Most homeowners consider their house to be their biggest asset and are confident that, if they decide to sell it, they’ll be getting more than what they paid. This is quite optimistic considering that the price depends on factors that are not always in your control: location, inflation, how many homes are available on the market and how many people are interested in buying one. Even how location is perceived can change and therefore the value of property in that area.
Luckily, there are some home improvement projects that can add value to your home but, as a general rule, you should pay attention to the average price of homes in your neighborhood and don’t spend so much that, in order to have a good return on investment, you need to exceed it.
Of course, some potential buyers will be looking for the lowest price possible, even if it means they’d have to do a lot of remodeling after purchase. Most, however, will want to get a house that fits their needs and only require some minimal cosmetic improvements to fit their personal taste. It’s hard for them to predict how much a major remodeling project would cost so they want to play it safe.
First impressions matter and even if most buyers will make cosmetic upgrades after purchase, if the house appears run down they’ll be much more skeptical about everything. They’ll wonder if the plumbing and electrical wiring are in good condition, if the insulation is adequate etc.
First and easiest thing you can do is paint the exterior of the home. Use no more than three colors as too many will make the house look choppy rather than harmonious and well thought out. You’ll want to use one color for the body of the house, one for the garage door and trim, and another for the front door and shutters. If you have a deck or patio, give it a power wash, stain and seal it. Make sure the lawn is mowed and everything looks nice and tidy. Don’t invest in elaborate landscaping, just the minimum.
On the inside you’ll also want to give it a fresh coat of paint, preferably in neutral colors since that appeal to all buyers. Decluttering is very important because you want to give the impression of plenty of space when potential buyers visit. If you’ll be still living in the house while you’re organizing visits, see if you can remove some of the furniture and take it to a storage facility. Everyone who looks for a home tries to find one with more space than they need, not less. By leaving just the essentials and some tasteful, neutral decorations, you’re allowing them to envision what it would be like to live in that space.
Increasing the energy efficiency of your home might not be the most exciting home improvement but most buyers will pay attention to these features. They’re planning on making a big purchase and they want to save on their bills so they can pay for extra furniture and other alterations they might need.
Replacing the windows with more modern UPVC turn & tilt windows is a good starting point because old, drafty single-pane windows are easy to spot and don’t make a very good impression.
They’ll also be looking at your heating system, air conditioning and boiler system so you want to make sure they’ve been at least checked by a professional recently and you can show them the paperwork. You can add some smart technology to your home like a thermostat that you can operate remotely. Features like these are not that expensive but can be a huge selling point. You can also replace the lighting with LEDs and see if you can replace some of the appliances with more energy efficient versions.
In the bathroom, you can install low-flow showerheads and a dual-flush toilet tank.
Add Square Footage or Modify the Floor Plan to Create More Open Space
Nowadays, people prefer a more open design so you can change the floor plan by combining the kitchen with the living room and adding a kitchen island. This gives the house a more luxurious aspect and makes it more appealing.
Another option is to add another bathroom or office space. The bathroom would be a more expensive project since you have to handle the plumbing alterations but it’s a big selling point with families. The home office is very sought after at present, with so many people working remotely or having a side-business.
The easiest way is to convert your attic or basement into living space. The basement, for example, could serve as another living room and some people rent them out or use them as office space.
Kitchens give one of the best returns on investment. As we already suggested, you can replace old appliances with new, energy efficient ones that should ideally match to give the room more aesthetic appeal. As for the cabinets, you can replace or you can reface them and save some money. The countertops should be changes to marble, granite or quarts.
We recommend quartz as it’s the most affordable version and has become very popular. It’s made out of stone chips, resins and pigments, it’s very resilient to scratches and stains and requires very little maintenance.
The faucets and sinks can be replaced with more modern, sleek versions that match current trends such as black stainless steel, or you can leave the sink and replace only the faucet with one that has more impressive features.
The goal is to achieve a well-coordinated, fresh, modern look that signals updated in the mind of the buyer. Even if they’re not that passionate about cooking, most everyone wants the kind of kitchen they can envision themselves cooking in because most of us imagine that any day now we’re going to get serious about it.
For families, it will be an important factor since they need a space where they can quickly prepare breakfast and school lunches and then send everyone on their way before heading to work. A claustrophobic, outdated kitchen is nobody’s ideal.