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Home Base: Larchmont Real Estate Sales and Advice about Selling

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MARKET SNAPSHOT: 10538 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES, SEPTEMBER, 2014

Twenty-one houses went on the market this month. Topping the charts is 15 Park Avenue – formerly site of the Larchmont Yacht Club — an old charmer needing updating with 6,450 square feet (6 bedrooms and 6 baths) — asking $6,350,000. The most affordable 10538 house is 1 Edgewater Place — with 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, and 1,206 sq. ft. of living space — at $399,000.

A “lucky 13” homes went under contract in September. 738 Forest Avenue, beckoning builders, listed for $498,000 and went to contract in 15 days. 17 Revere Road ($489,000) found its true love after 277 days on the market. And One Cedar Island – mentioned in our July column – is under contract after only 69 days on the market (listing price $7,499,500).

Eighteen houses sold this month. 9 Locust Terrace – 2 bedrooms and 2 baths – was originally listed for $405,000 and sold for $335,000 after 168 days on the market. At the other end of the scale, dramatic 7 Rebeau Drive, with a ratio of 4 bedrooms to 7 baths, sold for $2,370,000; it was originally listed in May, 2013 for $3,399,000.

 

Should You Renovate Before you Sell?

The answer is, it depends. If you plan to live in your home a few more years, dreamed of remodeling your kitchen, and have the finances to do so, the answer may be yes.   But if you hope to sell your $700,000 house next year, and the estimate for the kitchen redo is $95,000, the answer may be no.

Of course, the basic rule is: don’t spend more than you can recoup at selling.   A real estate agent can advise you about this. Some general guidelines are offered below. But remember, a renovation is worth it if your family will enjoy home life even more for years before selling.

Kitchens and bathrooms are obvious first picks for where to renovate. Creating a family room where none existed before might also add resale value.   But going to pricey extremes – such as turning the garage into a family room – probably won’t help the cause.

Renovations which increase your house’s footprint will increase its taxes.   Will your tax rate turn off prospective buyers? Think twice before turning that screened porch into an enclosed office space before selling your house next year.

What fun to have a media room, indoor lap pool, or home theater! But renovating your basement to create these specialized, luxurious spaces may not pay you back in the end.

Let’s say you have $1,000 laid aside for improvements before selling your home next year. The money would be better spent on making your home more attractive vs. more functional. Consider new kitchen knobs or refinishing the floors instead of replacing a functioning hot water heater or the window a/c units.

Next month, tune in to get some “tricks” to make your home a “treat” before selling – ways to spruce up without the cost of renovation.

Megan McCarthy is a licensed real estate professional with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Larchmont, NY, and may be reached by email at meganmccarthyhomes@gmail.com or by cell: 914-309-4648

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