REAL ESTATE OF MIND: Don’t forget about closet space

REAL ESTATE OF MIND: Don’t forget about closet space

One thing men and women can agree on – there’s never enough closet space.

Mario Carey

No one ever seems to have enough closet or storage space. That’s why you see so many storage units and mini-warehouses popping up. Look at it this way, we are consumers by nature and when we are out having all the fun of shopping, we don’t stop to think about where we are going to put all this stuff that we just loaded into our cart.

So we get home and try to find space for everything we’ve been accumulating — the clothes, shoes, caps, jackets, belts. We shake our heads and sigh. So much stuff and so little space, especially as our overall single-family home footprint shrinks. Ironically, our incomes get larger and we’re able to buy more but our houses get smaller and we’re able to store less.

That phenomenon has led to all sorts of remedies from apps to help you organize to expensive closet remodels that can run up to $50,000 depending on shelving, storage systems, lighting and decor. Fortunately, most remodels cost far less, averaging between $3,000 and $5,000. Cost is generally figured based on $125 per linear foot. While that may sound high, the return could be greater.

When it comes to selling your home, closets matter.

You’d be surprised what your closet reveals about you – and about the condition of your property. First, about your personality. Just like there are two types of closets, reach-in and walk-in, there are two personality types that affect how closets are kept. A-type personalities are usually well-organized with efficient use of space. Their closets tend to be orderly and clean enough to see or reach what’s inside.   

B-type personalities are likely to take a more relaxed, free-flowing view of what happens behind closet doors. Clutter can be a too-comfortable constant companion.

But here are a few hints about why closets matter. Cluttered places are hard to sell because others have a harder time seeing themselves living in someone else’s space. So de-clutter and keep things neat when your property is going to be shown. Adequate closet spaces help sell and achieve good market value.

Beyond that, closets contain secrets. Since closets are usually forgotten even during a general renovation, the potential buyer, appraiser or inspector can push back the clothes and look at the walls, learn about the original construction, tap and sometimes even check pipes or electrical wiring.

The back wall, ceiling or baseboard can also reveal if repairs were made before or are necessary. They can be secret hiding places for rain or termite damage.

Remember closets store more than clothes. They could be hiding faults and flaws that give a buyer cold feet. So de-clutter and check the walls, corners and ceiling for any sign of leaks or trouble, even if the area was patched before.

There is always a story told by closets. You’ll want to make sure your closet story has a happy ending.

Businessman, investor and real estate veteran Mario Carey shares thoughts on the economy, lifestyle, environment and The Bahamas of the future in this series.