Increasing a home's value beyond the cost of improvement can be very tricky.
If you're trying to sell, increasing the value of your home makes sense. A lot of things you do to improve the desirability of your property won't affect the actual value but will help you (and potential buyers) feel more content when you are home. Very expensive projects (major remodels and add-ons), as well as free ones (yard clean up), can vary in the amount and type of value they bring to a property. Planning the right projects for the right goal is extremely important! Are you improving for yourself or are you improving to increase your resale value?
Home Improvement Tips:
- Keep the value of your home within 15-20% of your neighbors.
- Don't overbuild for the neighborhood.
- Pushing your home's worth above others in the area is not going to pay off and may make your home impossible to sell without losing money.
Projects most likely to increase your home's value include wooden decks, entry doors, garage doors, stone veneer, minor kitchen remodels, and midrange bathroom remodels. Think twice about above-ground pools; expensive ceiling fans; garden ponds; and high-end light fixtures.
NAR’s annual Remodeling Impact Report takes a look at the costs of projects, the value that can be recouped, and how consumers feel after tackling a home improvement project. As seen in the infographic below, the projects that brought the most joy to the homeowner were the kitchen reno, closet reno, and interior paint. The projects that recouped the most money were a new roof (107%), new hardwood floors (106%), and refinished hardwood floors (100%).
Home Improvement Tips:
- Remodel with mass appeal in mind. Potential buyers are usually attracted to neutral, mainstream designs.
- Don’t go cheap when it comes to construction. Use durable, quality materials. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, honestly evaluate your ability to do it right.
- Don’t remodel in a different style from the rest of the house. Additions and improvements that look “tacked on” may detract from a home’s appeal.
- Turning a bedroom into a bathroom is a mistake – it reduces the number of bedrooms, a chief selling point.
- Don’t do a $30,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 house – unless you plan to continue living there. It is a waste of money.
- There are some improvements that actually reduce your IRS tax bill! Qualifying improvements are those that increase your home's value or prolong your home's life. Check out this TurboTax article for more information.
When you get ready to sell you will want your property on the market for as little time as possible to bring top dollar, the longer it is for sale, the less likely you'll get your asking price. Make the home as appealing as possible with some of the free and low-cost improvements suggested below. Remember this, if two similar homes are for sale, the one with the cleanest and most appealing front yard will sell first!
Low-cost & Free Home Improvement Tips:
- Make sure the outside of your home is spic-and-span.
- Clean out the gutters.
- Wash the windows and remove cobwebs and bugs.
- Trim the hedges, cut and edge the lawn, sweep the sidewalks and driveway.
- Plant some colorful flowers out front.
You may want to add to or improve your landscaping while you’re at it. According to a study conducted by Money Magazine, landscaping may be the best investment to improve a home's value. The study found that well-planned, attractive landscaping was estimated to have an actual recovery rate 100 to 200 percent higher than a kitchen or bathroom renovation!
For specific advice on your home's current and potential value, please request a market analysis today for free!
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Learn more about the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report in this video with Dr. Jessica Lautz: