• by Desiree Mastracchio

How to Plan Updates Wisely

Whether you think you might be listing your home in 1, 5 or 10 years, resale should always be in the back of your mind. Your house is the most expensive and valuable thing you will ever own. While you live there, it should meet your family's taste and lifestyle. But when it's time to sell, your property needs to appeal to the majority of buyers. For this reason, it's best to maintain your home in a way that would make it marketable at any time. Below are things you might consider updating whether you'll be moving soon, or not for several years

If you're moving within 1 year:

Basic kitchens and bathroom updates: paint or reface cabinets, update fixtures to satin nickel, add white subway tile backsplash

Paint: neutral colors in gray or greige tones for the majority of the home

Lighting: if light or ceiling fan fixtures are more than 10 years old, go ahead and replace them

Carpet: If it is old, stained, worn down etc., go ahead and replace with medium-grade carpet in a light neutral color.

Don't start any major renovations unless you are sure about the return, especially since you won't be around long enough to enjoy them

Go ahead and use some trendy looks, since they're current and unlikely to change drastically in the net 12 months. Just make sure they're not too bold in color or style - they should appeal to the masses.



A. The above trend, copper pendant lights, are okay if you're selling soon, because they are not overbearing and could be easily replaced by a buyer who doesn't care for them.

B. The encaustic cement tile flooring on the right, however trendy right now, is just too bold and taste-specific if you'll be listing your house soon.

If you may be moving in 5 years:

Plan ahead and start updates now, so you can enjoy them for a few years before selling our house.

Paint the majority of your home a light, neutral color that you like, so you don't have to paint again if you decided to move. If you want some bright or unique paint colors, add them to smaller rooms or accent walls which can easily be repainted just before listing.

If you need to replace flooring -- especially carpet -- on the main level, consider adding wood floors instead. They are timeless and always add value and class to your home.

Go ahead with major renovations that work for your taste and your family, but try to keep it at least 60% classic, with only a few trendy elements. Trends don't last long, and that industrial style open shelving in your kitchen may look very dated in 5 years. The barn door craze may or may not last.... So if you love them, add one, maybe two, but don't put one in every room in case they need to be taken down.

Kitchen and bathroom renovations will give you a good return on investment as well, as long as they're not following trends which may be outdate by the time you list.



C. If your house needs interior paint and you may be list it in about 5 years, go ahead with a light neutral like the grayish-beige above. If you're craving a splash of color, do an accent wall like above, but repaint it to match the rest of the walls before listing.

D. If you are updating your kitchen but may be moving in 5 years, keep it as classic as possible. The photo above could have been taken 50 years ago, or last year.... it's a timeless look that never goes out of style.

If you won't move for at least 10 years:

Decorate, renovate and maintain your house in any way that suits your family's lifestyle and taste. If the day comes that you will sell and move on, any necessary changes can be made at that time. Most things that are in style now, will be out of style in a decade, so enjoy them now and be prepared to make some changes then.


E. If you won't be selling your house for at least 10 years, do whatever you like! Paint your kitchen cabinets green, let your husband keep his big, ugly recliner in the family room, paint your master bathroom purple! Make your house your home. Just be sure to consult a home staging professional before you eventually do sell!

Regardless of whether you move or stay, it's essential to keep up with general maintenance as much as possible. Deferred maintenance results in increased stress, damage and expense to repair. Give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that you are protecting your greatest investment with regular service and inspections of your roof, HVAC, gutters etc.

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