HGTV considers the following home-enhancements to be among top-tier choices for regaining the most pay-back. Though not exhaustive, this list includes some of the most popular home-improvements as well as some of the most enjoyable, once renovation is complete.
1. Modernized Kitchens
A state-of-the-art kitchen is a very coveted renovation for earning back most of the monetary investment. Even if you were to not gut the entire kitchen, there are certain upgrades that are zealously prized by potential buyers: granite counter-tops, hardwood or stone (not tile) floors, premium appliances, islands, and under-mount sinks.
A kitchen remodel can return more than 100%.
2. New or Renewed Hardwood Flooring
Hardwood floors are a favorite with discriminating buyers; and if your older home has original hardwood floors and they are in decent shape, you are in luck! Have them lightly sanded, stained and resealed-you would be amazed at how stunning they can appear, once again, at a fraction of the cost of new hardwood flooring. Wood floors in pristine condition add that ‘wow’ factor that can be a deal-breaker for home-buyers.
Hardwood floors can bring back 2-times their cost! Conservatively, hardwood floors will bring in 100-150% return on investment.
3. Additional Square Footage
For every 1,000 square feet of actual living space that are added onto a home, the sale price can be boosted by more than 30%, according to the National Association of Realtors. Whether it is a spacious attic bedroom or a dedicated entertainment space, the ROI is quite impressive.
Attic bedrooms and family/entertainment rooms can recoup between 70% and 80%.
4. Optimized Curb Appeal
If people drive by your home and are not impressed with what their eyes immediately see, chances are they may never give the inside of your home a single opportunity to strut its stuff. Curb appeal is synonymous with ‘first impression’. Make your home’s curb appeal eye-catching enough that it actually makes a statement that conveys a warm sense of ‘welcome’! That message draws people in, both, physically and psychologically.
Add beautiful beds of flowers, potted plants and trees to your property; and have them positioned in strategic locations to transform your home’s exterior from ‘frumpy’ to ‘fabulous’. Group plants by height; and layer the groupings for visual appeal. Your grassy areas should be lush and thick; and investing in a good edger to keep your property looking exquisitely manicured will impress even the most-persnickety buyers.
Curb appeal is not limited, only, to vegetation. Making sure your driveway and sidewalks are in good shape is equally important. If your concrete areas have seen better days, and if cracks or any bulging or separation is apparent, consider replacement or professional repair. If sidewalks and the driveway are in good shape and just need a facelift, staining or painting those areas with highly-durable, concrete-specific products will do wonders to add a fresh, renewed look! Also, tasteful outside lighting “paints” your home at night; and retaining walls add color and texture to wide stretches of green and give any property a very fortified appearance. Curb appeal can make the difference between a home that sells quickly at top dollar verses one that languishes for months.
Clean and classy curb appeal can contribute a whopping 20% to the total property value of a home. If done right, the ROI with curb appeal can be double the initial, total expense.
5. New Windows
The energy efficiency of installing higher-end windows is an unarguable benefit. Replacement costs will be determined by the number of windows being replaced as well as the type, of course. This is one home-improvement that home-buyers place a high premium on.
A return of investment of at least 79% is very realistic.
There are certain improvements that are, definitely, worth the investment when it comes to helping attract more buyers, helping you to sell your home quicker, helping you retrieve most or all of your investment, and helping to optimize your home’s true market value. It is vital, however, to not over-improve out of your particular neighborhood since reclaiming your investment will, likely, not materialize. You don’t want to fall into the trap of out-pricing your home, out of all other homes in your area, by a wide margin.
What you get back on your investment will depend on the value of your home, the value of homes in your immediate area, the housing market where you live, how soon you sell after making home-improvements and the quality of each project involved.