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Buying a home can be a great investment, but only if your resale value increases while you live there. That means exploring which remodels and updates are worth the time and effort.
Rather than getting lost in a sea of home improvement ideas and dreams, evaluate which activities have the highest return on investment (ROI) to make sure you not only improve your space for you and your family, but also for buyers. potential in the future.
10 home improvement projects that add value to your property
Whether you are buying a new home or one that has already been lived in, there are always updates and renovations you can do to improve the space.
From a simple coat of fresh paint to a complete kitchen remodel, here are some home renovation projects that will help increase the value of your property and add comfort and convenience to your life as a homeowner.
1. Remodeling of major or minor kitchens
Kitchen improvements, whether major or minor, are a great way to increase the value of your home. According to Remodeling Magazine , you can expect to recoup between 53% and 72% from your kitchen remodel, depending on the type of renovation you do, the materials you use, and where you live.
Minor kitchen updates include small projects like:
- Put on a new backsplash
- Refinishing cabinets
- Lighting fixtures upgrade
- Adding an island
- Increased storage space
- Faucet upgrade
Major kitchen renovations include:
- New Cabinets and Countertops
- Installation of flooring wood, laminate or tile
- Add windows, doors, or even square footage
- Upgrade to high-end appliances
- Add seating, dining, storage, or cooking space
When considering a kitchen upgrade, remember to stick to your remodeling budget and keep the space functional and relevant to the rest of the property.
For example, if you live in an old house with a lot of old-fashioned charm, a modern restaurant-style kitchen with industrial appliances may feel out of place and could be a turnoff for potential buyers.
2. Improvements in the bathroom
Bathroom remodels are another way to increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to future home buyers.
Depending on your bathroom renovation budget , you can explore a variety of potential projects, including:
- Installing new sinks, bathtubs, showers, or toilets
- Painting, re-chipping and replacing the floors
- Add storage space
- Put on a dresser or mirror
- Improved lighting
Another option is to add a bathroom to your home, especially if you only have one to start with. Multi-bath homes are a hot commodity on the real estate market, and you’ll probably appreciate the convenience, too.
Popular ways to add a bathroom include adding a bathroom to a master bedroom or turning a closet or other unused space into a half bathroom on the main floor. Just keep in mind that adding a bathroom or creating a master suite where it doesn’t already exist can quickly get expensive and may not add resale value to the home .
3. Transform an unused space
Many homes have additional unfinished space that is waiting to be used, such as basements , attics, and extra bedrooms.
As a homeowner, leaving that space intact just means you have square footage that you’re not taking advantage of. Making the most of those unused rooms will increase your living space and make your home attractive to potential home buyers.
Also, it is usually much less expensive than adding extra floor space to your home.
Some projects to explore include turning an unused space into a:
- Game room
- Home gym
- Home Office
- Separate suite
- Second living room
- Library or study
- Guests’ room
4. Outdoor oasis
Projects that make your outdoor space more accessible and functional also increase the value of your home. Depending on the materials you use, such as wood or composite decking, decks and patios can have an ROI of more than 64% .
Other options include stone and brick patios and lower decks, which can be great DIY projects if helpful.
If you already have a deck or patio, pressure wash it and paint it if necessary. Repair or replace rotten old boards or broken pavers, and remove peeling paint and stain. Fixing your existing exterior structures is a low-cost way to increase the attractiveness of your home to buyers and increase the overall attractiveness of your property.
5. Keep the house up to date
Depending on how old your property is, there are likely some home improvement projects that can be done to update it in terms of residential building codes.
For example, many older homes can benefit from newer ones:
- Electrical wiring
- Hot water heaters
- Air conditioning systems
Home renovations like these are usually best suited for older homes that haven’t been updated in the past. And while they can be expensive, they are often worth it because they will add value to your property and make it safer and more comfortable for you, and future occupants, to live in.
6. Extras of efficient energy use
Energy efficient appliances and building materials have a number of benefits. Not only do they help save money on energy costs, they can also reduce the environmental impact of your home. Here are some projects to consider:
- Install solar panels
- Buy Energy Star appliances
- Invest in a smart thermostat
- Replace old windows
- Replace poorly insulated exterior doors
- Improve insulation
Many of these energy efficient remodeling projects qualify for federal and state green energy tax credits , which benefits you in more ways than one.
To find out how to improve the energy efficiency of your home, consider a professional home energy audit . Many gas and electric providers offer assessments that give you an energy score and tips on how to increase the efficiency of your home.
The return on investment of energy efficient home improvements varies greatly depending on the project you take on. For example, according to EnergySage , insulating an attic has an average return on investment of just under 117%.
7. Interior design
A little interior design goes a long way. Simple and straightforward design updates help prepare your home for sale and come with relatively small price tags.
If you are looking for some easy but worthwhile home improvement projects to increase the overall value of your property and attract buyers, consider:
- Lighting fixtures upgrade
- Replacement of light covers and heat registers
- Change old door knobs and hardware
- Installing custom window coverings, such as blinds
- Modernizing your paint colors
- Repainting of baseboards, ceilings and interior doors
- Adding crown molding
Although these jobs may seem less impressive than large-scale renovations, don’t underestimate how much the visual appeal of your home can affect its value. The color you choose to paint a room can have a big impact on the selling price of your home, as a recent report from Zillow shows .
8. Curbside appeal drivers
Your home’s curb appeal is directly related to whether it makes a positive first impression on potential buyers. And there are a variety of different ways you can make your home stand out, even on the street.
Some of the best home projects to improve curb appeal include:
- Replacement, repair, or painting of wood, brick, or vinyl siding
- Paint or buy a new front door
- Replacing a worn garage door
- Add stone veneer to your driveway
- Installation of new lighting
According to the same report from Zillow, simply painting your front door a darker color, such as black or charcoal, can increase the sale price of your home by more than $ 6,000. That’s pretty impressive, considering that a can of paint typically costs less than $ 100.
The landscaping of your property also adds to the curb appeal and makes your home look more attractive. Possible landscaping projects include:
- Re-seeding or seeding the lawn
- Weeding flower beds and planters
- Add hanging baskets, flower beds, or planters
- Planting trees
- Replacement of old mulch
- Remove dead trees and shrubs
- Raking the grass and old leaves
Many of these projects are inexpensive and have the added benefit of being DIY-friendly, which means you won’t have to pay a professional to do them for you. The Washington Post puts the potential return on investment of landscaping projects between 150% and 1,000%, which means they are likely to pay off handsomely in the end.
10. Smart home automation
Smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular in the real estate world, helping to boost home values and adding new appeal to potential buyers. Some of the most in-demand smart home upgrades are:
- Smart thermostats
- Smart home security systems, such as doorbell cameras
- Smart smoke, carbon monoxide and radon detectors
- Smart lights
Consumer Reports estimated that smart home automation can increase the overall value of a home by 3-5% in 2016, which will likely increase as more people become more familiar with smart home devices and home automation.
While it can be difficult to determine exactly how much value these improvements add to your home, your real estate agent will be able to help you price your home accordingly.
Home improvement projects can be difficult to prioritize and budget for, so it’s important to choose the ones that offer the most benefits. If you plan to sell your home at some point in the future, focus on remodels and renovations that will increase the value of your property rather than decrease it .
Stick to a budget and work with a real estate agent to figure out where to start as you prepare your property for sale.