If you’re considering making some home improvements this summer, be sure the changes you plan on making actually add value to your home. Upgrades you believe will make your home more attractive could actually lower your property value.
The Top 5 Home Improvements That Add Value to Your Home
1. Curb Appeal
Make changes that will make your home more visually appealing based on what you see from the outside. Even though people are told not to judge a book by its cover, that’s exactly what potential buyers will be doing.
One of the best ways to increase your curb appeal is to have extensive landscaping done, if you can afford it. Color-coordinate plants and flowers and be sure they match the theme of the house. For example, don’t mix flowers you’d plant outside a cottage with ones you’d plant outside a very modern home. Keep the lawn mowed, watered, and green. Another quick fix is to clean the yard of any debris, trim trees and shrubs, and put fresh mulch in the flower beds.
According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, another major way to increase your home’s curb appeal is to add vinyl siding. The report says the project would cost around $7,200…but the cost recouped is 94.9% on average.
The report’s top-ranking home improvement is also related to curb appeal. Getting a new front door adds on average 96.6% of the amount you spent to the value of your home. Sometimes even just painting your current door could have the same payoff.
2. Add an additional bathroom
Typically, the kitchen is the homebuyer’s main focal point when choosing a home. However, according to realestate.com, bathrooms are now becoming more important to buyers. An additional full bathroom could tack on an extra 20% to a home’s value; a half bathroom would add about 10%. The downside is the project’s price tag. If it doesn’t fit your budget, you can give existing bathrooms a facelift with a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures and new flooring.
3. Convert an attic into a bedroom
This project also ranked very highly in the Cost vs. Value report, returning 84.3% of the amount spent. On average, converting an attic into a bedroom costs a little more than $50,000 but is typically cheaper than adding an extension. According to US News & World Report, renovations that don’t require you to build an addition or expand the roof often return more value than building extra rooms onto your home.
4. Upgrade the kitchen
Even if bathroom makeovers are becoming increasingly popular, the kitchen is still the heart of the home. Painting the kitchen should be the first step regardless of whether you’re planning a complete remodel or just a minor facelift. Replace old flooring with laminate or tile, and add new cabinets, sink fixtures and updated lighting.
The Cost vs. Value report says the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel (including new cabinet doors, appliances, countertops, sinks, faucets, paint and hardware) is just under $19,000 nationwide. If you’re a bargain shopper, you can probably spend less than what the homebuyer assumes it would cost to upgrade the kitchen.
5. Update indoor systems
Arguably the least fun, but most important improvement is updating the home’s major systems. Major systems include plumbing, heating, electrical, and sewer systems. Homebuyers want to be assured that these essential items are in working order and won’t need to be replaced or repaired in the near future. Hiring an electrician to check for any work that needs to be done shows the homebuyer that someone is taking care of the home, which in turn can influence its price.
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