There are many thoughts and ideas on the subject of increasing your home value. We’ve put our own list together of a few things that won’t necessarily break the bank now, but will most likely pay off later. You can implement these things if you are building a new home that you may plan to sell later, or if you need to make a few updates to your existing home before you sell. Regardless, it’s only worth the time and investment if you know you’ll get a good return on the initial investment. If you are not planning on living in your home for a while, it may not be worth the investment to renovate. We will break down the costs recovered for popular improvements below. If you are currently building a home and don’t think you’ll be there forever, it’s a good idea to consider what features you want to make sure are in your home for a future sale. It will most likely be more affordable to add those things now versus later – plus you’ll be able to enjoy them yourself!
In the first category, we will break down 5 minor home improvements that can help you get a better offer on your home without spending too much, or taking too much time.
A new coat of paint gives your home a fresh and updated look for buyers without costing a lot of money. Generally speaking, stick to neutrals — gray, beige, or greige walls and white trim. Some shades recommended by Sherwin Williams (and that we use in our homes) are Accessible Beige (SW 7036), Urban Putty (SW 7532), and Agreeable Gray (SW 7029).
The first thing buyers will see, both online and in-person, is your home’s exterior. Whether they’re viewing your exterior photo in an online listing, driving by, or attending a private tour or open house, it’s imperative that your home makes a good first impression. The average homeowner spends about $3,502 for landscaping and $1,465 on a designer according to the American Nursery Landscape Association. However, it would definitely be possible to spend less than that if you’re willing to price shop and do some of the work yourself. The average return at resale: 100 percent!
Good lighting is crucial to showcase your home’s features, especially if your home doesn’t have a lot of natural light. Upgrading your lighting is easy and inexpensive, and it can make even small rooms feel larger. Swapping new pendants in the kitchen and bathroom or even your porch lights can immediately make your home feel updated.
If you have hardwood floors then definitely consider refinishing them. It’s one of the only projects that typically recovers 100% of the cost! If you have carpet that’s worn, then consider replacing that too. Otherwise, a good deep clean to bring them back to life may be all you need.
Staging your home may not always be possible if you are living there at the time, but at a minimum, consider removing some of the furniture and decor in your home. Recently, 22% of sellers’ agents said staging a home increased the dollar value offered by buyers 1–5% compared to similar homes. And 17% said it increased value by 6–10%. So, if your home is worth $300,000, there’s a chance that following typical home-staging tips could help boost your home’s value by $3,000–30,000. While staging is still an expense, it might be more attainable than a remodel and still a good investment. We recommend the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom as the highest priority for staging.
Next, we will look at 5 more involved home improvements that could potentially cost a little more upfront to do but still have a good ROI.
You may be surprised to know that replacing your garage door can recoup about 97% of the cost at resale! It’s a quick switch as well that won’t mess with your living space while under construction either.
2. Kitchen Remodel
It’s very rare that a major kitchen remodel pays off at resale. Instead, consider a minor remodel, which recoups about 98% of the cost. Doing a few minor things could be worth the investment. For example, consider painting your cabinets, replacing the fixtures and knobs, upgrading appliances, and installing a new countertop.
3. Deck Addition
With the price of lumber as high as it is right now, it may not be the best time to install a deck. However, generally speaking, a deck addition usually recovers about 79-90% of the cost. If you plan to use the deck yourself, then it may be worth installing one. However, depending on your backyard scenario and the area you live in, the deck addition may not be the best investment.
If you have wood windows in less than great condition, then it’s a safe bet that the buyer will ask for vinyl replacements or an allowance for that in the offer. Window replacements can be costly, so investing in good ones if you’re building a home will definitely be worth the investment. If you already have wood windows, then you’ll have to make the decision knowing you’ll only get about 70% of your investment back at the sale.
5. Bathroom Remodel
You don’t need to do a complete bathroom remodel to make the space look more attractive to buyers. Start with minor updates like painting or cleaning cabinets, replacing fixtures, and caulking or reglazing the tub. If you’re able to paint and replace the floors too you’ll most likely see a 102% ROI.
6. BONUS: Another one to mention is adding a stone veneer to the front of your home. This option can be costly, but has a recoup value of 95%!
Lastly, we will look at a few items that could potentially not be a good investment depending on your area. Make sure you consider what type of demographic your home will attract. We always recommend checking with a trusted real estate agent or a professional in the real estate market on what things they find to be a selling point in the sale of a home.
Generation X/Baby Boomers
For example, if you live in an area that might attract an older generation, they will most likely be looking for convenience, accessibility, and aging in place. Something they might be looking for in a home would be a walk-in shower. The average price to replace your existing shower is anywhere from $800-$2,500.
On the other hand, you may find that a younger demographic may be looking for a home with smart technology. To upgrade to a few smart things without spending a lot, start with a smart thermostat and smart recessed lighting.
In certain higher-end neighborhoods, buyers will be looking for luxury upgrades like marble countertops or fancy landscaping. You’ll want to be sure you can recoup the costs for these items before scheduling the contractor to come out! Always start with looking at other similar homes in the area by having your listing agent check local comps.
Up For Debate Items
A few of the highly controversial items for upgrades include pools, finished basements, and open floor plans. While pools can be great fun, some families do not feel safe having them in their backyard. Finished basements tend to be more popular in the Northeast, Middle Atlantic states, and Pacific Northwest, and can potentially be recouped at 70%. Open floor plans are a hot topic right now with many buyers saying they are not as interested in openness with the shift to more work/live/play at home and that more separation could be a good thing.
As we said, depending on the market, the demographics, and even the individual, these items could be a make or break deal. However, these are pricier upgrades and often not a cost that’s able to be recovered as much as others.
We hope this list of upgrades gives you a good idea of where to start on your journey to selling so when buyers see your home, they will feel like it’s move-in ready and they come in with a strong offer because of that. And once you’re ready to build your new home, we will be here ready to go! 🙂