Tips for Remodeling a Vacation Home
Real estate experts agree that the right renovations can affect a home’s resale value, and even impact your rental income, but remodeling a vacation home takes special consideration. The same projects that increase the value of a forever home don’t necessarily have the same bang for your buck in a second home. Take a new kitchen, for instance. We normally expect an 80 to 100 percent return on investment at the time of sale, but that percentage can drop on a Lake George vacation home, where the owners or renters may be more interested in eating out or barbecuing.
Evaluate Cost vs. Value
It’s always a good idea to ask a local real estate agent who is familiar with the area to weigh in on how he or she thinks various renovations will affect the value of the property. However, before you spend any money on improvements, you should consider how you plan to use your second home.
Are you more interested in the home as rental property, or will you be primarily using it yourself? Is re-sale value a concern, or do you expect to hang on to the property for more than 10 years? While homeowners are often warned not to expect a return on investment for hot tubs, saunas and tennis courts, they could potentially increase both occupancy and rental rates for a rental property.
Safe Investments for Lake George Vacation Homes
Think about how you or your guests will want to use your vacation home, and then invest in projects that will make those things better, or more convenient. You may want to focus on bedrooms and bathrooms, since most people are there to relax. More bedrooms significantly increase the value of a home, and adding a bathroom for each bedroom is even better.
Installing or remodeling a deck with panoramic views of Lake George and the Adirondack mountains, investing in new outdoor furniture, and adding a high-end barbecue all make sense for Lake George vacation homes. If repairing a dock, think about adding a new set of dock steps and placing a pair of Adirondack chairs and an occasional table facing out over the water.
Skip the Remodel, Update Instead
If you’re unsure whether you plan to keep your vacation home for yourself or rent it out, but you still feel like it could use a refresh, skip a full remodel and update instead. Simply replacing bath and kitchen fixtures, and applying a fresh coat of paint and updated lighting throughout, can have a huge impact.
Swapping out windows and doors for more energy efficient models is beneficial whether you keep it, sell it or rent it. And, if it will be an all-season home, updating the HVAC systems is a sound investment regardless of the type of use. Especially in the Adirondacks, where our summers can be hot and humid and our winters are often icy and cold, proper heating and cooling is critical.
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Lonnie Lawrence is a licensed real estate broker and lifetime resident of Lake George. Her 40+ years of experience and vast knowledge of the region have made her an expert on Lake George Real Estate.