Broker Blog: Don’t Over Improve!

Over improving is tempting, as sellers often assume it will automatically increase their home value and place them far above other properties in the area. Is this true? Find out in this week’s blog, as broker CK Cole of Fulton Grace’s Lighthouse Group shares her thoughts and tips regarding where to look when improving your home.

Crain’s Chicago Business reports, “Chicago has more than twice the national rate of homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage.” Well that explains a lot! No wonder inventory has been so low. A significant number of Chicago homeowners cannot afford to sell their home because they owe more than the market will pay for it. Ouch!

What’s a homeowner to do? Many will choose some home improvement projects to make their current home better suit their growing needs. Seems reasonable, and there’s no end of home improvement shows and resources to make it all seem oh-so-doable.

Even if that’s true and the means are all at the ready, another serious question to ask is, “What’s my market?” Even when it seems this inventory drought will never end, things will change and those currently underwater will be ready to hit the market and compete for buyers! Be sure you don’t build yourself into a corner.

Best recommendation is to have a discussion with your favorite realtor and let them help you be familiar with your surrounding market so you don’t build out your home to be too expensive for area buyers. Generally, if people can afford a higher priced neighborhood, that’s where they’ll buy. You also want to be aware if your competition (your neighbors) are all improving their basements. If you choose instead to invest in a master spa bath, it’s good to understand the possible consequences before the damage is done. Keep in mind that if millennials are your market, they are more minimalists about their homes, and more interested in having money to spend on other aspects of their lives.

Realtors are people and love to share their opinion! To reward them for sharing their expertise to help you, send them referrals (family and friends) to help buy and sell their real estate. Stay in touch and let them know when you’re ready.


CK Cole
Real Estate Broker
[email protected]

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Blog by: CK Cole
A part of Fulton Grace’s Lighthouse Real Estate Team, CK assists clients and investors with their buying and selling needs in Chicago. Her passion has always been finding that perfect property for her clients. CK’s love for and dedication to the real estate industry is infectious.


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