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Selling your home? Easy improvements to attract buyers

February 3, 2010

Courtesy of ARA Content

Real estate pros often coach their clients on the value of making “curb appeal” improvements to help sell their homes. Outside painting and minor repairs signal that the house has been well cared for.

That’s a great marketing tactic, but an even better advantage is offering multiple bathrooms. So if you’re planning to put your house on the market and want to make it stand out, consider going a step further and adding a new bathroom.

A spare bath is a great investment. Second only to kitchen remodels for recouping resale value, bathroom additions boast a 63.5 percent rate of return, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2008-2009 “Cost vs. Value” report. And when an up-flushing, macerating toilet—or “up toilet”—is used for the project, its comparatively low installed-cost makes a bathroom addition very affordable.

An up toilet can be installed virtually anywhere in the home. That’s because this type of plumbing system operates above the floor, using small-diameter piping to pump waste and water up, not down, and into sewer or septic lines. As a consequence, there is no need for the mess and heavy expense of digging through flooring, especially the concrete variety in the basement.

“An up toilet is a super alternative, and it can go where traditional plumbing cannot,” says Mike Coletto, an independent plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical contractor in Illinois with extensive experience installing and servicing up toilets manufactured by SFA Saniflo.

Macerating technology is ideal for adding a bath in tight spots, Coletto notes, such as under a stairway or inside a closet. The simple installation process drives the cost savings. “With no digging,” says Coletto, “I can install a Saniflo system in about half a day.”

Best of all, this type of home renovation reaps instant rewards, improving the quality of life now and paying dividends later.

So, if you are thinking of selling your home, now is the time to plan your new bath installation. Last year’s federal, first-time homebuyer tax credit fueled an impressive increase in the home-resale market. The incentive helped drive year-over-year gains for nine straight months in 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Thanks to an extension and expansion of the program for those signing before April 30, many expect a similar increase in existing home sales during early 2010.

In addition to readying your home with a bathroom addition, here is a checklist of other ways you can easily increase the curb appeal of your home:

• Remove broken toys and tools that may have collected in the yard.

• Pick up debris and store trash cans out of view.

• Install new bulbs in porch and security lighting.

• Check bricks and pavers for cracks: Replace them and reset any that are loose.

• Patch worn or cracked asphalt or cement in the driveway.

• Edge grass and remove weeds that may have grown over walkways.

• Repaint the front door and freshen up chipped and peeling paint trim.

• Clean and polish the brass on doorknobs and lock housings, or replace them if severely tarnished.

• Replace any broken glass panes.

• Clean out gutters and downspouts.

• If you have a post mailbox, make sure it is upright and sturdy.

Learn more about low-cost above-floor bathroom systems by visiting www.saniflo.com or calling toll-free at (800) 571-8191.

From the Feb. 3-9, 2010 issue.

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