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Ask a Realtor

Lisa Tashjian, Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, answers your burning real-estate questions.

Q: What are the smartest investments to make in the interior of a home that will increase sale value down the road?

A: Buyers love move-in-ready homes, and a few strategic interior updates can go a long way.

Renovated kitchens, baths and consistent quality flooring throughout rank among the most desired updates—and the ones that help to bring the biggest return on investment. If a full renovation isn’t in the cards, keep your home current by freshening it with light neutral paint, new appliances, updated light fixtures, and kitchen and bathroom hardware. As you update, look for classic and timeless styles rather than trendy options. The roof, windows, pool, pool cage and equipment, HVAC and hot water heaters should all be well-maintained to protect your investment.
Whether you’re thinking about selling or not, consult your Realtor for contractor or designer recommendations, and ask if the updates you’re considering are consistent with other homes in the neighborhood. Avoid over-improving above the reasonable resale value of your community.

Q: What are some top things buyers should consider when purchasing a second home in Southwest Florida?

A: Southwest Florida offers a variety of lifestyle options. Consider how you want to spend your leisure time. Do you prefer a boating, beach or golf property? Are you a pet owner? Defining your preferences will help steer your search to the right neighborhoods.

If you’re establishing Florida residency, consult with your certified public accountant (CPA) and attorney to learn the tax and estate planning benefits. For those seeking a mortgage, ask your bank to prepare a letter of prequalification to determine your price range. Research any rules regarding rentals if you plan to use your home as an income-generating property.

Choose an experienced real estate agent who can share local market knowledge and negotiate skillfully on your behalf. In addition to guiding you through the buying process, a seasoned professional can help you establish relationships with the vendors you will need to maintain your home while you’re home or away.

Have a question for Ask a Realtor? Email askarealtor@gulfshorelife.com.