Top Home Improvement Projects That Increase Property Value

 In Bathrooms, Kitchens, What to Know When Renovating

Appraisers have tons of horror stories that tell of homeowners who feel the disappointment in finding out that the special remodeling job they performed added nearly no property value.

That gorgeous imported Italian tile you used in your entryway or the pool you put in the backyard may have held immense value to you while residing in the house, but sometimes they end up having little – if any – financial  value to those buyers shopping in your neighborhood.

To get the most out of your home improvement dollar, take a look at these 6 home improvements that are sure to increase property value:

1. Indoor Systems

Make sure your home is move-in ready for new buyers by taking care of major systems.  This includes things like making sure your heating system is up to code, repairing any electrical issues, fixing sewer systems, and upgrading the plumbing.  These kinds of systems need to be taken care of before you consider cosmetic and other functional improvements (like adding additional sq ft).

Buyers will need to know that the basic items are working and won’t need to be replaced or repaired in the near future.  These are issues that will more than likely be addressed in the home inspection anyway, so it would be better to have them taken care of before hand.

Older homes may require updated wiring and plumbing, and older roofs should definitely be replaced. Always make sure to address problems with heating and air-conditioning units.

Looking for more information on the lifespan of most major systems?  Check out this cheat sheet from Demesne.

2. Outdoor Replacement Projects

Replacement projects will usually give you more added value than a remodeling project.  The good news is that these types of projects are also the least costly and have the added bonus of adding to the home’s curb appeal.

Consider replacing an out-of-date garage door, old siding, a tired front door, and old energy-zapping windows. You’ll usually see an average return on investment for these projects at 70% or more.

Try fiber-cement or foam-backed vinyl siding, adding a steel entry door, and energy-efficient vinyl windows.

3. Kitchen Improvements

Because kitchens are often the heart of a family home, anything you do to improve your kitchen will usually add value. Giving your kitchen a fresh coat of paint should always be the first step regardless as to whether or not you plan an entire remodel or just a minor face-lift.

Vinyl flooring often makes a kitchen look older and dated, so consider putting in laminate or tile. New cabinetry, kitchen sink fixtures, and updated lighting will also increase value.

Keep in mind that people working with a limited budget can still increase the value of their home by simply having the cabinetry sanded and painted and adding new, matching hardware, appliances, and counter tops.

4. Increase Curb Appeal

Curb appeal gets potential buyers into your home, so underestimating its importance is a big mistake many homeowners make.

For anyone who is working with a healthier budget, take a good hard look at your landscaping.  If it needs extensive work, consider hiring professionals for this home improvement project.

Hiring a landscape architect can be an important investment if your yard is in truly desperate need help. Remember, curb appeal shouldn’t stop at the front yard, but should be extended to the backyard as well.

At the bare minimum, you should clean the yard of debris, trim the trees and bushes, and put fresh mulch in the planting beds. A poorly maintained front yard can actually lead to as much as a 10% drop in value!

Take a look at these curb-appeal improving landscape projects from Better Homes And Gardens.

5. Refurbish the Basement

Unfinished basements are full of untapped potential and are a great way to increase your property value. You could be sitting on top of a bonus room, a bedroom (or two), a laundry room, or a family room. if you build it, the buyers will come. More importantly, if you build it, you may be able to stay.

That said, there may be a reason why your basement wasn’t finished in the first place. It’s worth it to call in professionals to determine what’s possible, what’s not, and how much money it would take to ensure the lower level functions as well as the ones above it, especially in terms of moisture control, available outlets, lighting, and access.

Done well and done professionally, finished basements can be one of the smartest renovations you do for yourself and your home, giving you as much as a 70% return on investment and making your home more attractive to buyers who need more space.

When choosing which remodeling projects are worth your money, consider how long you have left in your home. Many homeowners begin major remodeling projects to prepare for an eventual sale–and never get a chance to truly enjoy their investment. With the help of a professional team of designers and contractors, you can make sure your home meets your needs now while also increasing your property value at the time of sale.

Not sure how to maximize your next remodeling project? We can help.

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