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Top 6 Home Improvements that Pay Off

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Are you ready to upgrade your home but are worried about sinking money into investments that may never see a return?  Well here are a few home improvements that experts say will pay off now and in the future:

1.  Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling is a sure-fire investment that often returns more than 100 percent of the cost.  People spend a significant amount of time in kitchens and baths, so you want to make them inviting and tranquil for yourself and future buyers.  Buyers are beginning to expect upgraded kitchens and baths now more than ever before.  Upgrades to consider include: tile or hardwood flooring, granite countertops, new or resurfaced cabinets, and stainless steel appliances.  For the master bath, floor-to-ceiling, walk-in showers are a hot commodity (literally).  Sleek, walk-in showers have actually replaced whirlpool tubs on buyers’ wish lists, so if you have to pick one or the other, go with the shower.  Keep in mind, if your home only has one bath, the upgrade you’ll want to make is adding an extra bathroom.  While buyers are still charmed by older homes that may only have one bath, functionality and practically may be a concern.  If you have a three or four bedroom home with one bath, it will certainly pay to add a second bathroom.  For more budget-friendly upgrades, try adding a tile backsplash, updating light fixtures, or replacing cabinet hardware and faucets.

2. Home Maintenance

While not the most glamorous of home improvements, this is one of the most important.  Buyers won’t be enamored by your beautiful new kitchen if there is a musty smell coming from the basement or the siding is rotting.  A top priority should be making sure your home is structurally sound on the inside and out.  Essential home maintenance projects include repairing the roof, replacing the siding, and correcting water leaking from the foundation, just to name a few.

3. Curb Appeal

Before you can get buyers inside to see your interior improvements, your home has to be appealing on the outside.  Upgrades can range from simple, such as pulling weeds, to more complex, like building a front porch to add interest and charm.  You may also consider planting shrubs and flowers, pressure washing your driveway, painting the exterior, or adding walkways and extra parking space.  If you have outdoor living space (deck, patio, or porch), stage the area with comfortable seating and dining furniture.  In a nutshell, your exterior should convey a sense of welcome.

4. Paint

Painting is an affordable home improvement that can give any home a facelift.  Paint makes a home look and feel younger and better taken care of.  When selecting paint colors, go towards the warmer, more neutral tones in order to appeal to a wider range of buyers.   Try textured or faux paint in a focal space like the dining room for a distinctive, unique touch.

5.  Adding Extra Living Space

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, every 1,000 square feet added to a home can increase the sale price by 30 percent.  This can include adding a sunroom, bathroom, attic bedroom, or even a deck for outdoor living and entertaining space.  Or if your home has a basement, you may be able to take advantage of a whole extra level of living.  Basements are great for game rooms, guest suites, bars, or play areas.  For some of the more trendy, high-end housing markets, there is a demand for the luxury of home theaters, wine cellars, and yoga rooms, but be sure to consider your housing market and neighborhood before embarking on one of these upgrades.

6. Flooring

Flooring is one of the first things that will be seen (and felt underfoot) by a potential homebuyer.  The most in-demand flooring choice is hardwood floors, which is a proven resale value booster.  A classic like red oak is always a good choice, while trends are also moving towards exotic woods like bamboo and wider-planked boards.  If you already have hardwood, refinishing your floors is a great way to bring back their luster and brilliance.  Tile is also a popular flooring solution for bathrooms, kitchens, foyers, and laundry rooms, and should replace any existing vinyl flooring.  Lastly, the softness and comfort of carpet or areas rugs is perfect for bedrooms and play areas.  If new flooring is not in the budget, be sure to have your carpets cleaned before putting your house on the market.

When considering all home improvements, be sure to keep in mind a few key factors.  What you’ll get back on your investment is dependent on how soon you sell after making improvements, the value of your house, the value of houses in your neighborhood, the housing market in which you live, and the quality of the project itself.

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