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Remodeling Ahead of the Upturn

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ November 29, 2010

Is this really the time to repair your home with an eye toward the market? During the downturn of the economy, many homeowners embarked on remodeling projects as it seemed impossible to put their home on sale. Now, at least one prognosticator seems to think the turnaround is imminent next year. Does that mean it's smart to make home remodeling plans for the New Year?

This week, Kiplinger writer Pat Mertz Esswein fired the opening salvo of hope for an emerging home market in 2011. Writing on Yahoo, Esswein claims that as the job market improves toward the middle or fall of next year, so will housing prices.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch experts, writes Esswein, claim that housing prices are "90 percent of the way back to being in line with household incomes." Markets that have become undervalued may see a surge of buyers or investors by summertime.

So, Are You Ready for Remodeling?

It depends ultimately whether you're and optimist or pessimist. If you had planned to sell before the bottom fell out, you may want to reschedule presale home improvement projects. Small kitchen and bath remodeling projects have had some success in returning homeowner investments in increased valuations. But avoid a major home remodeling effort like the addition of a family room.

One way to get ahead of the sales curve is to clean up your lot, freshen up your landscaping, and make small repairs where needed on the entry. A new front door can make for a huge change when it comes to curb appeal.

Put together a realistic budget before getting out the power tools. When the ice thaws on the market, those homeowners who have maintained their houses through the winter months while sprucing them up may be best poised for staging their homes come springtime.

Making Remodeling Plans

If you've decided to take a leap of faith, just don't go overboard. Doing one room does not have to disrupt your entire life. Kitchens are challenging, but can be done in installments. Bathrooms, particularly if you have more than one, are less disruptive.

When the economy begins to stabilize, remember that contractors may suddenly get busy. You might look over your ideas, call around for written estimates, and see if you can put together a schedule for the early summer. Good luck!

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