If you’re looking to sell your home or take on a fixer upper, we’ve compiled the 10 very best ways to increase your return on investment. With the economy on the rebound, people are now buying homes again at an exceptional pace. Especially here in Nashville, where the demand far out paces the supply of good homes on the market, why not make more on the sale of your home?
In order of appearance, here are the 10 best renovations that add value to your home.
The Basics: Roof, HVAC, Plumbing, Windows and Doors
Roof: Does it leak at all? Is it showing signs of mold? Are the new owners going to have to replace it within the next two years? If you can answer ‘No’ to all these questions, you’re probably in good shape. But if the answer is ‘Yes’ then you need to seriously consider replacing. Homebuyers fear the idea of having to come up with cash for a new roof right after they move in.
HVAC: A new HVAC system won’t increase the value of your home. Homebuyers just expect all the systems to be in working order. Replace it if you must, but if you can repair and improve the existing systems, it’s a far better investment if you’re looking to sell. Now, if you’re staying there indefinitely, I’ll leave it up to you to decide what makes you sleep better at night.
Windows and Doors: Does the house feel drafty? Can you feel the wind through the windows? Are the seals broken? Is there condensation between the window panes? What’s the trim look like? New windows are a major expense, and no home buyer wants to deal with it in addition to purchasing the home.
Plumbing: If the plumbing systems are in working order, you’d be hard pressed to find a way to mark up the value of your home just because of a new, more efficient system. How old is the water heater? If it’s working fine, don’t mess with it. But if not, consider upgrading to a tankless water heater, it’s a hot commodity lately.
Enhance The Curb Appeal
Siding: This is a great return on your investment. Almost nothing can make the house look more dated than a tired, worn out façade. Brick and stone are a really great touch, but unfortunately they don’t make as big of a return on your investment as you’d think. I know, I’m with you, I love brick too. Hardie siding is a less expensive investment and will drastically improve the curb appeal while adding value to your home.
Landscaping: It’s surprising how much landscaping can make your home feel inviting. Make it look full, but stay away from high maintenance plants. Nobody wants to do extra yardwork, nobody. If you want to sell a dude on the property, make the lawn look like Wrigley Field. Make it look full, bright green and add a nice striping pattern in the cut before your buyers arrive.
Hardscaping: Consider replacing your walks and driveway. These often are the first thing a potential home buyer experiences. Cracked concrete and wonky pavers are a major turnoff.
This is arguably the best return for the interior of your home. Be cautious though, sometimes the high end finishes don’t always get recouped in the sale. (hint: the biggest cost is usually cabinets. Really take the time and see if you can just paint them vs. replacing.)
Add tile floors, a nice shower and sinks with unique faucets. For some reason, faucets always get noticed. Paint the walls a light color to make it feel bright and bigger than it actually is in there.
Increase the Square Footage
Be cautious here. An addition is a major expense and undertaking. Really be sure your market is willing to pay for that much square footage. Your real estate agent can help you here. Ideally, if you can create more space within the existing home, you’re far better off. Consider finishing the attic space or basement. A new detached garage with a second floor mother-in-law suite is a great idea too.
Visually Add Square Footage
So maybe there’s no more room to carve out within the existing walls. Open floor plans are very desirable though. Can you eliminate some walls and open up the kitchen, dining and living spaces? People love to have large open spaces to entertain.
Increase Natural Sunlight
It’s science. There’s a connection to your happiness and the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to. That natural vitamin D is a game changer. Plus, when someone walks into your home and there’s lots of windows to see out and natural light pouring in, it creates a subconscious feeling of comfort.
Keep Up with Regular Maintenance and Repairs
It’s the most basic thing you can do. Think of the last time you bought a used car. What were you focusing on? If it’s me, I’m trying to see what’s broken and not working. I expect the car to be in working order no matter what price. Needless to say, if there are things that are broken in every room of your house, the floors are scraped up or even if things are dirty, what does that say to a potential buyer? It says – what else have they not fixed?
Real Hardwood Floors Throughout
Not vinyl or laminate, but real hardwood floors. You know, the stuff in your grandparents’ home built in the 20’s. The kind that lasts a century. You love it. I love it. Everyone loves having hardwood floors throughout the home.
I think this goes without saying. If you’re getting ready to sell, paint with a more neutral or earthy tone palette. Keep it light and bright, this makes spaces feel bigger. Nothing too wild. If you use the same color throughout the common areas (kitchen, living, dining) it also adds volume and depth to the house.