Doing home improvement projects with a return of investment in mind (ROI) is always a smart move. Whether you intend to sell after a couple of years or even decades in the future, all of your improvements matter. After all, your house is a major financial investment, so while you want to make sure you love the space first and foremost, a little bit of extra equity never hurts.
Studies show that 79% of homeowners make at least one change to their homes before selling because it amplifies the property value. In other words, if you want to command a higher price for your property, upgrading is key. But which changes have the biggest impact? Check out this list to see which projects will improve your home life, but impress potential future buyers as well.
Before we get into the good stuff like full remodels, we have to mention painting. It sounds so easy but believe it or not, painting is the best ROI for homeowners. This little trade secret also applies to more than just painting your walls — painting cabinets, doors, and baseboards will also help freshen up your space and can change the look and feel of a home entirely.
The kitchen is the heart of every home because this is where you gather to cook meals for the family. Some people also eat in their kitchen, making it one of the most used areas of the house. Thus, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Remodeling Magazine said you could recoup 53.9% to 72.2% on a kitchen remodel, depending on if it is a major or minor project, the materials used, and geographic location.
Minor kitchen projects include things like putting up a new backsplash, repainting cabinets, adding light fixtures, or upgrading faucets; meanwhile, major kitchen upgrades require more complex work and higher costs. For example, major kitchen projects may include one or more:
- Installing new cabinets and countertops
- Changing the flooring
- Upgrading all the appliances
- Adding cooking space like a bar or more storage
- Knocking down walls to add square footage
Remember, before you get any work done, map out your budget. Then, make sure the renovation will complement the rest of your house. For instance, you live in a Victorian Themed home, so an industrial, modern kitchen will feel out of place and may even turn off potential buyers, so be sure to assess the big picture before making changes.
Bathrooms contain the most used “seat” in the house, so if you want to make your home appealing to future buyers, make sure your bathroom is fresh and not moldy or grimey. Zillow group data said that bathrooms yield the highest ROI. In fact, minor cosmetic changes can bring in a whopping 171% increase in property value for every dollar you spend. That’s almost double the return! Hence, it is not surprising that 26% of sellers make a bathroom improvement before selling their houses.
Below are some of the most popular and profitable bathroom renovation projects:
- Investing in new tubs, sinks, and toilets
- Upgrading water and light fixtures
- Retiling and reflooring
- Adding a fresh coat of paint
- Incorporating more storage space
- Putting a new vanity
Another option here would be adding an additional bathroom to your home. Bathrooms are high-traffic places, especially during the “morning rush”, so homes with multiple bathrooms are hot commodities in the real estate market. Besides, an added bathroom provides more convenience for your family, too. Just make sure you speak to a reputable contractor to figure out if your space can accommodate this as well as to assess the true cost of the project.
Utilizing an Unused Space
Do you have space in your home that doesn’t get much TLC? Perhaps you have an attic, basement, or spare room that doesn’t get much attention. As a homeowner, having this kind of space and leaving it unused means you’ve got precious square footage that is missing its potential. Why not make use of this untouched space? In the future when you sell your home, this will be more appealing to your prospective buyers.
Data indicates that a finished basement will allow you to recoup around 70% of the costs, while a finished attic helps you recoup 56% of the costs. Thus, if you are thinking of clearing cobwebs and transforming these unused spaces into something more, it would be a great project for your family (but not as profitable as a bathroom or kitchen). You can enjoy the added space until you sell your home in the future.
Keep in mind that a project like this is more affordable than knocking down walls to create additional floor space. If you need ideas, you can renovate the unused space and make them into a:
- Home office
- Second living room
- Home gym
- Game room
- Guest bedroom
- Library or study
Improve the Great Outdoors
When doing renovations, don’t forget to look at the exterior of your property. It is the first thing that people see, so it will definitely boost the curbside appeal for your home. This is a great way to make a good impression on visitors, and it will also hook in potential buyers to make an offer. A simple project like fixing up your garage door provides a 93.8% ROI.
You can also invest in projects that make your outdoor space more functional and accessible. This provides more space to your family while increasing home value. For example, adding a deck will provide an ROI of more than 64%. Again, play around with different materials like wood, stone, or brick.
If you already have a deck, you can make simple changes like pressure washing to clean the grime and refinish it, replace any rotting boards, broken pavers, or re-stain. Consider landscaping as well by adding shrubs, planting trees, replacing old mulch, including planters, and adding other garden ornaments that serve as a focal point. Sprucing up your deck, patio, and garden is a great way to improve your home’s appearance.
Home improvement projects will require you to review your budget, which is why it is critical to select important upgrades that will add value and help you recoup your expenses when you eventually sell your house down the road. Stick to your budget and work with professionals to figure out what to do so you can get the most out of your hard-earned money. Happy renovating!