To Remodel Your San Diego Home?


by Roberta Murphy

We are working with a lovely client with exquisite taste.

She wants to move to Carlsbad from Palm Desert, and has found a solid, but dated, single story La Costa (Carlsbad) home that has the size, location and pool she wants.

By her own seasoned calculations, it will take around $100,000 to bring the home up to her standards and tastes. This La Costa home needs new kitchen appliances, new kitchen counter back splash, new flooring, paint, bathroom updates–and more. But the question we must both answer:

Will the home’s value increase by at least $100,000 if that much is spent bringing it up to date–at least in today’s market?

The answer, in this case, suggests yes. A comparable, but very updated, home on La Costa Avenue sold for $875,000 in November 2008–after sitting on the market only 15 days. Spacious and well-located single story homes are a rarity in the Coastal San Diego real estate market because these homes require larger lots compared to two-story home, and this coastal land is at a premium.

When considering a remodel (whether single story or not), it would probably we wise to carefully search your local market to see if your remodeling project costs could be recaptured should you need to sell after completion. You can do this research on your own, or contact a seasoned Realtor familiar with your neighborhood who might be willing to lend a hand in your calculations.

Finally, I’ve known more than a couple of San Diego home owners who not only overspent on their remodels, but did so with terrible taste without consulting a design professional. In one memorable instance, an independent sort of guy decided to upgrade his mildly dated 1995 Oceanside home to a vintage of the 1980’s– with 12×12 floor tiles, oak and brass trim (everywhere), green carpeting, Grandma’s custom draperies, ad nauseum.

Costs ran into the six figures–and were lost when it came time to sell. Buyers wanted stone or wood flooring, updated kitchens, contemporary window coverings and a sense that the home somehow reflected tastes of the current century.

This self-directed seller lost not only what he had spent on the remodel, but suffered the eventual buyer’s calculations of what it would take to bring the home up to current tastes.

Please don’t confuse this La Costa custom home with that in Oceanside. This home was tastefully decorated to owner’s wishes in the late 1980’s and has had kind care in the years since. Our buyer has a career in the arts, is a former actress, and has distinct Mediterranean tastes.

She also has a history of decorating homes and having a flock of buyers bidding for her home once she decides to sell.

This time, though, she intends to stay put, enjoy life in La Costa, and being near her daughter in La Costa Valley.

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2 responses to “To Remodel Your San Diego Home?

  1. In Honolulu, since our remodel costs are sooooo high, most of the time a seller will not recoup the investment…over the short term. However, over the long run they are better positioned for appreciation.

  2. Remodeling a house is really a big thing to do, well there are lots tings to consider with this matter and all of this should be planned carefully.

  3. Pingback: 5 Cheap Fixes for Kitchen Remodel | Carlsbad, Encinitas and San Diego Real Estate
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