Ask the expert: How can we make our older home attractive to younger buyers? First, address the fear young buyers may have about maintaining an older home. What you can do: * Get a home inspection and fix any potential problems the inspector finds. Have the heating and air conditioning systems checked. If you don't have city water and sewer, have the pump and septic system checked. Make the report available so you can show it to prospective buyers. * Buying a home warranty is another good idea. It should cover any significant problems that may occur during the first year of ownership. Buyers won't have to worry, for instance, about replacing the furnace during that time. Next, show the home to the best advantage: * Do whatever you can to bring light into the house. Remove heavy curtains; use bright light bulbs, buy light fixtures that have two or four bulbs instead of one; and trim back any bushes that block light from coming inside. *Paint walls a light color, such as off-white, light beige or light gray. * Get an estimate for costs on projects you won't finish before selling, such as remodeling a bathroom. The FHA 203k mortgage Sometimes a buyer has a vision of making it the home of their dreams. That's where the FHA 203k loan comes in. It allows them to wrap home renovation costs into the mortgage. The bank takes the as-is market value of the property and adds the costs of repairs and renovations to the loan. Upon closing, the repair work is completed and the buyer takes possession of the property. The minimum amount of repairs required to use an FHA 203k is $5,000 and the maximum is $35,000. It's not considered a second mortgage or home improvement loan. The cost of the renovation is added onto the primary note.