Your home is probably your biggest investment, and you want to be sure that you’ll get the most out of it when it’s time to sell. To make sure that your home gets top dollar, it’s important to make sure it’s up to date and has features that will appeal to potential buyers. In this guide, we’ll look at some smart ways to improve the value of your home.
Your home is more than just your nest. It’s also a valuable investment. If you take care of your home through the years, more often than not you’ll be rewarded by a significant return on your investment as your equity in your home increases. That can provide a valuable source of cash or income to you in your golden years.
How much will your home appreciate over time? It’s hard to say. Home values depend on many factors that are out of control of the homeowner, including the national and local economy, the housing market, the number of homes available in the local market, and much more.
But there are some smart things you can do to ensure that your home gets top dollar when it’s time to sell. By using these tips and strategies, you can do a lot to increase your home’s value beyond the increase you’ll see from normal appreciation. Let’s take a look at how you can increase the value of your home.
There are many ways you can increase your home’s value, and we can generally break these down into two separate categories: maintenance and improvements.
Maintenance covers the many things you should be doing regularly to keep your home in tip-top condition. Regular painting, maintenance of appliances and HVAC systems, and keeping up on your landscaping are some examples.
Improvements are a big category. Home improvements can range from small detailed projects like painting a room or replacing old carpet, to major remodeling and renovation projects. Small projects can be a great way to channel your inner DIY spirit, while large projects may require the use of contractors and other professionals. Different home improvement projects can also yield different payoffs in the value they add to your home.
Let’s examine some of the smartest ways to add value to your home.
An investment in your home that will provide an excellent return on investment is an HVAC system upgrade. Not all buyers will notice a new and up-to-date HVAC system, but they’ll certainly notice if the system is old or broken. And if you have an older home without central AC, you can bet that the lack of a central AC system will be a red flag to many prospective buyers.
Here are some factors to consider when thinking about an update or upgrade for your HVAC system:
An upgrade to your home’s HVAC system may not pack quite the financial punch of some other improvements, but an outdated or inadequate system is sure to throw up roadblocks to getting the most out of your home. To make sure your home’s HVAC system is doing all it can, schedule a consultation with us. Quotes are always free.
Your roof and siding not only protect your home, but they can also improve the value of your home. While these projects are expensive outlays, a 2019 realtor survey estimates that a new roof and new siding are both appealing to potential buyers and add value to the home’s resale price. Even if your roof is new, it’s important to keep your roof in good shape, so be sure to schedule regular roof inspections, especially before the winter.
When replacing a roof, consider some of your options:
Worn-out siding makes your home susceptible to damage from water, insects, and other pests. Replacing old and worn-out wooden siding with vinyl or fiber-cement siding offers an excellent return on your investment, usually well over 60%. You’ll improve resale value and keep your home safe and snug as well.
Younger home buyers may take smart home features for granted. And if you haven’t used smart home features before, you may not realize all the advantages they provide. There are a variety of internet-connected smart devices available for your home that may make it more attractive to potential buyers. And most of them are not that expensive to install. Consider adding these smart devices to your home to bump up the value (and make life easier for you!)
Many of these devices are easy to install and use. But if you need some support installing a smart thermostat, smoke detector, or another device, be sure to check with a qualified electrician or home contractor.
Bathroom renovations are some of the most popular home improvements. And these improvements can offer excellent return-on-investment as well. One of the best ROIs is to add another bathroom to your home, particularly if you have an older house. This can be a complicated and expensive task, so it’s best to consider carefully whether this is necessary. Two more practical options are to update existing bathroom fixtures or do a more complete remodeling job.
Updating your bathroom
There’s a lot you can do to update an older bathroom that won’t involve complete gutting and extensive changes to the plumbing and electrical system. Here are some smart changes you can make, many of which are within the abilities of a competent do-it-yourselfer.
Doing a complete bathroom makeover
Sometimes you don’t want to nibble around the edges. A complete bathroom makeover that involves tearing out walls, replacing tubs and showers, and adding in major additions like a jacuzzi, can be a big job that will involve hiring a contractor. Some of the big additions you can make could include:
New high-quality windows aren’t cheap, but there are several reasons why they’re a smart upgrade. First, if you have an older home, upgraded windows can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home. Bottom line, that means you’ll pay less for heating and cooling. Also, new windows can update the appearance of an older home and make maintenance and cleaning easier.
In addition to the money you may save and these other advantages, new windows are an excellent return on investment and can make a significant difference in the value of your home. The cost of replacing your windows will vary depending on the size of your home and the quality of the windows you choose, but the return on investment is usually quite good. A recent analysis showed that new window installations using high-quality vinyl replacement windows yielded a return on investment of over 70%. In short, you can expect to earn back much of the price of new windows when it’s time to sell your home. Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy the improved aesthetics and energy savings of your investment.
One of the biggest changes that occured in home floor plans and construction in recent decades has been the evolution of the kitchen as a center of the home. Gone are galley-style kitchens. In their place are large kitchens with islands and eat-in nooks. Kitchen appliances have taken a step up as well. It’s not uncommon to find professional quality stoves and other appliances in new construction.
To keep up with trends and to add value to your home, kitchen upgrades and renovations are a popular remodeling theme. And, depending upon the scale of the changes, these can really improve the value of your home. The two main approaches are kitchen upgrades and kitchen renovations.
Kitchen upgrades don’t involve major remodeling work, but rather refinishing and replacing surfaces and replacing appliances. Examples could include:
A kitchen renovation may involve all of the items mentioned above, but the scale of the work is usually much more extensive and often includes removing walls to create more space and completely gutting the interior to create a kitchen with a more modern aesthetic.
In general, the more extensive the project, the more likely you’ll see a high ROI. A kitchen upgrade may return about 50% of the money put into the project, while a more extensive renovation can yield up to 70% return-on-investment.
You’ve got lights all around your home. But take a look at them. How many are old, tired-looking, and inexpensive fixtures that were installed when the home was built? Installing new lighting fixtures in your home is one of the simplest ways to inexpensively add some value and update the look of your home. The variety of fixtures are extensive, and many use or can utilize new energy-efficient LED bulbs, for the added bonus of shaving some money off of your utility bill.
Another way to upgrade the lighting in your home is to add options and control to your lighting with the use of dimmers and apps. Replacing existing wall switches with dimmer controls lets you tailor the lighting in your home for different times of day and moods. You can take lighting customization another step by adding smart lighting to your home. Smart lighting hubs offer voice control and programmable lighting options that can be easily controlled from a touchscreen or from your phone.
Do you have an unfinished basement? Hands down, turning this unused space into a living area is a great return on your investment. While the amount you’ll get back depends on many factors, such as the quality of the finish work, the amenities that you’ve added, and whether the basement has outdoor access, it’s reasonable to assume a ROI rate of about 70% for a finished basement.
When you’re planning out your basement project, don’t skimp on adding the amenities that make it a more desirable area. Adding a bathroom is an excellent way to add more value, and provides the option to convert the space into an in-laws apartment as well. You should also consider adding independent heating and cooling to the space. Ductless mini-split systems are an excellent way to provide HVAC to a finished space that’s independent of your home’s main HVAC system.
There you have it — nine winning ways to add value to your home. Of course there are many other ways to improve the value of your home. Here are a few bonus ideas that can add value and make your home a more pleasant place to live in.
Need new carpet? Or are your hardwood floors ready to be refinished? Replacing or refinishing worn out flooring can make a big difference in the resale value of your home.