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10 Home Renovations That Don’t Add Value to Your Home


These 10 home renovations may sound great to you, but they won’t necessarily add value to your home.

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If you are looking to add value to your home, some renovations will get you a better return on investment than others. However, these 10 renovations won’t necessarily add value to your home: 

1. A swimming pool. Obviously, you won’t get your money back on a swimming pool in Fairbanks. If you add an outdoor hot tub or jacuzzi tub, you won’t add value either. The buyer may see value in the hot tub or jacuzzi, but you won’t get your money back. If you do want an outdoor hot tub so that you can sit out there and look at the stars, then get one because you’ll enjoy it, not because you expect to sell your home for more money. 

2. Over-renovating for your neighborhood. It’s true that you don’t want to be the nicest house on the block. Don’t overdo it. If you do, you’ll get nailed on property taxes and you probably won’t get all the value back when you go to sell. 

3. Extensive landscaping. Landscaping will often be covered by snow, so upkeep on extensive landscape projects can be difficult. Appraisers only give so much value to outdoor improvements, so be careful. When someone comes to me and says that they spent $50,000 on the backyard, I think, “Oh no, that’s not good.” Don’t do that. Check with us first. 

4. High-end upgrades. You don’t need any gold-plated faucets in your house. It’s not worth it. Keep upgrades to the middle of the road. 

5. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Wood floors are great. Investing in carpet is fine if you’re replacing carpet, put don’t put carpet everywhere. Vinyl flooring may be better in some cases. 

6. Invisible improvements. This goes against a lot of other people’s advice, but replacing something like a boiler won’t necessarily get you all of your money back. If it’s working fine, leave it and let the buyer replace it with something that they like. If you’re looking to replace a boiler for $20,000, you’re not going to sell your home for $20,000 more. 

7. A well-decorated or remodeled basement may look great, but keep in mind that subgrade square footage is valued less than above-grade square footage. The only caveat to this is if you plan on adding a bedroom to the basement. Again, reach out to us with any questions before you start renovating. We can definitely guide you there. 

8. Building or upgrading a deck. Again, external improvements are not valued as much as indoor improvements. If you are going to do external improvements, either do the work yourself or find someone who will take care of it for a reasonable price. Only do it because you will enjoy it, not to add value to your home. 

9. Patio or playground equipment. Like the deck, only invest in these items if you will get enjoyment from them.

10. Adding a carport or expanding the garage. Due to the cost of building these things in Fairbanks, you won’t get a dollar-for-dollar return. Only do this renovation if you will enjoy it.


If you would enjoy a renovation or upgrade, you can still do it—just don’t expect a dollar-for-dollar return.

Ultimately, many of these renovations will not increase the resale value of your home. However, if you plan on staying in the home for a long time and you want to enjoy some of these improvements, you can still make them. Many of these renovations will improve the marketability of your home without necessarily increasing its value.

If you have any questions about increasing your home value or anything else in real estate, just give us a call or send us an email. If we use your question on our video blog, we’ll send you a $20 gift certificate. We look forward to hearing from you!

5 Ways You Can Invest in Real Estate


If you’re curious about becoming a real estate investor, here are five ways that you can get started.

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 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Today we’re going to be talking about five ways you can invest in real estate.
  1. Buy and rent. This is probably the most traditional way to invest in real estate, and it simply involves buying a property and renting it out. Now is a good time to do this because rental rates are on the rise. They’re up 8% from last year, which is pretty good if you’re looking to invest this way.
  2. Buy and sell. This is typically called “flipping.” Home flipping offered a record-breaking 49% return in 2016. Mind you, this is a national figure and won’t necessarily be the case in any particular local market. Contact your real estate professional to determine the climate of your particular market.
  3. Real estate investment groups. These are organizations that buy a set of properties and sell them to individual investors. The main benefit of this approach is that you typically do not need to act as a landlord because the investment group handles property management for you.
  4. Crowdfunding sites. There has been an explosion of these sites in recent times. They allow people to invest in various real estate development projects. You can be a part of a large-scale property by only investing a moderate amount of money. On the other hand, crowdfunding sites act as a middle-man and charge fees which will eat into your profits a little bit.
  5. REIT (real estate investment trust). REITs are like mutual funds for real estate. They typically pay high dividends; however, they do not offer all of the typical benefits of investing in real estate such as increased leverage and tax benefits.
Each of these investment approaches offers a trade-off between possible profits and costs. The one constant is that you can maximize your risks with due diligence and by consulting with an experienced real estate professional.


Each of these investment approaches offers a trade-off between possible profits and costs.

If you have any questions or ideas about a future topic to discuss, please feel free to call or email me. If we use your topic for a blog, we’ll send you a $20 gift card to a local vendor.

Make it a great day!

The Pros and Cons of Listing Your Home FSBO


Should you sell your home FSBO? Here are a few things to consider before you make the decision.

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 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

If you’re in the market to sell a home, you might consider selling it on your own as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). To help you make your decision, I want to share some important points that are all contained in this nice infographic from Homelight. Here are the pros and cons you should consider before deciding to sell your home with or without an agent:

Pro: You’re in control. You get to make the decisions on pricing, marketing, staging, and everything else. You make the final say.

Con: Criticism. Dealing with criticism and rejection is part of a real estate agent’s life. Are you prepared to take that criticism on as well? Do you even want to?

Pro: The trust factor. Do you know which buyer’s agents to trust and which to avoid? A professional real estate agent does.

Con: Objectivity. Will you be able to see your home through the eyes of a buyer? You may think you have a neutral perspective, but you have so many emotions and memories wrapped up in the home, which means being objective is going to be a challenge.



Will you be able to see your home through the eyes of a buyer?

Pro: You already have the knowledge. If you have prior real estate and/or marketing knowledge, you can put that to good use without having to hire someone else to do it.

Con: Having real estate sales expertise. Real estate sales is different from any other business I’ve ever heard of. There are a lot of nuances, especially in the Alaska market, that you need to be aware of in order to have success.

Pro: No commission fee. That’s probably the biggest reason you’d want to do this on your own anyway.

Con: Slower sale. If you want a slower sale with a few possible price reductions sprinkled in, be my guest and try to sell on your own.

As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons to selling your home on your own. If you want your next sale to be successful, profitable, and convenient, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.