Realtor Redux: Cosmetic improvements will help long-time homeowner appeal to younger generation of buyers

At Redux Realtors, we specialize in advising homeowners on which home improvements will return the most money when it comes time to sell. Many times our clients are move-up buyers or homeowners who are looking to cash out some of their home equity and move toward a downsized lifestyle.

On our latest project we’ll be working with a long-time homeowner who plans to downsize and move out of state to be closer to family. We want to help this homeowner earn top dollar when the home goes to market, which will help make that move a little easier.

As-is the house could list for $600,000. With a few key improvements, we expect to list at $639,000.

The house is a classic California ranch home in Fullerton that’s districted for Troy High School. Once we work our Redux Realtors magic, the property will be ideal for a young family looking to send their kids to a top performing school like Troy, known for its Troy Tech magnet and International Baccalaureate programs.

With that in mind, our aim is to freshen up this great house by removing some of the more dated elements that might deter homebuyers who are in their late 20s to early 30s. On top of our list is rejuvenating the interior walls. For starters, the existing wall paper has got to go. A fresh coat of neutral paint will replace the dated wall paper and will give the house a bright, clean look when it’s time to show it to prospective buyers.

The existing sea foam green carpets are also likely to give younger buyers pause, so we plan to install fresh carpets of a neutral color. And to brighten up the home even more, we’ll remove the existing drapes. If we have money left in our budget, we will also examine the cost of painting the kitchen cabinets to brighten that space as well.

All together we are working with a budget between $9,000 and $11,000. With this kind of money we can make several cosmetic home improvements that may otherwise create roadblocks in the minds of potential buyers. Thoughtful touches to a home’s aesthetic can help decrease the time a house sits on the market, increase the competition among homebuyers for a particular property and drive up the sales price.

Our suggested improvements will allow us to add nearly $40,000 to our asking price, an added gross profit to the seller of about $30,000. Not a bad investment if you ask us! Stay tuned for “after” photos and an update when the house hits the market.


Jazz up your home’s curb appeal with smart outdoor lighting design

You’ve no doubt invested a lot of time and money into your home’s curb appeal. Perhaps you’re readying your home for market and wanting to make improvements that give your home an edge among homebuyers who are looking in your neighborhood.

Make sure your home shines as the brightest on the block, even after the sun goes down, by adding a few smartly placed lights to your landscaping. A well designed outdoor lighting plan can highlight your home’s best architectural and landscape features, improve your home’s security and extend the entertainment hours of your outdoor space.

Getting started...

There are tons of lighting options available — landscape lighting that showcases your plants, shrubs, trees and flowers; outdoor hanging lights; outdoor wall lights; outdoor post lights; flood lights; torch lights; cove lights. You get the picture. Choosing the right kind of lighting can feel overwhelming.

To get started on your outdoor lighting plan, first survey the exterior of your home and yard. Walk around your property after dark and take a flashlight with you. Take note of areas of visual interest as well as areas that pose potential safety threats.

Highlight your home’s best features

Outdoor lighting can create a glowing focal point out of your home’s best features. Techniques such as uplighting and downlighting create drama and enhance your home’s architectural features.

For example, upward facing bullet lights can be used to cast a warm glow over your home’s facade, highlighting various architectural elements such as porch columns, deep eaves and dormers. A weather resistant well light can be used to highlight the underside of foliage.

Use lighting to turn the front porch into a grand entrance. Installing wall sconces on either side of the front door and a ceiling pendant light is one idea. A well lit front porch not only extends a warm welcome to your guests, it also increases their safety.

Improve safety

When it comes to home security, proper lighting plays a big role. Deck and step lights help to illuminate walkways and stairways. Outdoor hanging and ceiling lights make it easier to see the front door. Motion sensors on lights help to deter would-be intruders.

Your outdoor lighting plan should also take into consideration those areas around your property that could pose a safety risk. Improperly lit walkways can create tripping hazards and invite intruders.

Install outdoor wall sconces or lanterns on either side of the garage. Use spotlights, lanterns and wall sconces to shine light into any areas of your home hidden by shadows at night. Flood lights can be used to illuminate a large area of yard, deterring would-be intruders and also making the space useful for fun after sunset.

Extend entertaining hours of outdoor space

The new generation of homebuyers want a space for entertaining where their dogs and small children are also welcome. They want barbecues and lawn games and an outdoor space where they can host all their friends (who also have dogs and small children).

