People considering selling their houses, always want to get the best price, and therefore are on the hunt for information on the best home improvements to increase value. And as such, they consider making some changes and renovating the house to get maximum market value. People are generally not sure of what are the best home improvements to increase value? Or what renovations will give the best payoff? So, here are some ideas to help you increase the value of your home.
Not All Home Improvements Are A Good Investment
Surveys show that people mostly do renovations before putting their house up for sale. However, some improvements do not increase the value of the house and after placing on the market, they do not get the amount they expected. And other improvements and renovations can notably increase the value of their house. It’s important to know what the right improvements are, that can add extra value to the property.
We have listed the best home improvements to increase the value while selling the house. The list is prioritized in order. The first is the most important renovation and so on.
Improvements and renovations not only add extra value to your house but also, make your home more comfortable for living. While living in your house, you can enjoy the new improvements you have made. So, let’s see what these projects are you need to do, to get you a good amount when selling your house.
1. Kitchen Remodel And Renovation
In every house, the kitchen is considered the heart of the house. People get very excited about remodeling their kitchen because of how important the kitchen is to the house. As far as adding value, it will recover 60% to 120% of the amount you have spent, if it’s done in the right way.
However, do not go for extraordinary. Basically, do not remodel your kitchen so fancy in comparison to the rest of your house or neighbourhood. Always try to maintain a sense of normalcy when planning the kitchen remodel and renovation.
Should I Make A Gourmet Kitchen?
So, why not make a gourmet kitchen? If your house was built in the 1900’s style, and you have invested a huge amount to remodel into a gourmet kitchen, you will face a hard time selling your house at a good price. Only focus on what is necessary to be done. Do not go overboard.
When you are going to renovate and remodel your kitchen, begin with kitchen cabinets and appliances. After that, you can move on to complete the renovation of your kitchen. You can also expand your kitchen by adding extra space, if your house layout permits, and if it makes sense.
Use Zero-VOC or Low-VOC Paint
A paint job can also make your kitchen look like fresh. Use modern paint colours, which are in style. The paint will not cost you a lot, compared to what it will do for you. So, inexpensively, you can make your kitchen have a fresh feel. Painting is truly one of the best investments you can make in your home.
Having said that, do yourself and your family a favour, and select paint that is LOW-VOC or ZERO VOC. Which means Volatile Organic Compounds, and are substances that contain carbon, which can easily become vapors or gases. These VOC’s help with the paint application, and help the paint without streaking.
The gases that get released don’t just happen while you’re using the paint. The gas release continues to happen over time, possibly creating respiratory issues.
This low-voc or paint makes your kitchen eco-friendlier, and in this paint, there are no harmful chemicals that are used, so that you and your family can breathe easier. You can also use it as a selling point when marketing your home for sale.
Get Energy-Efficient Appliances
When selling your house, buyers will take note of the appliances. When doing your kitchen renovation, make sure that you replace any of the old appliances with new energy-efficient models. They are not as expensive to operate compared to old appliances. They save a lot of energy cost and therefore, will be attractive to the buyer.
2. Bathroom Remodel And Renovation
The bathroom is an essential part of your home. No one wants their bathroom to look old fashioned or dull. It must have all the important equipment in it, like the bathtub, shower, sink, mirror, etc. Not only that, but accessories in the bathroom need to be cl
ean and in working condition. In some houses there is only one bathroom, and having a single bathroom can hurt the value of your house. According to reports, adding an extra bathroom can easily recover your investment when you sell your house.
Should I install A Second Bathroom
If you are planning to install a second bathroom, here’s a few numbers to keep in mind:
If you have an extra 35 sq ft, you can easily construct a small 2 piece bathroom, and if you have an extra 50 sq ft, you can construct a full-bath with a shower installed in it.
Every project has its own costs, according to equipment used and the quality of equipment. If you are willing to add standard bathroom accessories, it will not cost you a huge amount. Before starting construction, you must plan your budget. After you have your budget, you can visit different shops to get pricing that fits your budget. Many different store experts can guide you correctly, with which material, and the equipment that is best for your job.
