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December 20, 2020

7 Renovations That Instantly Up the Value of Your Home

If there’s certain areas of your home that you’re looking to update or improve, there’s far more incentive to do so than your ability to enjoy it. When done properly, home renovations can fairly quickly enhance the monetary value of your home quite significantly, whether you’re looking to sell now, in the near future or potentially years down the line. “To maximize potential gains on a home sale, it is imperative to keep the residence up with the times,” notes Cason Wright, of Manorly, a  home concierge management company. “If you fail to do so, it will very likely be reflected in the sale price.” He recommends performing one small home renovation every year and a large home renovation every three years to keep from falling out of date.

The top renovations that seem to be most desirable right now in the post-pandemic housing market are kitchen remodeling, bathroom renovations, more robust outdoor living spaces, home offices, living room enhancements and the creation of multi-functional flex spaces, according to Nelvia Bullock, Costello REI realtor. No matter which area of your home you intend on renovating, Bullock says that the most important place to start is by sourcing the appropriate home improvement contractor or custom home remodeler  who can deliver top-notch craftsmanship. “If done appropriately proper home renovations can really make your home shine amongst the other competition when it’s time to sell,” she adds.

Here are the home renovations that will actually help you sell your home for more, whenever you choose to sell it.

Updating the kitchen

In a pandemic world, the kitchen has never played a more important role. With families dining out less and staying in more, kitchens are being utilized more than ever. But even before the pandemic, kitchens were considered to be the most valuable aspect of the home to have up-to-date. “Most buyers will determine if they are going to purchase the home based on this one room, so having updated tops and backsplashes, modern cabinetry and pulls and retrofitted lighting systems are a must,” says Wright.

While the look of the kitchen is important, the appliances and points of convenience should not be overlooked. For example, modern industrial kitchens, white shaker kitchens, and even french country kitchens have been in favor in part because of their ability to be cleaned easily.  “Having the newest stainless steel appliances speak to one’s dedication to maintaining not only an aesthetically pleasing home, but a quality one as well,” Wright says. “Kitchen renovations typically add a 30 percent increase in value when coupled with the master en suite.” With that kind of return on investment in mind, it may be time to scout out your next kitchen remodeling contractors. 

Creating multi-functional spaces

If your home has a separate kitchen, dining area and living room, consider joining two or all three if possible so that there’s one single space to serve the needs of your family. The more open your downstairs layout, the more appealing to buyers in 2020, according to Bullock. “Examples of the most common uses for this flex space include but not limited to: in-law suites, home gyms (peloton bikes/equipment, etc.), kids playroom,virtual learning spaces, second home office, and so forth,” she says. While the typical ROI (return on investment) in a resale will vary based on the size of the hom as well as the norm for that particular community, she says you can expect an average of 7 percent more in your pocket.

Redoing your floors

The moment a potential buyer steps foot in your home, one of the very first things they notice is the flooring. If your floors are scratched up or stained an out-of-date color, your prospective buyer will notice. “Done right, the price point that complements the interior is an easy 5 percent return on your investment,” notes Jarret Yoshida, Principal Designer and owner of Jarret Yoshida, Inc., in New York City.

While hardwood is far more in-demand than carpets, carpets that are well-kept (dust- and dirt-free) are also appreciated by potential buyers, according to Courtney Poulos, of ACME Real Estate, who also suggests layering on-trend area rugs on top of the carpet, both to preserve the cleanliness of the carpet and to distract the eye from the fact that it is carpet. “Carpets are inexpensive to replace, generally,with a value estimate of about $15,000 when you spend $5,000.”

Adding a master bath

If your current master bedroom doesn’t have a master bath, consider whether or not it’s possible to add one. If so, this will significantly improve the sale value of your house. “If there is a one-story sunroom off the main living area in a colonial, that can be built on top of to create a master bath and closet situation,” says Joshua Levitt, licensed realtor at Donovan Realty & Development in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Or, if there are 5 bedrooms and the smallest one is adjacent to the master bedroom, it can be converted to a bathroom and closet to accommodate a master suite.”

When going this route, he reminds his clients not to leave less than three bedrooms on the second floor. “Folks with small children will not buy that home if they have to go up and down the stairs for a baby,” he says. “It’s OK to go from five bedrooms to four but going from 4 to 3 would decrease the value too much in most cases.”

While you’re at it, don’t forget about the half baths. “Nobody wants a guest to use a restroom with ugly wallpaper, discolored plumbing fixtures, and poor lighting,” says Wright. “This is a great small project to increase the value of your home without spending an exorbitant sum.” He estimates that a guest bath can add a 5 percent increase in value, so considering a small bathroom remodel may be in store.

Creating a desirable outdoor space

Outdoor spaces are increasingly in demand, especially in light of the pandemic, when people are spending more time in their homes than ever before. At the very least, Poulos recommends hiring a gardener to bring in fresh sod or plant new seeds, getting rid of dead bushes and replacing them with colorful, regionally responsible plants. “Add dirt, add chips, add river rocks and trim trees and branches from the roof, especially if they are touching or close to touching power lines,” she says. “Make the outdoor space look cared for and curated!” With a cost of about $3,000, you may be able to enhance the value of your home as much as $25,000. 

Carving out a home office

With the increased amount of companies shifting to work-from-home policies, there’s never been a more important time to have a home office set-up. “With the increased amount of virtual meetings people are opting for that dreamy backdrop work setting,” says Bullock. Popular trends she is seeing include detailed accent walls, built-in shelving, addition of french doors, custom light fixtures, wall-paper, ship-lap and so forth.

Repainting the exterior

If the outside of your house is chipping with paint or the color is out of date, consider repainting it to give a more wow-worthy first impression. And while you’re at it, Poulos recommends creating a new palette for the window trim and front door. “Buyers will forgive some outdatedness on the inside if the outside makes their heart flutter,” she says. “If you need to hire someone to help, try an exterior design company.” Though you may spend about $3,500 on these improvements, she says you can expect to gain a value estimate of $25,000.