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Home Improvements to Increase Your Home’s Value

what improvements increase a homes value

The property market is a fickle beast, but practical renovations tend to produce lasting returns. Remodeling Magazine’s annual cost vs. value report isn’t ruled by pretty facades or elegant palettes. Functionality is everything, so HVAC conversions, siding replacements, and deck additions are right at the top of the list.  Let’s take a closer look.

Top home improvements for increasing home value

If there’s one lesson to draw from the cost vs. value report, it’s that America loves its comfort. The ROI of insulating features even rivals that of kitchen and bathroom remodels. Even so, a few aesthetic improvements occupy the top 10. Manufactured stone veneers are right up there with steel door replacements.  So are:

  • Kitchen renovations

On average, minor kitchen renovations should recoup 85.7% of your costs. A major kitchen remodel will only recoup a little over 40% of its costs, so gutting your entire room could leave you in the red.

  • Bathroom upgrades

A bathroom upscale can make or break your sale. Handle it well, and you’ll recoup 66.7% of your renovation costs. Handle it poorly, however, and you’ll introduce a major design flaw that requires an expensive repair. Shower and tub upgrades are the top performers of the niche, but ultra-lush options like jet tubs and steam showers produce a surprisingly low impact.

  • Curb Appeal Enhancements

The average American buyer is willing to pay 7% more for a property with stellar curb appeal. First impressions matter. Manufactured stone veneers occupy the third-spot on the cost vs. value list. Vinyl siding occupies the fifth spot, with reroofing in 11th place. Steel door replacements are almost as profitable.

Maximizing space and functionality

If your house seems too small, the problem probably has more to do with layout and efficacy than square footage. Most homes have limitless vertical space to exploit. Basements and attics should not be treated as afterthoughts, but opportunities. A few space-saving renovations pack extra power:

  • Basement remodeling: Every basement wants to be something fun when it grows up. You might turn yours into a game room, guestroom, or entertainment zone.
  • Attic conversion: Attic conversions are a clever way to add an extra bedroom and bathroom to your space. Handle them well, and you could net a 53% return.
  • Creating multi-purpose rooms: Hybrid rooms can add to your home’s functionality while making the most of your square footage. Do you really need that guest room 12 months a year? Or can it accommodate other elements of your lifestyle?

Energy efficiency and sustainability

Energy efficiency occupies a unique space in the renovation market because it recoups its costs long before you ever sell your home. Buyers say they’d be more likely to choose a property with existing smart home technology, sustainable features, and LEED certifications. You can reduce your energy consumption with:

  • Solar panels
  • Insulation upgrades
  • HVAC updates
  • Smart home technology
  • Triple pane windows.

Enhancing outdoor living spaces

Clever landscape upgrades can add as much as 10% to the value of a large US home, but ROI estimates are all over the map. This is unpredictable terrain for homeowners looking to maximize their property value, but a few upgrades soar above the rest:

  • Deck or patio additions do more than just improve your resale value. They’ll also enhance your lifestyle.
  • Landscaping and garden improvements will improve on what you already own. Trees, walkway upgrades, and native plants are highly profitable.
  • Outdoor kitchen or entertainment areas will turn your yard into a thriving event space. They’ll also increase your property value exponentially.

Upgrades for style and aesthetics

Aesthetics don’t tend to rise to the top of the ROI pile, but if your home is in desperate need of a style upgrade, your returns will rise in tandem. Better yet, stylistic renovations are often pocket-friendly. Consider performing:

  • An interior paint job with updated color schemes.
  • Fixture and hardware upgrades, particularly in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Flooring replacement or refinishing.
  • Window replacements.

Maintenance and repair priorities

Just because you can sell a home in shoddy condition, it doesn’t mean you should. Only investment buyers will pay a reasonable amount for a dilapidated property. Age and condition can have a devastating effect on your sale. Your primary focus should be on:

  • Roof repair or replacement
  • Plumbing and electrical updates
  • Foundation and structural repairs

These repairs can rack up your costs, but you might not pass an inspection without them. Ultimately, the maintenance tasks you choose should be compared to the value they add to your home.

Your home is probably your most valuable asset, so your resale choices will weigh heavily upon you. Some renovations are key investments with legitimate returns, but others will empty your savings account pointlessly. Don’t let the process intimidate you — The right decision often comes down to simple mathematics.

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