Whether you are considering a major remodeling of a traditional home or merely a few minor modular home upgrades, most real estate experts agree that there are some easy improvements that can pay off big at the time of resale while also helping you to attract more potential buyers.
#1 Bathroom Remodel or Update
A minor or major bathroom update is a great way to boost your home resale value. You can usually expect to recoup over 100 percent of the remodeling cost at sale. A minor update involves replacing the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures. If your old tub is too large to fit out the door, you can re-glaze it for a like-new look for just a few hundred dollars. Replacing dated wall coverings with a fresh coat of paint can make and old bathroom look new again. A major bathroom remodel can involve expanding an existing bathroom, relocating the tub and toilet, upgrading to designer sinks and faucets, and adding storage such as a linen closet.
#2 Landscaping Update or Redesign
When you decide to remodel for resale, think outside of the home as well. A few thousand dollars spent on landscaping can easily return up to 100 percent when the home is sold. Look to local garden centers for help – many offer free design services with your plant and material purchase. Adding color at the front of a house or yard is an easy eye-catching trick. For the greatest impact, stick to just one color and choose plants with a variety of heights for dramatic effect. Remove or prune overgrown greenery for a clean and neat overall look. The addition of a simple focal point such as a walkway, fountain, pond, or gazebo can also add major value to your property.
#3 Kitchen Remodel or Update
Even a minor kitchen update is one of the best home renovations to consider as it is sure to pay for itself when it comes time to sell. A minor kitchen update normally involves a mostly cosmetic update while a major remodel can involve moving walls, adding an island or a pantry, and replacing all appliances, fixtures, countertops, and flooring. Cabinets and drawers can be replaced or just refaced for a fresh new look. Adding enhanced lighting can brighten up a kitchen even more. Stick with neutral colors for walls and window treatments and perk up a dark kitchen with French doors that let the sun shine in. Strive to maximize your kitchen’s storage capacity while upgrading its style.
#4 Easy Exterior Improvements
A few easy exterior home upgrades such as replacing old siding, a new paint job, adding or replacing gutters, or updating a front entryway can add thousands to a home’s resale value. To update the overall look, remove any awnings from windows and exterior doors. Replace old wrought-iron railings with real wood for a more contemporary look and adding a few properly placed columns to a plain looking porch can add dramatic charm. Consider creating an outdoor living space such as a deck or outdoor kitchen and dining area. Additional enhancements such as an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit can make outdoor spaces more inviting.
#5 Upgrade HVAC and Insulation
Add attic insulation to stay warmer in winter, cooler in summer, and enjoy overall lower utility bills that prospective home buyers will appreciate. While adding insulation to walls can be complicated and expensive, adding insulation to an attic and crawl spaces is much simpler and can often save on utility bills by as much as 100 percent. A new high efficiency HVAC unit can add even more to your home resale value as well as its appeal to prospective buyers. Buyers expect the HVAC system in any home they consider to be working and well maintained and a new high efficiency system can help to grab buyer interest.
#6 Replacement Windows
Replacing inefficient single pane windows with high efficiency upgrades is one of the best home renovations you can do and will usually result in a recoup rate of nearly 90 percent. The total cost can vary greatly depending upon the number and size of the widows in your home. Select new windows that evoke the look and feel of your existing ones to best compliment your home’s overall design. Capture more natural light with bay or picture windows and consider easy-to-clean double hung windows for low maintenance appeal. Installing Energy Star rated windows may qualify for tax credits as well. New windows are easily noticed and can go a long way to help your home stand out in a crowded market.
#7 Living Room Updates
When you remodel for resale, consider updating the living room walls, floors, and décor. Even minor enhancements such as new light switches, outlet covers, crown molding, chair rails and drapes can greatly add to a home’s resale appeal. Consider replacing worn or soiled carpet with hardwood or tile for a clean modern look and freshen the walls and ceiling with a new coat of paint. Light, neutral colors work best. Caulk any open seams between the molding and ceiling and the baseboard and wall.
Throughout the house, consider ways to open up any cramped spaces such as removing an existing island in a small space challenged kitchen, or knocking out a non-
load-bearing wall to open up a floorplan. Use high-wattage light bulbs to make small spaces seem larger, and soft-lighting to add warmth to cold empty spaces. Replace any broken window panes and make sure all windows open and close easily. Fix any dripping faucets and clean out any slow drains. Outside of the home, make sure the lawn is well manicured and uncluttered. Remove all fallen limbs from the ground and trim any dead branches from both the trees and the shrubbery. Small easy low cost tweaks like these can pay off big when buyers compare your home to another.
Before you remodel for resale, consult your real estate professional. Even small improvements can often have a big impact on your home resale value at closing.
An experienced seller’s agent can often offer valuable suggestions as to which home upgrades will add the most to a home’s value in your particular market while helping you steer clear of those that will add little value or in some cases even detract from the final sale price.