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How Special Upgrades Affect Price

Posted October 25th, 2010 under renovations and repairs, smart selling.

A special upgrade is any alteration to a home that is not required by the majority of buyers, but is essential for certain buyers.

A well-known example of a special upgrade is wheelchair access. Most people know that a ramp is required at the front, but there are numerous other considerations, such as extra-wide doors, special hardware (such as grab bars in the bathroom), space under sinks, and sometimes even lifts to the second floor or the basement.

Though these conversions rarely present any inconvenience to buyers who do not use a wheelchair, the conversions also do not carry any value for those buyers.

In general, the more specialized a home becomes, the harder it can be to find a buyer who apprecaites the home's features. Though, when you do find such a buyer, you can rest assured that there will be far less competition from other homes.

Another example of a special upgrade is an environmentally-sealed home for a person with extreme allergies. Again, there is nothing negative about this upgrade, it simply isn't needed by the majority of buyers.

A different type of special upgrade is a specialized room used by a home business. Rooms used by a day-care or hair salon will need to be converted back to usable space if the buyer does not intend to carry on the business. If the converted room was originally a garage, this is especially important because a large number of buyers insist on a garage.

Last to be considered is another type of 'home business', namely marijuana grow-houses and meth labs. The alterations demanded by these illegal activities can severely impact the value of a home, and they pop up in all communities and types of home.

Generally speaking, if you have made any alterations to your home that are personal to you, it's a good idea to ask your agent what impact they will have on the value of your home.

(This is article #6 of 6 about the factors influencing the selling price of your home. For the first five articles, see the 'Smart Selling' section of my site.)

Want to know more about the impact of a special upgrade to your home? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.

--Peter

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