We’re all hoping that 2021 will bring better things than this past year has. No one expected 2020 to turn out the way it has, and because of that, millions of people lost their jobs and businesses. In states like New Jersey, real estate suffered significantly, with fewer buyers or renters who could actually afford property.
If you’ve been trying to sell your New Jersey house at a reasonable rate, January the first is no magic refresh button. The economy is taking time to recover, and potential buyers are few and far between. Which means they have the upper hand in negotiations.
However, there are steps you can take to drive up the value of your house in NJ, even in a buyer’s market.
Consider doing the following.
Make it rentable
There is one thing that drives up property value more than anything else: income opportunities. People are willing to pay a lot more for a house if it is not just a place to live. You are selling them the potential to earn money for years to come. They can even use this income to pay off the house itself, especially in a state like New Jersey, where you can still charge relatively high rental.
If you are able to renovate the house in a way that makes part of it or all of it rentable, you will be able to ask a significantly higher price. This could mean that you turn a portion of it into a studio apartment or cottage. Alternatively, you can build in facilities that make it perfect for someone renting without furniture or appliances of their own.
When you put the house on the market, emphasise its income earning potential. Don’t expect potential buyers to see what you see.
Build in office space
One thing that people need in a home now more than ever is a workspace. Over the past two decades, the gig economy has led to more and more people choosing to work from home. COVID-19 has only expedited the work-from-home culture.
Even those who are able to go into the office again to work might choose to work from home instead, whether due to safety concerns or simply because it saves time in traffic. More and more companies can be expected to dispense of their offices altogether and ask employees to work from home.
It is something many potential buyers will be looking at. Even if you are not going to be doing any building work to optimize an office space, you can market a room as an office with a desk and chair and the promise of privacy.
Rent out your NJ home
You may want to sell your home, but it is worth considering renting it out for the next few months. Property in New Jersey is usually piping hot, and no matter what you do now, you will not get as much for your house as you would in normal times. Waiting it out until the economy recovers and life returns to normal may be the best way to sell your house at a reasonable rate.
If you do choose this option, make sure you require your tenants to get New Jersey renters insurance. Read here about how renters insurance can provide more peace of mind for you as the landlord. Your tenant’s insurance may pay for damages they cause, which means your own premiums do not rocket and you don’t have to cover deductibles or excesses.
Renters insurance is also extremely affordable, and requiring it in the lease is not going to lower what you are able to ask in rent.
There is no guarantee that things will return to normal, but we can expect some sort of reversion to the old status quo. Renting out your home may seem like a compromise, but over time it might actually prove to be the best option. If you are getting good value and are up to the extra work as a landlord, you may choose to continue renting it out even when property values go up again.
As 2021 begins, there are no surefire ways to drive up the value of your New Jersey home. However, if you make it rentable, or even rent it out yourself, you can make the best out of a bad situation.