Updated: May 20, 2021
Increasing your home’s value is a great way to get the most bang out of your renovation buck. Even if you’re not selling yet, if you plan to list your home anytime in the future, it’s best to consider how the changes you’re making now will affect things—like home value—later.
When thinking about renovations and home improvements, I suggest making two lists—one being changes to increase home value (even if they aren’t exactly your style) and another being any changes you want (that might not increase home value). If you don’t plan on moving soon, you can work on more updates from your want list. It’s best to keep your want list minimal if selling is in your foreseeable future. If you’re looking to increase your home’s value, consider making some of these changes:
Kitchen & Bathroom Updates
One of the first things people comment on when touring a house is the appliances. Appraisers also tend to look at (and consider greatly) bathroom and kitchens due to the appeal of potential buyers. Updating your home doesn’t mean you need a complete renovation though—simply updating appliances, adding a backsplash, or getting a new sink will add home value. Some updates that never go out of style are stainless steel, quartz countertops, walk-in showers, and fireplaces.
Curb Appeal & Landscaping
How your home looks from the street is just as important as what’s on the inside. After all, when a potential buyer is viewing a house, the outside is their first impression. Make sure they like what they see by making your home attractive, welcoming, and structurally sound at first glance.
This doesn’t mean splurging on expensive landscaping or building an entire garden—these things actually might not add home value at all. Instead, make a list of ways to enhance the positive (beautiful walkway, porch, etc.) and eliminate the negative (huge garage, overgrown shrubs, etc.) that will require the least amount of maintenance. For example, get plants that are native to your region so they will require less water/maintenance for the homeowner.
While you’re sprucing up your front yard, don’t forget about the sides and back! Adding shrubs on the side of the house and a deck or patio with room for seating will make a huge difference to potential buyers.
Added Square Footage/Visual Space
While having more space is a plus when selling, a bigger renovation is not always better in home value. When adding square footage, you wouldn’t want to completely eliminate your yard or add a 20-foot garage that becomes an eyesore. Adding an additional bathroom, bedroom, living area, or small garage can be great for your home value though. In addition, taking down walls to have a more open concept will make a big difference.
Finishing a basement is the most common way to add usable square footage to a home. Most people want a finished basement, so if yours isn’t already done, buyers might feel inclined to offer you less.
Any larger scale maintenance work, like repairing your roof, should probably be addressed regardless of whether or not you are trying to increase your home’s value. Some smaller repairs or replacements you can do right now are:
Replacing worn out carpets
Giving your interior a fresh coat of paint
Updating light fixtures
Adding a water filtration system
While you may be used to small cosmetic problems, a potential buyer will be thrown off (and less likely to buy) if there are a lot of repairs needing to be done.
When deciding on renovations to make, choose carefully if you’re interested in your home value. While you might love some of the edits being made, they might not actually increase ROI— this includes highly customizable options such as an art room or music room.
It’s also a good idea to check out the home value in your neighborhood before making any renovations, as having a home valued much higher won’t actually help you when selling. For example, if the average home in your neighborhood is $250,000 and your home in already valued at $225,000, you wouldn’t want to make any renovations over $25,000 or else you will not likely get a return on your investment.
A remodel or renovation can be a huge decision for a homeowner, especially if you’re planning to sell in the future. Are you in the market to sell? Contact my office with any home value questions! I'd love to hear from you.