Giving your home a facelift can be a great way to lift its resale value. By making your home more feature-friendly, you can improve its appeal to would-be buyers. In a tough real estate market, that can be the saving grace that helps you to sell your property for what it's truly worth.
But not all renovations are created equal. Some will deliver a huge return, helping you to recoup as much as twice the amount you invest. Others will provide a decent return, but much lower than you might imagine (hint: think twice before installing a backyard pool). We'll help you to sort through your options below. Read on for 6 remodeling projects that can add substantial value to your home.
#1 - Install A Home Office
A lot of companies are experimenting with telecommuting. Employers allow some of their employees to work from home 2 or 3 days each week. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. It produces a substantial cost savings for employers, and the commute is much easier for employees. Moreover, it's environmentally friendly.
This trend is likely to continue in the future. In fact, there's a good chance it will accelerate as businesses look for additional ways to cut costs. Installing a home office can be a great way to get ahead of the trend. A small office devoted to work doesn't have to cost much to build. An added benefit is that it may be tax deductible (check with your accountant).
#2 - Add A Bathroom
Very few people complain that a home has too many bathrooms. The complaint is usually that there are too few. With that in mind, consider installing an additional bathroom in your house. Not only will having one be more convenient for you and your family, but it will also give your home's value a boost when it's time to sell.
Plan to spend approximately $10,000 to add a bathroom. Special features like heated floors will, of course, add to the bill. The good news is that you can expect an 80 percent return on your investment.
#3 - Build A Deck
Would you like to build a wood deck that allows you and your family to enjoy the fresh air? There may be a financial reason to do it. Wood decks are an attractive feature on houses. Prospective buyers are often willing to pay a healthy premium for properties designed with them. That means you'll have an easier time selling your house down the road.
The cost of a wood deck varies by its size, location, and the wood species used in its construction. Average costs range between $5,000 and $8,000. However, you can expect to see a 60 percent return on the amount you spend.
#4 - Improve Your Home's Exterior
Aesthetics play a huge role in attracting homebuyers. A shabby-looking property is unlikely to appeal to prospective buyers, regardless of its merit. Conversely, a home that boasts a new paint job, well-manicured lawn, and professionally-maintained landscaping is sure to draw people through its doors.
Improve your property's curbside appeal. Take a critical look at your lawn, the landscaping, and the exterior of your house. Are there loose shutters hanging off their hinges? Is the grass overgrown with weeds? Is the paint chipping in places? Sprucing up your home's appearance doesn't need to cost thousands of dollars. It just takes time. It will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers, boosting its resale value.
#5 - Remodel The Kitchen
A kitchen renovation is a huge project usually accompanied by an equally-huge price tag. Even a minor renovation can cost up to $10,000. Giving your kitchen a complete makeover, including a stainless-steel refrigerator and center granite countertops, can bump the price to nearly $30,000.
In most cases, it's a price worth paying. Remodeling a kitchen is one of the best investments a homeowner can make into his or her property. It's not uncommon to see a 90 percent return on the money spent. A new kitchen can give a home's interior a dramatic makeover that grabs the attention of prospective buyers.
#6 - Put In Hardwood Floors
Wood flooring is another renovation that can yield an impressive return when the time comes to sell your house. People tend to be drawn to properties designed with hardwoods. The floors create a uniquely warm atmosphere in the rooms into which they're installed. This is an appealing feature that makes an immediate impression on buyers, especially in higher-end homes.
If you intend to install wood flooring, plan to spend approximately $1,700 to $2,000 for a 12' x 12' room. Expect to see a 60 percent return on your investment when you sell your house.
There are many other renovations you can do on your home that will improve its resale value. Adding a sunroom, upgrading your garage door, building a greenhouse, and installing new siding all make a difference. Having said that, the six remodeling projects described above are likely to yield the best return on your investment. And that can be a major advantage in a sluggish real estate market. One last tip before renovating is to inform your insurance company to ensure your home insurance plan remains in effect during and after the renovation.