Whether you are planning to sell or just interested in updating, it’s important to understand how renovations impact the value of your home. The return on investment of any home improvement project is based on the current housing market, but historically certain projects show higher returns regardless of location and market conditions. Either way, unless renovation is to fix structural, system, or design flaws, you will rarely get back more than the cost of construction.
Kitchens and bathrooms are widely regarded as the heart of the home, so keeping them updated is a good idea. If you are planning on selling, your best bet is repairing damage, caulking, adding a fresh coat of paint, and changing out hardware. If you are staying a while or the home is badly outdated, new floors, counters, and appliances make sense. Steer clear of the most expensive finishes, which generally don’t add significant value. Custom cabinets and marble floors may be nice, but don’t assume buyers will pay proportionally for these things if you aren’t in the luxury market.
Paint is a quick and easy way to transform a room. Its cost-effective and dramatically improves the look. Focus on the most high traffic areas, like kitchens and bathrooms, then just give a thorough scrubbing to the rest of the house. If you have any bright colored rooms they should be painted neutral colors. As vibrant as they seem to you, buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in a space, and your bright pink dining room may not be their taste.
Exterior fixes are a great way to add value to your home or sell it quickly. Basic maintenance like mowing, weeding, and mulching keep the outside looking fresh and clean. Power washing is also a fairly inexpensive refresh, and depending on location should be done once every year or so to keep your home looking its best.
Your home is a huge investment and keeping it updated and in good repair is always a good rule of thumb. Focusing improvements on certain areas gives you the biggest returns but remember, bigger isn’t always better, and spending more doesn’t necessarily create more value.