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The Real e-State: Got Pride of ownership?

The fact is that in our community we are in a better position than most to achieve this. Fortunately I do have pride of ownership but I also have pride in you, my community.

It is widely known that when “the gays” move into an area that property values go up. Why? There are several factors. In cities all over our nation, we have historically moved into neighborhoods that are in transition.

These areas were usually a bit run-down with slightly higher crime rates, definitely not areas that young families were looking to move into if they could afford not to. This meant lower home prices and potential investments – and our community has often taken advantage of these scenarios.

Often with two incomes in a household, children a planned occurrence if at all, and on average earning higher salaries, gay people are prime candidates to move in, fix up and often move on. Trailing shortly after us are the young professionals and then the families as our buyers.

Anyone who has lived in Hillcrest for at least 10 years will attest to the fact that there are a lot more strollers than there used to be and property values even with the dip in the real estate market are up.

In San Diego, Hillcrest is a great example of this, followed in recent years by North Park. If we follow the pattern, Normal Heights is next.

We are really good at “sweat equity.” On my home, one of the first things I did was get out in the front yard and dig up all the dated plants and reshape others to give the yard a face lift. That was one example of sweat equity.

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. These two rooms have the greatest return on your money. This is the perfect place for more sweat equity. You would be amazed at how much better a kitchen or bathroom looks after the cabinet doors are sanded, painted and new hardware is added.

When you put the time and work in yourself, you add value with less expense. It also gives you an opportunity to make the place your own; I encourage you to express your individuality but not too much on the permanent finishes. For example, tile should be stylish but not garish, and choose distinct furniture to put on that tile.

I have had many clients who have viewed properties and veered away from them because owners expressed themselves too specifically in the materials they chose; this negatively affected the sellers’ resale value. When you decrease demand for a property, you also decrease the sales price.

Buyers are turned off by incongruence. So an easy rule is stick with the style of your home if it is a Spanish, Craftsman or Mid-Century Modern. The buyer looking at that property is expecting that style when they walk in.

Remember, at some point, someone else will be buying your home. When choosing your materials, ask yourself, “Would the majority of home buyers in the market for a property like mine think this is a good choice?”

Take pride in yourself, and invest in your future. Take pride in your home and fix it up a bit, because this will add value, and both of these are ways we take pride in our community.

Realtor Bo Bortner offers his sound advice and personal knowledge of the industry as a successful agent with Team Metro Real Estate. He can be reached at (619) 840-2981 or online at www.bobortner.com.