Home Improvement ~ Dollars & Sense (Part 2)

We’ve discussed home improvement projects that will likely not repay you when it’s time to sell, and a few thou-shalt-nots that should be avoided altogether in regard to projects in your home. Let’s talk about projects that are worth your time, effort and money, and are better choices in term of home investment.

The Winners (in no particular order):

BIGGER can definitely be BETTER- adding square footage is a good thing.                                                                                                                                                                                               Tips to remember: hire a licensed contractor with a good reputation, and ensure that all improvements to your property are properly permitted (if your add’l space is not on file with the city, you technically cannot count the space when selling- GET A PERMIT), don’t hesitate to add a bathroom if you can afford it and it makes sense for your home- you can expect a 65% + return on the addition of a bathroom in your home. Consider finishing wasted or empty space like an unfinished basement, attic (great for a charming extra bedroom), or even small spaces like nooks under a set of stairs to build a closet or small office space.

Get Cookin’ with a KITCHEN IMPROVEMENT.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You don’t have to spend a fortune to add significant value to your home through a kitchen update. For most buyers, the kitchen really is the heart of the home- as such, any smart improvements will give you bang for your buck. Granite counters are currently appreciated by buyers, but you don’t have to drop big bucks. Refinish or reface your existing cabinets, add new hardware (don’t forget the hinges!), replace appliances with stainless as you are able, update the tile, paint the walls or install a tile backsplash. Each of thes improvements can be affordable, and do-it-yourself with minimal skills and a little advice from your local hardware store. Nationally, kitchen updates bring in a 70% or higher return on investment.

Take it Outside with a NEW or IMPROVED DECK.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   This is where pulling permits and working with an experienced contractor really matters. Building a safe, sturdy deck that will last the test of time is vital to contributing to resale value when it comes to outdoor spaces. Consider a material like Trex, a composite material that requires no paint or stain and will look great for years. On average, deck additions can return 75-85% or more, depending on materials used, the views from your deck, and your local climate. Treat your deck as a true extension of the living space inside your home, and when it comes time to sell, treat the space accordingly with punchy accessories (outdoor fabric on pillows and seating) and healthy plants.

Bring on the BATHROOMS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You, and most certainly your folks, were likely raised in a home with- *gasp* – a single bathroom for the entire family!! Those days are gone, and buyers not only pay more, but generally expect a home to have more than one bathroom. Additional bathrooms will always help a home sell faster and for a better price, and updating outdated bathrooms will make your morning routine more enjoyable while you live in your home, and gather a significant return- typically 90% on a mid-range $10,000 remodel. Do your research before you choose finishes and fixtures, and avoid being overly taste-specific in this space. Buy the very best materials you can afford, and stick with neutrals if you can. White subway tile, shades of gray or taupe, classic chrome fixtures- these are classic finishes you won’t regret 5, 10 or more years down the road, and neither will future buyers of your home. Bring in color and personal style with towels and artwork, and leave the big expenses neutral and classic for the best investment bet.    

Other Worthy Improvements                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Master Bedrooms, New Windows, New Siding, and basic Landscaping Improvements are also worth consideration when planning updates to your home. Looking down the road to the future sale of your home when planning improvements means you’ll not only enjoy your home more now, but reap bigger rewards when it’s time to list your property.

Thinking about updating? Call me to chat about your ideas, and how they might affect the resale value of your home now or in the future.

Jack Meyers



Twitter: @jackestate


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