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Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

by Sandi Pressley

Not all home improvements are created equal. These will reward you the most when it comes time to sell.

Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot.

But the home itself? Perfect isn’t the adjective you’d use. But you knew that moving in, and now you’re ready to start making it just right.

But where to begin? How about with data? Data is that friend who tells you like it really is.

Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect.

The “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of REALTORS® has tons of data on how much improvements cost — and how much of those costs you can recoup.

Here are the best five home remodeling projects with equity-building might:

New Roof

If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool.

The cost: $7,500

The return: 109% at $8,150

Considering it’s what’s between you and the elements, it’s a no-brainer.

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

  • Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.
  • Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout.
  • The sun’s shining through your attic.
  • You notice stains on ceilings and walls.
  • Your energy bill is sky high.

Hardwood Floors

You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that’s stuck in the ‘80s.

They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They’re psyched — and for good reason.

Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.

The cost to refinish: $2,500

The return: 100% at $2,500

The cost to buy new: $5,500

The return: 91% at $5,000

New Garage Door

No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list — a new garage door provides a big boost for your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost.

The cost: $2,300 (for a two-door)

The return: 87% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality.

Better Insulation

Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind — that is, until you’re forced to wear your parka indoors because it’s sooo darn cold.

The cost: $2,100

The return: 76% at $1,600 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

New Siding

In any color! And never paint again.

Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home’s value.

But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today’s vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties.

The cost: $13,350

The return: 75% at $10,000

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 83%. Although it’s the pricier option — you’ll spend about $18,000 with a payback of about $15,000 — it has one thing vinyl still lacks — the perception of quality.

And quality matters. Quality is the one of the most important traits that home buyers focused on when house hunting.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.


231 Graceland Drive NE, Albuquerque, NM 87108  $189,000

2 Bedrooms / 2 Bathrooms (1 full, 1 partial) / 1530 Square Feet

Great Opportunity! Make this one your own or your investment property! Situated on a large corner lot, this gem features both formal and informal living areas; Recently re-finished hardwood floors; Cozy wood burning fireplace; separate dining room or perhaps office/hobby space; plus classic details throughout. Enjoy warm summer evenings under the ample covered patio. Close to shopping, UNM & UNMH, transporation!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Common and Costly Remodeling Mistakes New Owners Make´╗┐

by Sandi Pressley

You've done it! You're the proud and happy owner of your very first home!

Now you can do all the things you've dreamed of doing to a home. You can install that huge patio, do some fancy landscaping - the sky is the limit. But this is also the time when you're most likely going to make some costly mistakes.

This is especially true in your first year, when your happiness, eagerness (and sometimes ignorance) might convince you to make one of these mistakes:

Going With the Lowest Bid

Things break. So what do you do when you need major repairs?

The smart thing to so is to get several contractor bids. But going with the cheapest bid is not always smart.

For example, one couple went with a contractor who bid half of what a previous contractor they had used in the past charged. He promised to complete the work in less time as well. The result? A year later, their house was still a construction zone.

What to do:

Make sure that ll the bids have the same scope of work. Cheaper bids may not include all the actual costs and project details. The less expensive contractor may also lack the experience needed to determine any additional steps and costs.

Submitting Small Insurance Claims

You may think it's a good idea to use your insurance for all claims. But if you file too many claims too close to each other, it can increase your premium. If a claim is less than your deductible, it's better to pay our of pocket and save your insurance for catastrophic issues.

An even better solution is to maintain your home so that small claims don't come up in the first place.

What to do:

Before you pick up a sledgehammer, check with an agent or appraiser, who usually are happy to share their knowledge about how much money an improvement will eventually deliver.

Throwing Away Receipts and Paperwork

Don't throw away receipts for items you replace in your home. Small improvements can actually boost the price of you home when you decide to sell it. And saving warranty information can save hundreds down the road.

What to do: Stow paperwork like receipts, contracts, and manuals in a three-ring binder with clear plastic sleeves, or photograph your documents and upload them to cloud storage.

