by Jeanne Roberts
Photo courtesy of Faust Real Estate, LLC
Sears Selling Its Craftsman Tool Line, Builders and DIYers Panic
Sears’ iconic Craftsman tool line is about to find a new owner, and the transition has do-it-yourselfers (DIYers), weekend home repair warriors, and even home builders dreading the outcome.
If you love fixing things around your house, don’t panic. The deal allows Sears to continue selling Craftsman products royalty-free for another 15 years. In the meantime, Stanley Black & Decker – another name familiar to carpenters, builders and home DIYers – will continue to pay Sears a percentage of its sales of the world-renowned tool brand.
The sale ties in with Stanley’s plan to move manufacturing back to the United States – a goal prompted by incoming President Donald Trump’s expressed wish to “Make America Great Again!” It also ties in with a largely healthy home-buying market, and a glut of land and property as Canadians and others move back, or away, in protest to the new Administration.
These nay-sayers are being shouted down by men like Nathan Miller, president of Rentec Direct, a real estate software CEO, who argues that a Trump presidency will “flat-out improve” the real estate market. Miller’s reasoning is sound. Trump, a real estate guru himself, is likely to institute policies that favor the market rather than hamper it.
On the flip side of that potential housing boom, Trump is also likely to increase tariffs on imported goods, leaving a service-economy America with its literal pants down in terms of raw materials. In other words, now would be a good time to stock up on everything from tools to hardware. In another few months it will be spring, and homeowners across the nation will be experiencing the annual bout of clean-up, fix-up fever.
Don’t, under any circumstances, put off those repairs because of economic uncertainty. A report from the National Association of Realtors, sponsored by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, shows that six specific repairs or replacements offer top resale value. In fact, they far outrank those kitchen and bathroom remodels that most real estate firms and agents recommend. They are:
- New roof
- New vinyl siding
- New garage door
- New wood floors
- Improved insulation values
- Refinished wood floors (for those who can’t afford new)
For example, while a new roof may cost about $7,600, the added-value proposition, at resale, is about $8,000, or 105 percent! You won’t get anywhere near that return from a bathroom remodel, which can run more than $10,000 and give back a mere $7,500 when the home is sold – providing the sale happens within a year or two of the remodel.
Other remodeling projects that don’t really pay, especially when you add in “sweat equity” are bathroom additions, upgrading to modular closets, master suite build-outs, new wood-frame thermal windows, and a new front door, whether fiberglass, wood or steel. Better to sand and paint the existing door. And when it comes to wood windows (as opposed to vinyl, for example), you will likely recover no more than half the cost, no matter the R-rating.
Whether you are a military veteran planning to buy some land and build from scratch in Texas, or a homeowner looking to add a mother-in-law cottage, rest assured you will be able to find your favorite tool in your favorite Sears Craftsman brand until about 2032.
In other words, well beyond the time when you expect to finish building or fixing your retirement home, barn renovation, or aging Victorian.