• Tips on Making Small Changes that Make a Big Impact

Tips on Making Small Changes that Make a Big Impact

This is the Treu Real Estate 911 podcast with Lisa Treu. Lisa will share up to dates, real estate information with you that you need to know.

Brian Mudd:      

Welcome to Treu Real Estate 911, it is Brian Muddle along with your local real estate pro, Lisa Treu, and before we get started today, if you're not already at Treurealestate911.com, go there. It's the best local resource you're going to find for real estate information in south Florida period. Including the ability to search the MLS in real time like a real estate pro. The Treu's pay for it, so you don't have to. How cool is that?

And the Treu's, they are always ready to help you buying, selling. If you just have questions, there are resource that's available to you, at 561-972-8326, that's 561-972-8326. And on today's show, we're going to talk about either making your home, your home, all those personal touches, bringing the vision that you have to life, or also getting ready to sell.

There are certain things that you can do to best position your property for sale, that often don't cost a lot but gets you a lot in terms of return as well. So whatever your consideration is, the Treu's, they've seen it, they've done it and they can help you. We'll talk about a lot of what can be done, but first Lisa, I wanted to ask you, as we're taking a look here, it's hard to believe that we're already in the second half of 2018 now. What is the summer season looking like?

Lisa Treu:            

It is still active. We have people that are still scheduling trips to come down, to buy either they're full time or their seasonal property. We're seeing our seasonal buyers coming early, earlier than ever. We're seeing our summer selling season still in place, primarily because of shortage of inventory, so it's not too late and it's not too early. It is really a great time, even though it's warm. It is a great time to have your home on the market.

Brian Mudd:      

Yeah, it's funnier Lisa, I was doing some yard work recently, and I was out front of the house and there was a car as many will come around and kind of taking a look at the neighborhood and some properties, and they stopped and they wanted to ask some questions about some of the properties in the area. I asked where they are from. They said they were from Chicago and it was the heat that brought them down. A lot of folks might think, "Well it's Kind of weird the heat's bringing you down to south Florida."

And they said the heat index was over a 100 this past week in Chicago. And they said, "Well, if we're going to be that warm, we'd rather be down here." And it's so true, you know. We talk about the cold driving people down and certainly there's something to it. But even you go to a lot of large cities, it's pretty atypical for Chicago to be that hot, but it's not at all for New York and Atlanta, DC. Certainly a lot of your big cities are often hotter in the summer then we are down here.

Lisa Treu:            

Definitely, and they do not have what we are just fortunate to have, which is our ocean breeze plus, let's face it, you're hot and go jump in the water, right? There's water almost everywhere. And one of the things that we're hearing right now is people are saying that they're going from winter to hot summer. You know, we all say we miss ... at least I do miss the fall, miss the spring, and yet we're finding those seasons seem to be getting shorter and shorter.

So you have the winter which let's face it, who wants that? And then we're in the full blown summer, and so why not be down here where at least six months out of the year it's paradise, and I love the summer. First of all, less people, less congestion, can get into restaurants, but I also love our beaches. And so what better way to cool off, than to go to the beach or to the pool and enjoy it.

Brian Mudd:      

Agree and agree. All right, so on today's show, we are talking about renovations and people have many different motivations for renovations, and you wanted to kind of lay the groundwork because as we're trying to make our home what we want it to be for ourselves or if we're getting ready to sell, a lot of folks don't know how to get started.

Lisa Treu:            

Well, I think you have to look at why you're doing a renovation or an update. Are you doing it for yourself or are you doing it with the potential that in the future, you might be thinking of selling it? Because it doesn't matter. First, it matters on how much you're going to spend on that renovation. It also matters on your choices. So if you're thinking about selling, rather it's maybe this year, next year, even three to five years, you might want to go a little bit more neutral.

A little less trendy, and make choices that are going to appeal to more people. If you're doing it for you and you intend to live there forever, then great. Do what you want, right? Spend what you want, and yet if you're then later going to say to me, "Well, I put in that BlueGranite in it, and that BlueGranite, it was very expensive and I want that back, probably not the best choice.