Remodeling Without Doing the Research

No one wants to be a Debbie Downer, but there’s a benefit to knowing the worst-case scenario. One homeowner tells the time he hired roofers to remove box gutters from his 1880s home. Little did he know, more often than not aged box gutters come with more extensive rot damage, which his roofers weren’t qualified to handle.

Had he researched the problem, he could have saved money and anxiety by hiring a specialist from the start, he says.

What to do:

Before you begin a project, do thorough research. Ask detailed questions of contractors so you can get your timing, budget, and expectations in line.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.


2020 Mountaineer Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87123  $300,000

4 Bedrooms / 4 Bathrooms (2 full, 2 partial) / 2370 Square Feet

Casual elegance in this Incredible 4BDR/4BA with hard to find attached casita/guest suite/man cave or office!! Master Suite is on the main level!! Soaring wood beam ceilings, light, bright and open! An entertainer's floor plan with lots of space for family and friends! Fully landscaped beautiful backyard. Close to KAFB, Sandia Labs, UNM, Foothills!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

How to Save on Granite Countertops

by Sandi Pressley

Granite countertops are an ideal choice for bath and kitchen remodels.  They’re always in style, durable, and take less maintenance. You may think that installing a granite countertop will be too expensive. Yes, the can be.  But you don’t actually need to buy the most expensive granite to get amazing results. Here’s what you should know about granite counters and how you can cut back the cost of installing one.


A granite countertop will cost between $2000 - $4500, which includes materials and installation. Typically granite is priced by the square foot, which can include delivery, installation, and simple edge finishes.  Extra costs will be incurred with further features such as decorative edge treatments and cutouts for sinks or stove tops. You also need to take into account plumbing hookups and disposal of your old countertop.

The grade of the countertop will affect the price as well. The grade is based on the availability of the stone, color, shipping and distinctiveness.  This doesn’t, however, always reveal the granite’s overall quality.

Saving Money

1. Shop around

Check big box stores, design studios, granite fabricators, and companies that specialize in prefabricated granite counters. Hiring an established company will yield the best results. Check online reviews and talk to family or friends who have had granite installed. When you have two or three companies selected, visit each one to talk about the project and see examples of their work. You can save hundreds of dollars just by carefully comparing and shopping around.

2. Buy the sink and faucet separately

Try to buy the sink, faucet and any plumbing separately so you can get the lowest prices on each item.

3. Use a remnant

Granite companies may offer discounts on smaller pieces of stone left over from other projects.

4. Go prefab

Prefabricated counters are already cut and polished, and are great for simple counters that don’t need many cuts.

5. Have the installer do final measurements

Have the installer take the final measurements and make a template which the final estimate will be based on. This will avoid making expensive mistakes.

Adding a granite countertop is a great way to make your home look better and raise the resale value of your home.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.


11716 Easy Goer Road SE, Albuquerque, NM  $289,000

3 Bedrooms/ 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 2600 Square Feet

Beautiful Southwest style home in Volterra. Light, bright and open floorplan with plenty of entertaining space!  Mountain views! The secondary bedrooms are large plus a loft and the utility room is upstairs for convenience! Mountain views! Beautifully maintained landscaped front and backyards!

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

People Are Flipping Over Home Flipping

by Sandi Pressley

You buy  a home, fix it up, then sell it for a higher price. It's the growing trend of house flipping. In fact, over 207,000 single family homes and condos were flipped last year, and increase of 3000 over 2016 and the most since 2006.

Don’t be fooled by what marketers and the TV tell you. It’s not as easy to flip a home as they would make it seem.  But flipping a home is certainly worth the effort if you protect yourself.

Here's a few ways you can avoid the pitfalls:

Be careful where you take advice. 

Since 2008, it’s been easier to make a profit when flipping a home since prices have been rising. But when prices fall, it’s not so easy.  Try to get advice from home flippers who have been through several market cycles and know how to handle the changes.

Keep an eye on the market.

