Welcome to our post-pandemic world of real estate! According to the National Association of Realtors, what we envision for 2020-2021 pandemic and post-pandemic homes may not surprise you. Nationally, the most popular improvements are focused on making our homes a sanctuary for safely staying in place, working, teaching/learning, fitness and entertaining, all in one house!
In Flagstaff, we see upgraded and open kitchens, working and teaching spaces, new interior and exterior paint, dedicated workout rooms, offices and “smart” additions like ring doorbells, thermostats and lighting options. And, so as to take advantage of Flagstaff’s spectacular surroundings, rethinking outdoor living areas and adding fire pits, enlarging patios and decks, including landscaping and hardscaping like retaining walls, raised planter beds and privacy panels, have kept our most popular Flagstaff landscapers booked out for months.
If you plan to build your dream space yourself, you may have noticed you are not alone!
Contractor Services Supervisor Tiffany Bagley at The Home Depot on the east side of Flagstaff explained overall sales for the store are up 30% to 40% from this same time in 2019. She sited 60% of this activity is from Flagstaff’s “Do-It-Yourselfers.” Tiffany also noted the higher market prices of lumber and especially oriented strand board (OSB). Items like composite decking materials have been delayed in some cases as well, because of the high demand.
For Renee Wesolowski, BSD, in interior design with Builders First Source on Butler Ave., the schedule for bath and kitchen upgrades typically is at a lull in the last quarter for her business. Not so this year! Overall, Flagstaff contractors, electricians, designers, handymen and women are all seeing a substantial increase in business since this March.
David Curtiss with PT Plumbing noted that in previous fall seasons, a single truck with a sole plumber would suffice to handle the calls. This year, the business has three work trucks, two of which have full crews.
Are you unsure of what improvements will bring you the biggest “joy” factor, or what improvements may bring you the largest return on investment (ROI)? The “joy” thing is totally you, but if you need some help with deciding where to spend your labor or money if you choose to make some improvements, think about giving your realtor a call. Your realtor will know your area, and give you some ideas of the likelihood of getting some of your investment in improvements back when or if you decide to sell. We see the great, bad and could-be-better every day when we show buyers properties in Flagstaff.
Nationally, the best ROI improvements are roofs, if you need a new one, and kitchen and bath upgrades. Some improvements can be minimal, but can make a huge difference in your home. Most importantly, don’t forget your outdoor living area makeover. It’s why we live in Flagstaff, right? FBN
By Paula Mack
Paula Mack is a long-time Flagstaff resident and sales agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-699-6837.