Brian Mudd:      

Come on BlueGranite is the trend in 2030, you know it's coming.

Lisa Treu:            

Yeah, exactly, and if you want to wait that long to sell, then maybe. And yet, what we want to do is once again when you buy, you should have an exit strategy. When you renovate, you should have an exit strategy. And then it makes the choices so much easier.

Brian Mudd:      

All right, well yeah, that definitely makes sense. Now, something that I've seen in terms of renovations for the intent to resale. Some folks might have misconceptions about what will provide a positive return. Talk a little bit about the difference between renovations that are helpful as expenses for facilitating a sale, versus those that actually add value to a property because in many cases it won't necessarily add value to a property, it might increase the potential pole buyers.

Lisa Treu:            

Yes. The question comes all the time of, should I do this, and will I get my money back? And, always call me if you're wondering, I'll give you my honest opinion. There's no crystal ball. You know, the one time I think that I get the call the most are things like solar, right? They're talking to the solar salesperson, and they're quoting the statistics that it makes it more valuable.

The challenge is, in order to make it more valuable in an appraiser's eyes, is there has to be another solar house that sold and closed and showed that it was more valuable. So if you're the first person putting it in, odds are you're not going to make it more valuable but you're going to make it more saleable, if that makes sense.                                

Brian Mudd:      

And Lisa, you mentioned that if we have questions to reach out to you, I know some folks think that I have to be ready to do something to talk to you. It's really not like that is it? I mean, you're not a high pressure sales environment by any means?

Lisa Treu:            

I think that information is power, and I'd rather you call and ask me a question on the front end, than make a decision and then later me tell you that I would have probably made a different decision. So just pick up the phone. I always like to speak with listeners. I always like to answer questions, and honestly if you come and you visit our website, I can set you up so that you can keep an eye on what's going on, not just on what's for sale in your community, but the sold activity.

I can give you valuable information on some tips on maybe improvements. So yeah, we're not here to pressure. We're here to give good information, build a relationship and when you're ready, we're ready.

Brian Mudd:      

One of the challenges, of course, finding the right people to do the work. That's always been a challenge in our area. Do you have certain work, and certain guidance, and certain thoughts about expense that might impact someone's decision if they are looking specifically at a type of project for resale?

Lisa Treu:            

Well, one of the things that I think is always important to look at are the things that are inexpensive first, and then the secondly thing to look at, is things like kitchens and baths. So if I'm going to spend money and major money, I'm probably going to spend it in my kitchen if it needs updating, and in the bathrooms because those are kind of the two things that cause people to kind of tip from one property to another.

I'm going to be careful spending money on things like a swimming pool because yes, some people will want a swimming pool. Some people will hate a swimming pool, and yet what I can promise you is you will never get all of your money out of it. If you're the one putting it in. It's kind of like a new car. As soon as you drive it off the lot, it depreciates, unless you have something rare. Same thing with your pool.

As soon as you write that last check, the value of that pool depreciates, and you're not ever going to see all of that investment. Now, if you're putting a pool in for your family to enjoy then, great. There's enjoyment value to you and yet it is not going to cause your property to go up that amount. Especially if put a mack daddy $100,000 pool in, you are not getting all that money back.

Brian Mudd:      

Well that is certainly important to know where that balance is. If we do want to do something, maybe even over the short run that we enjoy for our family, but also have an eye on resale, is when we're talking about making a home for ourselves, one of the great things about our area is that we have a disproportionate amount of people that come here to stay, and so actually finding something that they can envision as their dream home is something that you have the ability to work with a lot of buyers on and the excitement to work with a lot of buyers, how is it that you advise people in terms of taking a look at a property for the potential of making it their dream home?

Lisa Treu:            

Well, it starts with a conversation about the lifestyle. What are you looking for? Are you looking for quiet? Are you looking to be near a lot of activities? Are you someone who wants to take on a project, or is your lifestyle, your work schedule, your financial ability limit that? I mean if you are struggling from a time and a money standpoint, a Fixer Upper is, not the right choice for you.

