If you plan to live in your home for the rest of your life, you can afford to let your renovations be a passion project. But if you want to know your investment of time and money will pay off for you in the future, it’s important to tackle the remodels that buyers are looking for. Home Improvement Leads shares which updates are likely to help your home sell faster and for a higher value—and which ones probably won’t.
Updating Your Kitchen
The kitchen is a focal point for prospective buyers. This room has to be spacious, functional, and durable to meet their expectations. Gone are the days when the kitchen existed strictly as a place where meals were prepared. Now, it’s the place where friends enjoy a glass of wine and parents help their kids with homework. And because of that, aesthetic is as important as ease of use and a logical layout. Whether you’re looking to do a major remodel or merely a facelift, this is a room where it makes sense to sink some cash.
Going Energy Efficient
What’s more appealing than saving money every month and being a friend to the environment while you’re at it? Energy efficient upgrades like adding insulation and a smart thermostat can help you when it comes time to sell—and will lower your utility bills in the meantime.
Replacing Doors and Windows
High-performance windows and doors help increase energy efficiency by lessening heat transfer between the indoors and outdoors. Replacing old windows and doors can also make your home look more beautiful, which is a win-win for you and the buyer. If your house doesn’t get much natural light, consider installing bigger windows—because every buyer is looking for a beautiful view.
Once you’ve made your home as energy efficient as possible, converting to solar energy can be a logical next step—and one that will attract buyers looking to save money. Solar is more affordable than it’s ever been, and there are currently sumptuous tax rebates to help you cover this green project. You can either lease or buy a solar system, but it’s not a good idea to lease one if you plan on selling your home soon, since most buyers aren’t looking to take over a solar lease.
Expanding Outdoor Living Space
One of the best things about mild California weather is that it makes outdoor entertaining so easy. If you’re short on outdoor living space, considering installing a deck and making it a place where friends and family can relax, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. Composite wood decks have a decent ROI, but wood decks are more affordable and have a higher ROI.
Converting a Space into Guest Quarters
Most buyers picture their new homes in terms of their family and social lives. When they see a kitchen, dining room, or living room, they wonder how many people they can comfortably entertain. The ability to be hospitable to guests is a huge factor, and nothing says hospitable clearer than private guest quarters. The expense of this project depends on what you’re looking for. It could be as simple as doing a little redecorating that turns a playroom or office into a cozy bedroom, or as elaborate as converting an attic or basement into a full-on guest suite with a private bath. Either way, it will most likely pay off when you list your home.
Projects to Avoid
Now that you know which projects are definitely worth budgeting for, you should know which ones are worth avoiding. Any very upscale, expensive bathroom remodel or update is probably not going to fill your pockets back up. Most buyers don’t want to pay the price for full-on saunas, double toilets, or a jacuzzi tub. This is one of the rooms where it’s easy to overspend, so if your goal is selling and getting back what you put in, this is a good place to practice some restraint.
Above-ground pools can also be an obstacle to selling for the price you want. Under the right circumstances, a pool addition can result in a decent ROI. But for the most part, consider it an investment in your own enjoyment and not in your house value. A pool isn’t a necessity in most people’s eyes, and it’s also an ongoing responsibility and expense.
Planning your remodel well can help you recoup your investment down the road—and enjoy your home even more in the meantime.