Use sconces, pendants or ceiling fixtures around eating and conversation areas. Install task lighting on either side of the grill. Extend the sense of outdoor space by lighting a tree in the yard to draw the eye outward.

Having a home with outdoor space for entertaining is incredibly attractive to homebuyers. And by investing in a dramatic lighting plan for your outdoor space you can distinguish your home from other homes on the block without having to invest a whole lot of money.

DIY or work with a pro?

When planning an upgrade to your home’s outdoor lights, consider if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional. This is a very manageable DIY project that most homeowners can knock out over a weekend for $500 or less.

The Realtors Who Redux can assist you in developing an outdoor lighting plan and choosing the right kind of lighting to ensure your home looks appealing to prospective homebuyers day or night.

Give your home that “Wow!” factor with these low-cost upgrades

Home improvements don’t have to break the bank

When it comes to selling your house, a few key upgrades can be the difference between “just listed” and “just sold.”

Home improvements don’t have to break the bank either – a fresh coat of paint here or a shiny new doorknob there can go a long way toward improving your home’s wow factor.

The name of the game is removing any obstacles that might prevent a potential buyer from loving your home. In this article, we will outline ways you can up the wow factor on your home for the least amount of expenditure.

Curb appeal

It has been said that it only takes a would-be buyer 7 seconds to decide whether he or she wants to buy your house, which means your house has got to be beautiful on the outside as well as the inside.

Take stock of the trees, shrubs and bushes in your front yard, especially around the entrance. Is your house obscured with overgrown trees and shrubs. What about the front door itself? Are the doorbell and porch light in working order? Potential buyers first notice the cleanliness of the front entrance areas. This area is the first impression potential buyers get about your home.

When it comes to landscaping, remove any weeds and dead plants and consider planting seasonal flowers to give your home an extra pop of color. Landscaping and curb appeal can add as much as 15% to your home’s value, yet it’s an area many home sellers overlook.

Fresh paint

Nothing transforms a room faster and for less money than a fresh coat of paint. Just be sure to stick to a neutral palette so your home appeals to the broadest audience possible. Martina has an amazing eye for color and knows the impact the correct paint color will have on potential buyers. She refers to it as the “psychology of color.”

Painting the interior of your home allows you to spackle unsightly holes and scratches. It also provides a blank canvas for would-be buyers to envision themselves living in your home. While we’re on the subject of walls, now would be a good time to scrape away old wall paper and re-cover those walls with a fresh coat of paint.

With a few hundred dollars and a weekend, you can brighten your entire house. Added bonus: Bright spaces give the illusion of being bigger.


Replacing your existing floors can be pricey, but the return on the investment can be as much as 100%. That’s why James and Martina always advise their clients to spend some money on updating flooring when it’s time to sell. It will be an investment well made.

If a full-on replacement of floors is out of the budget, then take on a few smaller projects. Replacing a cracked tile can have a big impact. Removing your tired wall-to-wall carpet can have an even bigger impact.

Replace fixtures

Rusted or dull cabinet pulls aren’t attractive. Neither is a dented doorknob. Replacing these items doesn’t take a whole lot of time or money, and can make the old look new again.

USB electrical outlets & dimmer switches

Today’s homebuyers are tech savvy and crave options. Satisfy their desires on both fronts with a few well placed modern outlets. Install USB electrical outlets in the kitchen and bedroom or a dimmer switch in the living room. These are minor improvements that will get your would-be buyer to exclaim, “How cool is this?!”

Quick fixes in the bathroom

Just about everyone knows the bathroom (along with the kitchen) is one of the biggest selling points of any house. With a bit of elbow grease and a couple minor improvements, your bathroom can truly shine without a huge expense. For instance clean the grout, replace the faucet or showerhead, remove rust stains or replace the toilet seat and see what a difference it can make.

Helping clients market their property effectively is just one of the many things that Bobbett & Associates does to ensure that the equity in their clients’ homes is maximized to the fullest. We’ve advised hundreds of homeowners on ways to add resale value to their homes without a huge expenditure. Call us today for a no pressure consultation.


Company License #01272441

Company License #01272441

DRE #01189723 (Martina Bobbett)
DRE #01272441 (James Bobbett)