Let's find you something that you can move in, enjoy and move on with your life. And yet if you love a project, if you love watching Fixer Upper on TV and say, I have some time and money to dedicate to making it my own, there are great options to doing that and not everything has to be a gutted to the wall decision. There's many things that we can do. Honestly, some of them aren't that expensive, that causes something that seems not that attractive to become very, very salable and interesting.

So being open minded, and one of the challenges I think that buyers have, is that many buyers don't have vision. They can't see potential. And so having a real estate team that understands potential opportunity, and also what's a big deal and what's not. Because sometimes something feels like a big deal and we're like, okay, $2,000 solves that, and you've got this great house. So having somebody who has that information and ability to help you kind of figure that out, which all of our team can do is really critical.

Brian Mudd:      

It's funny that you mentioned that, just this past weekend, Ashley, my wife and I, were talking about bad decision and we will remember very specifically standing at a couple of different sites, with Steve Treu. And one that we could have gone ahead and built on a particular lot that we could have made a run that way, and then where we are now, and it was about the vision. And ultimately I asked Ashley, "Would you rather build something that you want here or would you rather the location of the other?"

And she said, "The location of the other." And she was talking about how glad she was for that experience. Even though, the renovation process has been fun in a not so fun kind of way to say the least.

Lisa Treu:            

Sure.

Brian Mudd:      

But, it ultimately has been everything we'd hoped it'd be from a lifestyle standpoint. Which leads me to my next question. How often is it that you find that when it comes to the dream home, that changes that it's best laid plans? Because I've known a number of people and in fact, even my perception ever, what I would have wanted here, once upon a time thinking I wanted to be directly on the beach only to find out, well actually I prefer to be on the intra-coastal that changed.

Lisa Treu:            

I think that a lot of people, especially if they're not from Florida, have an idea of what they think they have to have. And the sad part is, every single year we get 10 or 12 calls from people that purchased a home or a condo a year before and it was the wrong fit. And they hate it. They were not our clients. And now they're trying to get out of this bad decision. And the reality was them not being asked enough questions, or them not listening to the answers maybe.

And so one of our goals, especially somebody who's not from here, is to really give them an idea of if you buy here, this is what the lifestyle, this is what you can experience, this is what it's going to be like on a day to day basis. So that they can see if do I fit this lifestyle? And it really comes down to that be number one. Then it's a matter of, okay, what kind of property is, right for me? And you know what price point, all that. But it starts with lifestyle.

Brian Mudd:      

That's such an important point because I hear so many conversations that start with a property rather than location and lifestyle. And I couldn't agree with you more and again in our own experience, but then also with folks that I've seen time and again that have fallen into that place that you just described. This is the home we always wanted, but the lifestyle maybe wasn't right.

 And being able to take care of that on the front end. Holy cow, is that saving a lot of stress, not alone a move and potential expense.

Lisa Treu:            

Well, and it also, many times people are falling in love with things that can be changed and not focusing on the things that can't be changed. You know, honestly granite to me or kitchen, that is not the reason to buy a property that is a plus maybe in the pro con list. Right? But that can be updated. That can be changed. It's about the community. What's around it? How far are you from work? How far are you from the activities that you enjoy?

If you love nature, and you're near absolutely nothing that you can enjoy nature, with and you have to get in your car and drive 20, 30, 40 minutes if you're a kayaker, that may not be the best choice for you. So just having those kind of, A-ha moments for people so that they make the right decisions for themselves. I mean, look, the reality is we're all adults and I'll sell somebody what ever they want to buy, I'm not their mother.

And yet I just want them to think through the process so they make the right decision for them, not just make a decision.

Brian Mudd:      

And the Treu's they're here to help you with all of these decisions. Again, whatever your thoughts might be, if you're just looking for more information, they are a resource. If you're looking to buy or sell, the Treu's are always ready to help. Reach out to them, seven days a week, at 561-972-8326, that's 561-972-8326. Or, you can always get started if you're not already there. Go to treurealestate911.com.