If you’re thinking about starting a home improvement project this year, you’re not alone. Harvard University’s Center for Housing Studies found that home renovation spending rose by $6 billion from 2011 to 2013. While home improvement projects are more popular than ever, not all renovation are wise investments.
Although many home owners focus on major kitchen and bath upgrades, simple changes can significantly enhance your home’s appeal to potential buyers. As Realtors, we are often asked to recommend home renovations that have a solid return on investment. Here are 3 often overlooked upgrades that could add value your home.
Replace Your Front Door: According to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing your front door with a new steel door has the greatest return on investment of any project studied. The research found that a steel replacement door recouped 119% of investment at the time of sale. When selling your home, first impressions matter. A new front door enhances your home’s curb appeal making it more attractive to buyers.
Upgrade Lighting: Many home owners consider lighting upgrades when undertaking a larger project, like renovating a bath or kitchen, but home renovations need not be expensive or require a contractor. Add recessed lighting to living areas to brighten up the space and make it look more appealing. Dimmer switches are simple to install and can quickly change the mood of a room.
Add a small wooden deck. Renovations to the outside of your home are considered a good value. If you’re feeling ambitious, build a small deck to create a natural transition from living space to the yard. In addition to enhancing your home’s value, a deck provides unlimited opportunities for entertaining and socializing.
As home renovation guru Bob Vila noted, several popular home improvements offer little or no return on investment. The value of renovations will vary by geographic location, neighborhood standards and market conditions. Before undertaking any project, consider how long you plan to stay in your home, and the value that the renovation will provide during the time you live there. If you’re not planning to move soon, focus on projects that you enjoy. If you have kept pace with home maintenance and updates, less may be more. A fresh coat of paint and new kitchen hardware may make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
Before marketing a home, we assess each property’s strengths and identify opportunities for upgrades or enhancements. We would be happy to meet with you to review your goals, neighborhood standards and market conditions. If you have questions about upgrades or current inventory, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation.
Photo credit: Mark Moz / Flickr