Solid granite countertops in your kitchen and a steam shower upgrade in your bathroom are as beautiful as they are expensive, but are they worth it? Many homeowners put a lot into upgrades but find it difficult to get back what they paid for them when it comes time to sell. So, when deciding what to upgrade there are some basic rules to consider:
Functional Upgrades Should be Done Before Cosmetic Ones: Overall, when it comes to enhancements and resale value, you need to focus on functionality before aesthetic appeal. This means taking care of basics like a leaking roof, plumbing issues, or a sinking foundation before considering cosmetic upgrades. A potential homebuyer may love the luxury bathtub you put in, but they will have a hard time seeing that as a reason to buy if there are leaking pipes or a mold problem behind the sparkling new tile.
In fact, Remodeling Magazine named windows, home siding and a new roof as three of the top upgrades that return the highest percentage of their original value. That being said, kitchen and bathroom remodels still tend to be the upgrades that return more than an original investment. It just needs to be stressed that those upgrades will only matter if the basics are taken care of first in most cases.
Upgrade What Will Make Your Home Better for You: It isn’t a perfect science figuring out how much you’ll get back on your investment. So, unless you’re in the business of flipping houses or plan to move soon, you need to focus on what will make you happy in your home now. You may not get back the $45,000 you spend on an in-ground swimming pool when you sell the home, but you will get a decade or even several decades of use out of it.
Take Home Value and Location into Consideration: If you got a lot of house for your money because the area is less than desirable, you will really want to rethink how many improvements you make before reselling. A $40,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 home will never make sense in terms of resale value.
Best Upgrades for Highest Return on Investment
With personal tastes and location considerations aside, there are some upgrades that are universally well received by homebuyers and command a high ROI. These include:
- Minor Kitchen Remodel: A kitchen remodel costing under $15,000 is likely to return a similar amount if not a bit more at resale time. The thing to avoid here is going overboard and keeping your home value in mind.
- Minor Bathroom Remodel: Similar to your kitchen remodel, your bathroom should look fresh clean and functional when showing it to a potential buyer. HGTV.com recommends small fixes like bathtub caulking and re-glazing as opposed to buying an entirely new tub. It will be far cheaper but give a similar effect in terms of how your home is perceived by new buyers.
- Landscaping: Help your home make the right first impression by ensuring your landscaping is up to snuff. At the very least, you will want to make sure your lawn is green and well-groomed with any shrubs and flowers cut to an appropriate height, so they aren’t blocking the view of the home. If you have the budget, sodding your lawn and adding vibrant florals will also help sell your home.
- Exterior Upgrades: Along with landscaping, you’ll also want to take steps to make your home look fresh with new siding, paint and an upgraded entry door. All of these things tend to command close to their original value at resale time.
- An Attic Bedroom Upgrade: If you live out west, this upgrade will likely get you more than you originally paid for it. However, Midwest homeowners may only recoup 82% of their investment. Overall, while this upgrade is likely to command close to your original investment, it’s one of those things that only makes sense if you plan to use it yourself.
- Basement Remodel: Similarly, a basement remodel is also a good selling feature for some buyers. However, you can only expect to recoup around 70% of what you pay so this needs to be something you do because you have use for it.
- Updated Windows: New windows can help you save on energy costs and improve the look of your home inside and out. Not only are they likely worth it for you to have now, they will also retain much of their value at resale.
Unsure if upgrades or a new home are the right option for you? When you factor in cost and time, some upgrades aren’t as convenient as switching to a new home that suits your needs. At Arbor Creek Home Builders, we have a variety of customizable floorplans that you can select upgrades on, so your home is perfect for you the day you move in! Our knowledgeable homebuilders can answer questions about both new homes and remodeling to help with your decisions. Call us at 866-462-6526 to speak with a representative.