Zillow Advice: Home Improvement - Who do we consult with about what improvements to make first on our fixer upper? http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ Zillow Advice | Zillow Real Estate Most agents have knowledge ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ Most agents have knowledge of the neighborhoods, what sells and what doesn't. <br/>Most agents also have a preferred Contractor that they work with that will help you figure out what your budget needs will be. <br/><br/> Tue, 07 Jul 2009 23:16:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-07-07T23:16:00Z A professional home stager ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ A professional home stager is the perfect choice to consult regarding improvements to make on your home prior to selling.&nbsp; As trained marketing consultants, they can help you determine where your budget is best invested to a) increase interest in the property and b) to get the most return on your investment.&nbsp; I had a client once sink thousands into "over the top" kitchen upgrades that left them no money left to rerplace the worn, dingy carpeting or to spruce up a very mediocre master bathroom. Had they sought help beforehand, they'd have known where the money should go.<br/>Also, I always suggest to sellers that they get a comprehensive home inspection done on their nickel.&nbsp; That provides the time to get bids and figure out how to best correct anything that shows up.&nbsp; Sellers can save a lot of money doing things this way than waiting for something to come up in the 11th hour of contract negotiations. Tue, 07 Jul 2009 22:57:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-07-07T22:57:00Z I haven't seen the upstairs ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ I haven't seen the upstairs but I would wager it doesn't need to be gutted; perhaps just painted. &nbsp;I would not add a bath. &nbsp;No way your ever getting that 30k back. &nbsp;<br/>Move everything downstairs and paint all of it or hire a painting contractor. &nbsp;Hopefully there are hardwoods under the carpet. &nbsp;Refinish them before you paint and then protect them through the painting process. &nbsp;Voila - new upstairs for 3-6k depending on the area. &nbsp;Do it all your self and it could be a grand. &nbsp;300 paint, 500 sanding rental equipment supplies and polyurethane, &nbsp;200 demo disposal.<br/> Mon, 06 Apr 2009 03:55:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-04-06T03:55:00Z Yep, those beautiful, eccentric ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ Yep, those beautiful, eccentric with loads of character dreams can sweep you right off your feet, can't they?&nbsp; You definitely need to start by interviewing a few local agents.&nbsp; As you can see here, lots of agents are glad to help.&nbsp; So, bring them to your house ask what matters and what they recommend.&nbsp; Take detailed notes.&nbsp; Put the notes together.&nbsp; Make your plan (get the impression I am not big on spending money without planning it first?)&nbsp; Then start interviewing contractors.&nbsp; Many good contractors will help you plan the work to keep within your budget.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sun, 05 Apr 2009 13:25:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-04-05T13:25:00Z Thanks to all. The thing ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ <p>Thanks to all. The thing is we have been living here for 4 yrs and started doing as much of the "must-do-to-make-liveable" things as we could ourselves but ran out of steam after year 2.&nbsp;We realize we need professional help. Most of the&nbsp;main level of the house is&nbsp;beautiful (except the&nbsp;kitchen still needs some love)&nbsp;and our yard is huge and amazing but the second floor should really be gutted. I just don't think we'll get the ROI if we do this, but wonder if we'll be able to sell if we don't. Plus we got the existing bathroom renovated but only have that one in a 3 1/2 bedroom house. Ugh... that's what happens when you fall in love with a yard and 100 yr character. First time buyer mistake.</p> Sun, 05 Apr 2009 12:52:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-04-05T12:52:00Z I always start with a building ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ I always start with a building inspection.&nbsp; Anything that needs to be fixed involving code or legal jeopardy needs to be at the top of your list.&nbsp; Speaking of lists, make one of all the things you intend to do now that you have the fixer.&nbsp; Break the items down: fix the bathroom is not enough information.&nbsp; Instead list individual activities: replace the counter in master bath.&nbsp; Now, prioritize.&nbsp; Code and legal first.&nbsp; Check your list and combine items when affordable and feasible: if you have to make wiring changes to bring the property up to code, and you intend to upgrade the property to RJ45, talk to an electrician, it will probably be cheaper to do them at the same time.&nbsp; <br/><br/>Why did you buy the fixer?&nbsp; If you are going to live there asap, order your to do list according to what you need to make this your home.&nbsp; If you are planning to rent or sell, the to do activity order may be different.&nbsp; As Alan said, google searches will give you lists of upgrades and what percentage of cost you can expect to recover based on national averages.&nbsp; And local agents can give you extremely valuable info about what matters locally.&nbsp; <br/><br/>Make your list.&nbsp; Do your research.&nbsp; Order your list.&nbsp; Make a project plan and, with intelligence and flexibility, work the plan. &nbsp; Sun, 05 Apr 2009 08:54:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-04-05T08:54:00Z NAR publishes a study each ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ NAR publishes a study each year on the percentage for return on investment calculations for upgrades based on geographical areas.&nbsp; Try a google search for something like that.&nbsp; Of course you'll get a ton of useful info from a helpful local agent as well.&nbsp; Best of luck. Sat, 04 Apr 2009 17:00:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-04-04T17:00:00Z You could consult a contractor, ... http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ You could consult a contractor, but you may want to consult a <a href="http://www.zillow.com/directory/real-estate-agents/">real estate agent</a> in your area.&nbsp; They can tell you which upgrades are making the biggest improvements to local homes as far as resale value. Sat, 04 Apr 2009 16:07:00 GMT http://www.zillow.com/advice-thread/Who-do-we-consult-with-about-what-improvements-to-make-first-on-our-fixer-upper/219414/ 2009-04-04T16:07:00Z