If you are contemplating selling your home in the next couple years, you may be thinking about the kinds of updates you need to make to your home in order to attract the most buyers. Many homeowners mistakenly think they have to heavily invest in expensive upgrades in order to sell their homes for top dollar.
It is true that many homebuyers don’t want to have to deal with updating their new homes, and prefer a more “move-in-ready” home. However, some of the most expensive projects in the home may not actually get as much return for your dollar as you might think. If you have a limited budget, it’s best to focus on those projects that will net you the best return.
Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report has itemized the most impactful home improvements based on ROI:
Replacing the Garage Door
If your garage door is showing its age or if the opener is unreliable, then replacing the garage door and the opener is a cost effective home improvement that will elevate your home’s value. you can get up to a 97% return on your investment with this project.
Adding a Stone Veneer
Set your home apart from the neighbors with a classy stone facing to your entryway or chimney. Stone veneers are pricey, but with a 94.9% return on investment, they may be worth the extra expense. And the cool thing is you can add a stone treatment to the interior or exterior. Stone walls , chimney surrounds, and other aesthetic accents are becoming popular for a dramatic interior design statement.
Updating the Kitchen
You don’t have to completely gut the kitchen and rebuild it from the studs out in order to increase your home’s value and get ready for a sale. Often, your kitchen only needs some minor updates to freshen it up. Large projects, like changing layouts, knocking out walls, and kitchen expansions in moderately priced communities might actually overprice your home when compared with other homes in the community. A minor updating, with perhaps new appliances and countertops, or new flooring and a fresh coat of paint, could return around 80.5% of your investment and bring more interested buyers to your home.
Replace Entry Door
Many agents will tell you that curb appeal is essential to getting buyers into your home. An inviting and well-kept entryway makes your home feel inviting. If your entry door is looking a little tired, or boring, then a new entry door may be just what you need. A new door is relatively inexpensive, unless you are expanding the opening or adding sidelights. Leaded glass inserts add visual interest and let the light shine into the home while maintaining privacy. Of course, if your door is still in good shape, you may not need to replace it at all – a fresh coat of paint or stain may do the trick. If you do replace the door, expect to earn around a 74.9% ROI.
Old, leaky or unsightly windows are a turn-off for buyers. Since energy efficiency is so important in our desert region, no one wants high cooling bills because the windows leak. If you have the budget, replacing the windows can recoup about 73.4% of the investment upon resale.
Lower Cost Updates
If you find yourself needing to take a more budget minded approach to preparing your home for sale, there are still some low-investment updates you can make to attract buyers and gain additional value.
- Freshen the paint – this should be a given for ANY home that will be going on the market soon. If there is any damage to the walls from artwork or accidents, repair the damage and roll on a fresh coat of paint. Neutral is best, with white trim.
- Improve curb appeal – think like a buyer. Look at your home from the curb with a critical eye. Take note of any outdoor features that look worn, overgrown, or dilapidated. Repair sagging gutters or downspouts, repaint faded or pealing trim, trim overgrown bushes, replace beat-up mailboxes. Add new house numbers, and make sure our yard looks clean and well-kept.
- Make your home “smart” – A few additions of moderately priced smart home features can attract techno-savvy younger buyers. Smart thermostats, voice-controlled lighting, and video doorbells are fairly standard with some new construction, and make a valuable addition to existing homes as well. The nice thing is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.
- Shed a little light – it’s amazing what a difference a few new light fixtures can make. Swap out an old, dated chandelier in an eating area, add some stylish task lighting over an island, or add a little luxury to a master bath with a special fixture. It’s also important that you play up the natural light in your home as much as possible. Keep windows easily accessible and unblocked by furniture, and opt for window treatments that allow natural light to brighten the room.
- Update the bathrooms – Like the kitchen, many people seem to think bathroom updates require a major investment. However, you can make major improvements with a deep cleaning, a fresh layer of grout, and perhaps an updated vanity or lighting fixture. If you have the budget, you can put in a new floor or reglaze the tub for just a few hundred dollars.
Don’t Expect a Big Return
There are some updates that simply will not net you a huge ROI. You can still do them – just make sure you are doing them for the right reasons. Updates like these are either a necessary part of owning a home or should be for our own enjoyment, but don’t expect to see a huge bump in property value because you take on one of these project.
- Swimming pools – on a national level, as reported by the 2019 Cost vs Value Report, pools are not a great investment. However, in the Fountain Hills area, a pool is almost a necessity. Depending on various factors, you may not recoup the total cost of putting a pool in when you go to sell (although you may hurt your value by NOT having one!).
- Restaurant-grade kitchens – unless you are selling a luxury home, putting in a luxury, gourmet kitchen may not pay off in the long run.
- Jetted tubs – If your home does not already have a jetted tub, adding one isn’t going to add much to your ROI. They raise energy costs, and people end up not using them all that often. They are also a pain to repair/replace. If you need to make changes in your bathroom, luxury walk-in showers are more likely to appeal to buyers.
- High-maintenance landscaping – This isn’t as much of an issue in the arid desert climes, but there are home gardeners that like to get pretty creative with their outdoor environment. Not all home buyers want to spend all their free time caring for delicate plants, nor do they want to pay high water bills to irrigate. A lot of high-maintenance landscaping will not really improve your home’s value. Opt for easy-care, yet stylish.
- Basic home maintenance – A properly maintained home will appreciate in value. But don’t expect to itemize all your home maintenance costs and build that into your listing price. You won’t get full value for a new roof or replaced HVAC system, or other basic repairs. This is just part of the responsibility for caring for a home. Now, you may get a small bump if your updates improve energy efficiency or if you splurge on 100-year tiles. But in most cases, you’ll only get fraction back at sale. On the flip side, deferred maintenance will definitely cost you – your home could lose value if you have not kept up with necessary maintenance.
We are here for you! Susan Pellegrini and Karen DeGeorge are ready to put their care and expertise to work for you. Buying or selling, our first-class service comes with a wealth of experience and eye for detail, ready to focus on you. Visit our website to learn more and contact us or give us a call at (480)- 315-1575, we’re here for you.