Home Improvement ROI

Real Estate Insight

March 13, 2013

Whether you’re considering remodeling worn-out surroundings, enlarging your home for a growing family or rebelling against yesterday’s standards, you have important investment choices to make.  You’ll want to choose home improvements that not only pay off in recovery of the money you spend, but also help you get a better price for your home if and when you sell it.

The first piece of advice is never, ever try and renovate a part of your home, simply for the purpose of selling.  The housing market can be volatile, and you never know which amenities and upgrades are going to pay-off.  Your potential buyer may walk into the improved room, declare they don’t like it, and then change it immediately.  They won’t care if you just sunk $10,000 into that fantastic home upgrade.

The following is a list projecting which home improvement initiatives often produce the best results upon resale value.  Naturally these numbers are not rock solid.  There are many factors including the local housing market and what kind of improvements you undertake.

  • Kitchen Remodel (minor) – 125%
  • Bathroom Addition – 96%
  • Kitchen Remodel (major) – 92%
  • Bathroom Remodel – 90%
  • Exterior Paint – 90%
  • Master Bedroom – 86%

So, here you can see that home improvements to kitchens and bathrooms, pay excellent dividends. Not only that but they are often the most enjoyable changes for your everyday living.

Small Improvements with Large ROI

Often with home improvement, the small changes often add up to more than the sum of their parts.  The following is a list of small changes you can make, which will ultimately make a huge difference:

  • Upgrade or add ceiling fans and lighting fixtures
  • Fresh paint on walls, doors and trim
  • Pressure wash house exterior, driveway, patio
  • Replace old carpeting with new flooring

Creating New Space

Whether this means taking space that was poorly used before, or adding an addition, it can be a really good idea.  If you can take any room and give it a purpose, even just for the showing of the home, it is easier for buyers to visualize the functionality of your home.  For example, if you have an extra bedroom that does not really function as anything–except maybe a “catch-all” for boxes and miscellaneous–let’s give that room a purpose, or at the very least, clean it out and remove the clutter.

Pinterest, HGTV and DIY…

It is safe to say that creative home improvements on the “cheap” have become my passion.  There are so many resources and ideas out there today for the creative do-it-yourself-er…from Pinterest to shows on HGTV and internet blogs…the sources for inspiration are never-ending.  With a little creativity and elbow-grease, many of these simple home improvements will add value to your home not only to you as the current occupant, but to a prospective future buyer also.

Here are a few “non-listing quality” photos of our most recent home project.  Since the day we moved in, my husband and I have hated these ugly green carpeted stairs leading to the bonus room above the garage.



We ripped up the ugly carpet and underneath found plain carpenter-style pine wood – nothing fancy, but solid wood.  We sanded the pine, stained the wood with our chosen color, coated with polyurethane and stapled wainscoting sheets onto the risers.  Here is the end result…what value would a prospective home buyer place on these new stairs?!  Total invested cost…$55 and our time.

New Stairs

New Stairs

I AM HERE…to not only be a resource for you as you are buying or selling, but at anytime for any questions related to home ownership.  I love to do in-home consultations with customers before they decide to remodel or sell…to offer my advice on what upgrade and updating decisions will create a return in the long-run.  Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do for YOU!




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