American Eagle Realty | Derry Real Estate, Londonderry Real Estate, Salem Real Estate


Photo by Fotocraft via Shutterstock

Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on improvements and upgrades only to find out that the return on their investment (ROI) is less than $1 to $1. That means that for every dollar spent, the selling price of their home does not go up a corresponding dollar. In fact, very few home improvements offer a dollar for dollar increase in price.

What some improvements accomplish, however, is a reduction of time that your home spends on the market. When calculating overall costs, a quicker sale can save you several additional mortgage payments on your home.

In-Home Improvements

If you intend to live in the house for some time, make the improvements that give you pleasure in your home. Renovate the house to meet your needs and improve your life. If you’re renovating just to sell, unless you bought the home as the lowest-priced house in a highly desirable market, redoing the kitchen and bath won’t always pay for themselves. However, they will make the home more attractive to buyers and give you a leg up on the competition.

Adding a room and increasing square-footage usually improves the home’s value. This means converting an attic or basement might be a better use of your funds. Adding a second bathroom also garners a buyer’s attention. But turning a garage into a family room could backfire on you if buyers treasure a garage more than the extra space. Before undertaking a garage conversion, speak with a knowledgeable real estate agent in that area to see which option buyers most often request.

Curb appeal Improvements

When choosing improvements for resale, adding to the curb appeal gives you the most bang for your buck. Replace street-view garage doors with carriage-house style or modern minimalist options and update the front door to match. Clean out flower beds, replant them, and trim them with stone edging. Keep bushes and hedges trimmed and prune trees to keep them healthy.

Circulation Improvements

Old homes in areas where air conditioning was an afterthought benefit from adding attic fans and insulation to improve the cooling properties. Also, when possible, install a whole house fan (different from an attic fan) as it offers superior circulation for a small investment and makes the lack of central air conditioning less noticeable.

Your professional real estate agent is your best resource to learn what’s selling in homes in your neighborhood.


Nothing can quite compare to the emotional cocktail of excitement, fear, and anxiety of being a first-time home buyer. Being a homeowner is made out to be a huge milestone in life, and rightly so. Have you ever signed your name 37 times in a row? It's enough to intimidate anyone. By the end of the entire homebuying ordeal, you will have signed your name so many times that you'll feel like you should have just made yourself a signature stamp. You're in for quite the bumpy road being a first-time home buyer, some highs, some lows and everything in between. 

The lows? 

Oh boy, where to start? Did you know your credit score before you started looking for a home? Sure, maybe you have a credit card you keep some line of credit in your name. However, a house? It’s a whole different ball game! What is a good credit score? They did not teach us this in high school, but thank goodness we all know the order of math operations as P.E.M.D.A.S. (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) right? What’s an escrow? What if the inspector missed something? When is my first mortgage payment due? You’ll have so many questions about being a first-time homebuyer, so do yourself a favor and get a realtor who can adequately answer all those questions! A great realtor can make the entire process feel like a cool Island breeze.

The highs? 

House shopping honestly is so much fun! Getting to figure out your unique taste in the architecture of your home is a fantastic experience. Sure, there are things that you must specifically look for to fit your needs, after all, you'll be spending the next 20-30 years of your life in this house if you do it right. The day you close on your home is exciting as well, disregarding the whole signing your name a thousand times. The moment comes with a sense of pride and accomplishment that you'll feel on closing day. Looking for your first home can be a long process, and sometimes can take months to years depending on the market. So, when it finally happens, and all the stars line up you can't help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. High five yourself on that day, cause all the stress and worries that you had in buying your first home are finally coming to a close. Now you can focus attention on the fun part: home improvement! 

 Being a homeowner can be such a fun-filled adventure, but hold on, because it will be a bumpy ride. Let your professional realtor navigate those bumps for you.


Are you a procrastinator? If so, you're not alone! It's human nature to postpone tasks which you consider to be boring or unpleasant. However, it's also frustrating when you're making little or no headway on a project you know needs to get done ASAP. Whether it's cleaning out the basement, painting a bedroom, or pruning those overgrown shrubs in front of the house, it can sometimes take a lot of resolve to get the project underway and completed! In most cases, the longer you wait, the harder it is to get started. Perhaps Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion explains why it's so difficult to start a project and stick with it: He stated that “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.”* Motivating Yourself to Get Started So the question is: What kind of "external forces" do we need to overcome procrastination? After all, those closets aren't going to clean themselves! Well, the following techniques aren't rocket science, but they can produce the psychological nudge you may require to get that home project started and wrapped up.
  1. Make a list: If you don't have a to-do list that you revise and update on a daily basis, then many of your objectives and goals will fall by the wayside. When you commit something to writing and place it high on your list, it has a much stronger likelihood of getting done. Maybe it's the "squeaky wheel" principle or just the power of suggestion, but when you're reminded to do something on a daily basis, you almost feel compelled to take action and get the process underway. (The exception to that would be if you're opposed to doing it for any reason, or you're being nagged.)
  2. Invite friends or relatives over: For some people, nothing motivates them to mow the lawn, paint the bathroom, or clean the house more than knowing that company's coming over in a few days! Since most of us have been conditioned to care about what other people think of us, then why not use that impulse to your advantage? (Maybe that's the reason some people tidy up before the cleaning person arrives.) Schedule an upcoming dinner party, family gathering, or backyard barbecue, and watch how fast that lingering project gets prioritized, acted on, and completed!
  3. Announce your intentions: If you tell your spouse, your parents, or your best friend that you're going to tackle an overdue project, this weekend, then you almost have to do it -- or your credibility will be at stake. When you share your intentions with someone else -- especially a person whose opinion you care about -- you're taking accountability for your plans. It's a technique that's often used for getting started on an exercise program or diet, but it could be equally effective for motivating yourself to fix the back steps or clean the garage.
If you're having difficulty getting started on household projects, sometimes all you need is a little push from an "external force" to spark that extra bit of motivation. *Source: Livescience



Loading