Skip to content

Updating a Home with Selling In Mind


Almost every homeowner, even those that purchase a turnkey house, will end up improving their personal residence.  Portland homes, many of them built between 1900 and 1950, are filled will charm and well constructed but may need some updating.  Also, older housing stock often lacks modern amenities; such as, larger closets, an open floor plan, or a master suite.

Deciding which reforms to make combined with how much money should be spent can be difficult.  The number of potential upgrades is countless and prioritizing which ones to perform and what to leave alone can become a challenge.  Plus, there are countless decisions to be made within a project that will affect the overall budget.  Simply put, it can be overwhelming.

This is where updating with selling in mind comes to play.  I highly urge homebuyers to use restraint and good judgement when beginning any home improvement project.  You need to think about where you are putting your money and how it will affect your bottom line when selling in the future.  This means you must think about not only what you like, but also what future buyers will like.

A few key splurges are wise.  After all, you want to be able to pull buyers in and allow for an emotional attachment.  This can be achieved with a few dramatic touches.  In addition, you don’t want the house to be so bland with “safe” decisions it leaves buyers uninspired.  It’s a delicate balance, but can be achieved.

The following are a few of my updating a home with selling in mind tips.

  1.  Save and refinish the original hardwood floors if possible.  I know it is tempting to pull everything up and lay uniform flooring throughout.  It looks great!   However, I don’t think it is the best use of your money.  You can re-stain your current flooring for a more contemporary look.  The bungalow my husband and I purchased has oak in the bedroom and living room, but old pergo (yuck) in the dining room.  We plan to have new oak put in the dining room and the entire area refinished and stained to match.  Be sure to spend the money and use a professional for this home improvement project that will sand, stain and refinish properly.  Your floors will look amazing!
  2. Replace systems.  Our older PDX homes are only getting older.  Systems as plumbing, electrical and HVAC that are part of the original construction probably need to be replaced.  I know it’s not a sexy way of spending your money, but home buyers are coming to expect updated systems and will not be thrilled with the thought of having to do this work immediately upon moving into their new home.
  3. Create open floor plan.  Many people spend the majority of their time in the kitchen.  It only makes sense that an open floor plan between the kitchen and living area is so desirable among buyers.  Have a contractor come out and determine if it is structurally possible to achieve this.  And then open up!
  4. Subway tile, subway tile, subway tile.  A visit to Classique Floors will unearth a plethora of choices for your kitchen and bath remodel.  Subway tile is very on trend and there are options galore here.  It may be tempting to want something unique and fun such as hand painted Italian tile as it is very beautiful,  but the average homebuyer will be equally happy will subway tile.  It is sharp, clean and very affordable!  Please be restrained in tile choice!!!
  5. Choose kitchen appliances wisely.  If you love to cook, by all means splurge on that Wolf range.  Again, you want to enjoy and have fun in your home while you are there.  I personally find a wolf range with the red knobs one of those dramatic and appealing touches and I wouldn’t even call myself a “cook”.   Additionally, I do think a lot of home buyers get excited when they see high end brands in a kitchen.  A Subzero refrigerator will impress.  However,  there are a lot of great looking and working stainless steel appliance choices out there for a fraction of the cost and buyers will be okay with the less expensive alternative.


Published inFor HomeownersFor Sellers

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *