects might help sell your home, your best bets for moving your home are proper staging, competitive pricing and a dedicated agent at work for you.


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