If you see increased inventory, longer days on the market, or falling home prices, be on guard. If any of these situations happen, it could take more time to sell and you may not sell for as high a price as you anticipated.

Avoid short term loans.

Flippers tend to go with short-term loans, but they can actually be more costly as interest rates rise. This will obviously eat into your profits.

Don't cut corners.

Permits are a necessary part of remodeling a home, so don’t try to get around them. You could be held liable for damages or have to redo work that was done without the proper permits.

Make the Time.

Your time is an important commodity to take into account when flipping a home. If you have a full-time job on top of it, you have to make sure you have the time and energy to devote to the renovation. If you don't have the time, make sure you find someone to partner with who has the time and experience. After taking an honest look at your time, you may discover that flipping a home is not the right move for you.

Flipping a home can be a rewarding adventure and a great way to make money if you do it right.

Check back on our blog every week for more real estate advice and local articles about living in Albuquerque. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for up to date real estate news for Albuquerque and surrounding areas.


9400 Bear Mountain Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM  $689,900

4 Bedrooms/ 3 Bathrooms (3 full, 0 partial) / 3451 Square Feet

Custom elegance abounds in this beautiful Tuscan style home with views of the Sandia Mountains! Oversized lot in gated community. Guest suite/office w/full bath on the main level. Gourmet kitchen featuring Subzero fridge, two ovens, gas cooktop, granite countertops, large island & bkfst nook and walk-in pantry. 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Remodeling Your Home in Albuquerque to Get the Most ROI

by Sandi Pressley

If you plan on selling your home in Albuquerque, one important question to ask is if your home is up to date or needs repairs.  A dated or worn down appearance can take away from the resale value.  However, the balance is that you want to avoid spending tons of money that won’t be recouped in the sale.  How do you decide what repairs or improvements are worth the investment? I f you come to the conclusion that your home needs improvements, then you need to pin down which ones will yield the highest returns.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking every improvement will increase the value of your home. Many projects will simply preserve the value, while others will help increase it.  So if you do those projects, the value won't be as adversely affected when you sell your home.

So to get down to it, what are the projects that get the highest ROI?

Outside Projects

Think about curb appeal. First impressions are lasting impressions as they say.  Basically any project that boosts curb appeal is worth the investment. Outside projects that can recoup the most money are garage door replacements, replacing a steel door entry, adding a wood deck, and siding and facade projects. Even if you just focus on the siding, it can improve the value of your home with minimal investment.

Kitchens and Baths

Potential buyers can spend the most time inspecting a kitchen and we all know why.  Many lives center around the kitchen and rely on its appliances. If your kitchen has the old yellow fridge and oven, they need to go. And don’t forget about the bathrooms.   They send a powerful message about your home, so you can expect a high ROI on a bathroom remodel.

The Little Things

Don’t have a lot of money to invest in a major remodel?  No problem. Focusing on the little things can also have a big impact on the resale value of your home. You can give your home a fresh coat of paint, trim trees and bushes, plant new bushes and landscaping. De-cluttering and cleaning your home only costs time. If you have an unfinished basement, you can put gray epoxy on the floor and paint the walls white. Never underestimate the power of improving the little things.

Every home is different, and so is every Albuquerque neighborhood. If you're not sure what improvements would be best to sell your home in Albuquerque, feel free to ask us. We know what sells a home in Albuquerque and what buyers are looking for.


5243 Foothills Trail NE, Albuquerque, NM  $798,000

3 Bedrooms/ 3 Bathrooms (2 full, 1 partial) / 3156 Square Feet

Gated community of the Wilderness! Casual elegance abounds in this Scott Patrick Gold Package custom home. Tons of features include Oversized great room w/stacked stone fireplace, wall of windows! Gourmet kitchen has custom island, pantry, gas cooktop, custom cabinetry, Sub Zero fridge, Wolfe double oven. Private Master Suite on its own wing! 

Contact the Sandi Pressley team for additional details! 

Get your Morning Inspiration with the Sandi Pressley Team

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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