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As a real estate investor, it is necessary to know which home features are most likely to hold their value in the long run. Investing in real estate can mean the acquisition and renovation of an existing property, or the development and construction of a new one. One of the challenges investors face is knowing how to design or improve an investment property so that it is desirable now, and will also provide a high return on investment later.
Frank Bodenchak, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor at Sotheby’s International Realty – Bridgehampton Brokerage, and Lisa Maysonet, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty and Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage, share the best home features that Real estate investors can focus on the present to preserve long-term value in the future.
More people are starting to think green when it comes to their homes. “Consumers are looking for energy-efficient homes out of environmental awareness or a desire for low maintenance costs—or both, hopefully,” says Bodenchak. “The desire for solar power is ubiquitous and LED lighting and newer ENERGY STARⓇ heating and cooling is a big plus.” Looking ahead, this desire for home conservation will only increase, making it a wise choice to implement now.
Smart home features
Tech-savvy buyers and renters are looking for convenient home features that make daily life more streamlined. “In today’s world, the value of a ‘smart home’ is increasing,” says Maysonet. This includes outdoor technology like automated security and irrigation systems, and indoor must-have upgrades like smart thermostats, alarms, window coverings, kitchen and laundry accessories, and even voice-activated entertainment systems.
Universally attractive design
While interior design ultimately comes down to an individual’s personal taste, according to Bodenchak, there are certain elements that are universally appreciated—and appealing to the largest number of people means greater desire when it’s on the market.
So, with this in mind, how do you design or repair a home now? Bodenchak has some suggestions. “People like homes that feel light and open,” he explains. To achieve a spacious home, he encourages using larger doors and windows, incorporating high ceilings and creating open kitchens and large breakfast rooms. Outdoors, opt for a large terrace if space allows, and opt for a seamless transition between indoor-outdoor living.
Maysonet shares that a finished basement is always a requested feature, especially if the property is a detached house. Not only does a finished basement increase the livable space of a home—it’s a more flexible space that can be used as a home office space, gym, or recreation room, for example—but for potential buyers down the road, it’s one less renovation to to think of
An incredible view
While water views are obviously a big draw, Bodenchak notes that any desired view will be valuable for years to come. “Having a nice backyard or open view before you see neighbors is a number one feature,” he says.
A desirable location
A great view and an attractive location go hand in hand, and where a home is located is one of the most important factors for investors to consider in a property. For top value, it’s best to avoid noisy locations, such as near busy roads, train tracks and flight paths. As Bodenchak points out, “Properties on quiet streets, close to amenities — like the ocean or downtown — appreciate more over time.”
Home amenities certainly pique buyers’ interest, which according to Maysonet can include a movie theater, home gym, spa and sauna, a detached guest space and, of course, a swimming pool. Bodenchak agrees: “Adding a pool can be incredibly profitable if there’s enough property to do it,” he says. He also adds that indoor pools, pool houses and covered patios can add further value, and that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, home amenities helped dramatically increase interest in rental properties.
Instant value features
There are a number of ways to increase a property’s value with smaller features. Maysonet lists the addition of a laundry room and premium appliances, ensuring the home has high-end finishes, while Bodenchak suggests new roofs, siding and windows and doors. It is also important to make a strong first impression with an appeal. “Painting and landscaping are often less expensive than full-on home renovations, but have a high ROI,” he says.
There are proven additions that investors can make to their properties. It is the marriage of those with the latest innovations in home design that ensures their investments remain profitable now and in the years to come.
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