What to Expect in The Housing Market for the Upcoming Year and Which Projects Will Help You Sell, According to Jaime Westenbarger
Despite the economy taking a big hit due to COVID-19, home prices are creeping up. At the same time, many homeowners are currently contemplating whether to sell their home or refinance and do some much-needed renovations, says Jaime Westenbarger, director of sales for Bluebird Roofing, in Brentwood, Tennessee.
If you are selling now, perhaps it’s because your employment situation is speeding up your decision. After all, millions of jobs have been lost since the pandemic hit, and many of them are not expected to come back. But this time is also a prime opportunity to upgrade your home to improve its potential value on the market if you’re not in any hurry.
Roofs Among Renovations Increasing Value
If you do want to tap into some of the growing equity in your home, then there are a number of renovations you should be focusing on if you want to maximize your return on investment, says Jaime Westenbarger.
Kitchens are always a popular space in the home to upgrade, especially since more people are dining at home rather than in restaurants. Other renovations that people appreciate when making bids are upgraded bathrooms and a refreshed master bedroom. Even adding a new coat of interior paint and swapping out the worn flooring can make a big impression.
However, you also need to focus on the curb appeal of your home (how it makes an impression from the outside). After all, this is the first thing potential buyers will notice when they roll up to your property or view it online.
There are some simple things you can do to boost curb appeal instantly — such as painting the front door and doing some landscaping. However, a new roof is sometimes overlooked for investment value. While a kitchen can recoup about 70% or more of its cost according to a comparison, the roof is not far behind, at about 62%.
The roof is also one of the first places a home inspector will look at to help seal a deal. Having a shoddy roof or using low-quality shingles can make a buyer walk away.
Not only is a good roof important to protect your home and its contents, it can also dramatically improve how it looks, notes Jaime Westenbarger. Newer types of shingles can also reflect heat better, meaning you’ll also pay less in utility costs down the road if you plan to stay awhile.
Experts Predict Slower Price Growth — But Not Quite Yet
The housing market sometimes seems to have a life of its own independent from other things that are happening in the national economy, says Jaime Westenbarger. But experts predict the rise in real estate prices will continue pushing upwards rather aggressively for months — as the limited supply of housing inventory on the market right now is causing bidding wars that are driving up prices.
Those who are currently willing to sell will also be searching for a home to buy and given the current supply and demand scenario, it’s difficult to find a property that’s suitable to move into. That could be deferring how long people wait to list, instead opting for some home improvements instead.
However, experts also predict some cooling off of prices early in the new year (when supply could increase temporarily) before gaining momentum again later in the year.
But with mortgage rates hitting record lows and millennials searching for their first home, putting your recently renovated home on the market could garner some prime offers.
At any rate, notes Jaime Westenbarger, a roofer can be your realtor’s best weapon to sell your home. If your roof will need to be replaced in the near future, this could scare off potential buyers looking to move into a house that doesn’t need a large investment at the onset or it could substantially affect the current value of your home.