Many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on improvements and upgrades only to find out that the return on their investment (ROI) is less than $1 to $1. That means that for every dollar spent, the selling price of their home does not go up a corresponding dollar. In fact, very few home improvements offer a dollar for dollar increase in price.
What some improvements accomplish, however, is a reduction of time that your home spends on the market. When calculating overall costs, a quicker sale can save you several additional mortgage payments on your home.
If you intend to live in the house for some time, make the improvements that give you pleasure in your home. Renovate the house to meet your needs and improve your life. If you’re renovating just to sell, unless you bought the home as the lowest-priced house in a highly desirable market, redoing the kitchen and bath won’t always pay for themselves. However, they will make the home more attractive to buyers and give you a leg up on the competition.
Adding a room and increasing square-footage usually improves the home’s value. This means converting an attic or basement might be a better use of your funds. Adding a second bathroom also garners a buyer’s attention. But turning a garage into a family room could backfire on you if buyers treasure a garage more than the extra space. Before undertaking a garage conversion, speak with a knowledgeable real estate agent in that area to see which option buyers most often request.
Curb appeal Improvements
When choosing improvements for resale, adding to the curb appeal gives you the most bang for your buck. Replace street-view garage doors with carriage-house style or modern minimalist options and update the front door to match. Clean out flower beds, replant them, and trim them with stone edging. Keep bushes and hedges trimmed and prune trees to keep them healthy.
Old homes in areas where air conditioning was an afterthought benefit from adding attic fans and insulation to improve the cooling properties. Also, when possible, install a whole house fan (different from an attic fan) as it offers superior circulation for a small investment and makes the lack of central air conditioning less noticeable.
Your professional real estate agent is your best resource to learn what’s selling in homes in your neighborhood.