If you're like most Americans, your home is probably your biggest investment. You want that investment to perform as well as possible, so if you think you may sell your home sometime soon, it makes sense to do as much as you can to boost its value.
This can mean doing some home renovations so your house becomes more attractive to potential buyers.
But, while upgrades can boost your home price and help your home sell faster, not all renovations have an equal impact on what your home is worth. To ensure you're making renovations that will actually pay off, read on to find out some upgrades that give you the most bang for your buck.
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Sprucing Up Your Exterior
You only get one chance to make a first impression when a buyer pulls up to your home. Real estate agents say that the first impression counts the most, and the first impression comes from what the buyer sees when the car pulls up to the curb.
Making changes to your home's exterior doesn't have to cost a fortune. Curb appeal can be improved by some basic efforts such as power washing the home’s exterior. It cost less than $200, and it's the first impression as the buyer's enter the home.
Making more major upgrades to your home's exterior can also pay off. Studies have shown you can recoup around 93% of the costs of adding stone veneer, around 91% of the costs of a new garage door, and around 91% of the costs of a new entry door.
Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodels
Heart of the home! Most experts agree a kitchen is key to improving a home's value. Investing in the kitchen makes a lot of sense, as studies have shown as many as 80% of homebuyers list the kitchen as their favorite room. When your kitchen is updated, buyers may also be more forgiving of other outdated areas. “I've found that my clients are more likely to tolerate an outdated bathroom than an outdated kitchen,” Maria Tabakova, an agent with Triplemint said.
You don't have to spend a fortune to make a big improvement in your kitchen, either. A minor face-lift for your kitchen could include painting cabinets or getting new cabinet doors, installing new appliances, upgrading countertops, or switching out cabinet hardware. “There's just something about new doors and handles and stainless steel appliances that make people excited,” advised Mike Higgins of Keller Williams Realty in Green Bay.
If your bathrooms are outdated, this is another room where updates could make a big impact. “Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the number two selling point in most homes,” according to Cedric Stewart, at Keller Williams in Washington D.C. “Nail this upgrade and you're halfway to the closing table!”
Studies have shown a minor bathroom remodel can provide a 102% return on investment, and you don't have to spend a fortune to make big upgrades.
“Consider re-grouting tile; remove and replace caulk around the shower, tub, and toilet areas; and maybe it is time to replace the toilet for a more efficient and modern look,” advised Nancy Wallace-Laabs, a licensed real estate broker and founder of KBN Homes, LLC. “Replacing mirrors and fixtures will also go a long way to improve the look and feel of the bathrooms.”
A New Coat of Paint
One of the cheapest updates you can make also has one of the best returns on your investment: painting your home's interior.
Painting an interior can produce a 109% return on investment, but could benefit you even more if your home's colors are unusual. “The colors most people have in their homes are personal, but they should be transitional and appeal to a larger pool of people,” advised Patrick Ryan, a certified residential specialist, senior vice president, and managing broker at Related Realty in Chicago.
Fix Your Flooring
Flooring makes a huge difference in how your house comes across to buyers and upgrading it can make a big impact.
Today, many buyers place a premium on hardwood floors and, when done correctly, hardwood floors could add around 2.5% to a home's sale price. Installing hardwood can be costly, with popular woods running around $5 to $10 per square foot plus the costs of installation, but you can recoup as much as much as 70% to 80% of the cost when it's time to sell.
If you're short on funds, focus on replacing floors in public areas including kitchens and living rooms, while opting for less costly carpet in the bedrooms.
Homes are very sentimental assets. They’re where we watch our children grow up, where we experience highs and lows, and where we can safely rest our heads at night.
The longer you have been in your home, the more memories it will hold. Walls are more than that – they form a vault of memories that may be hard to leave behind.
Sometimes, all it takes to make a house feel fresh is a simple coat of paint. Other times, it is a full remodel to help you better utilize the space or age-in-place.
Renovations are a substantial investment, so it is important to know exactly what you are spending your hard earned money on long before construction actually begins.
Many homeowners do not know exactly what they want when they sign up for this complex journey. Unfortunately, if their wishes change after a contractor begins work, the renovation will not come out as they imagined and the budget could be blown by unexpected change orders and material-sourcing delays.
Should you choose to remodel, choose a firm that can plan the process from start to finish before the first hammers are ever swung, saving you from surprises and alleviating any budget-tension you may have.
To be fair, remodeling can cause some significant cost and hassle but the end result will be worth it because the space will be customized for your needs. Reputable design/build firms make homeowners’ comfort a priority and do everything within reason to limit dust, debris and disruption in your home.
Some homeowners are generally happy with their current home, but they have a few modifications in mind to “spruce up” the place to make it more suitable to their dream home. Some cosmetic updates or the addition of amenities like whole-house water-filtration, air purification, and HVAC systems can transform the ambiance and enjoyment of a home.
If you’re happy with the majority of your current home, remodeling is a much more affordable option than moving. If you cannot find exactly what you are looking for on the market, you may have to create your own dream home!
Maximize Rental Income Through Renovation
When renovating and cleaning a rental property, it is often difficult to cut costs while maximizing your return on investment (ROI). Here are some relatively inexpensive tips that will help you improve the rental property, while maximizing its income potential.
Give Tenants a Vision
Kitchens and bathrooms usually provide the greatest “wow” factor. Tenants, like everyone else, do not want to be washing themselves in a dirty or moldy bathroom.
They also don’t want to cook in an outdated kitchen from 1970. If you are going to upgrade any specific rooms in the property, I would start with these two.
Further, if you plan to sell your property in the next 5-10 years, a nicely updated kitchen or bathroom will usually give you about an 80% return on investment – which is higher than most renovations.
Bathroom and kitchen updates don’t just sell houses; they also “sell” rental properties.
A modern, up-to-date bathroom or kitchen can give your property a competitive edge. You can redo these rooms without spending a ton of money. Resurfacing the cabinets, adding new fixtures and updating the paint or flooring can make a big difference.