After setting up the budget, you can consult with your real estate agent as well as a good architect, and ask them to guide you with the best designs that are trending. By doing this you will get to know which design is best, and eventually, a buyer will give you the best price for your home.
3. Repurposing A Room
You can add an extra room to your house; however, it will cost a lot. According to studies, people usually recover about half of what they spend, when selling the house, and it will cost you more than your budget. For some reason, if you face any problems while constructing the new room, the cost will increase. It’s very difficult to predict the exact amount that the new room will cost you.
Then why add a new space to your house, when you know it will cost you more than your budget. Always try to repurpose, or revitalize your house space. For example, if you have a loft in your house, utilize that space and remake the area into a bedroom or a lounge. If your garage is not in use, you can convert it into a small living area, like a small apartment. After converting it into a small apartment you can rent it out, or at least it will be very attractive for a new buyer to have that built-in income.
***Remember to always get permits when doing a major renovation project, to keep compliant, or you go at your own risk.
If your house contains a basement, making it into a second living room, or games room is a good option. If you want to earn through that area you can construct a small apartment there and rent it out. If your house has lofts with high ceilings, it can be converted into an art and craft room. Not only that, if you have kids, you can convert it into a small playroom.
If we compare repurposing, or revitalizing the space vs. adding a new room to the house, repurposing will be far less expensive than adding the new portion to your house. It will save you a good amount and will definitely pay off when selling your house.
4. Changing Old Windows And Installing Energy-Efficient Windows
Your windows must be in good condition in order to get top dollar. If your windows become drafty, they will turn-off the buyer. Replacing the old and worn out windows with energy-efficient windows can save you money on a monthly basis, if you are planning to stay in your home long enough to realize this benefit.
However, that’s not what we’re talking about here, because you’re talking about making changes in order to sell the house for top dollar. So, you won’t reap the benefit of the savings from the efficient windows, as you are moving. You will get the benefit of the increased house value because of your new windows!
Now, because most people want things that are energy efficient as they work properly and help contribute to lower monthly heating costs, or cooling costs, your home will be more attractive than a non-upgraded house!
What Is The Benefit Of New Windows?
If you are wondering if investing in new energy-efficient windows is a good thing or not, don’t worry, you can easily recover half or more amount that you have invested. Sometimes there are other advantages too.
Can I Get A Government Rebate For New Windows?
Often times there may be a government rebate for installing energy-efficient windows (if there’s a plan available at the time you’re planning on installing new windows), or possibly tax deductions if you work from home…as an example.
At the time of writing there is a an energy-efficiency rebate available through Enbridge Gas. You can click through to their Home Energy Upgrades Rebate page here.
You can check for offers and rebates in your current region for installing the energy-efficient windows by visiting different websites. Utility companies and certain levels of government can offer you rebates for installing these efficient windows.
A normal window installation will cost you $10,000 or more. Your new energy-efficient window can save you some of the cost and if there is a tax credit also, or rebate, then you can easily recover your investment. Always try to use new technology that saves your money, and energy-efficient windows are one of them. It will put your house in a good place in the real estate market.
5. Backyard Deck
The deck attached to the outside of your home can add extra value. The deck is an important part for those people who love to spend their free time outside, or vacation at home (which is very common today, in the age of Covid-19, and being locked down).
People decorate their decks in different styles, like putting comfortable chairs or putting different lights. If you are looking for a good price for your house, you must decorate your deck and backyard attractively, so that a buyer doesn’t have a choice but to make you an offer.
How Much Value Does A Deck Add?
The first thing the buyer will see when heading into the backyard is your deck. So, it must be in good condition if you want to win over the buyer. According to a recent study, you can recover 65% to 90% of your invested amount when selling the house.
So, what it will cost you? The price range of the deck can be varied. The fancier your deck is, the more it will cost you. The size also increases the cost, and if you are adding built-in seating, multiple stairs, an area for a gas barbecue, and colourful lighting (that you plan to leave) it will cost even more. However, whatever you invest in your deck, for the most part, can be easily recoverable when selling your house.
Secondly, it also depends on what type of wood you are using for your deck. Pressure Treated Spruce or Cedar are most common. A basic deck cost can be roughly $1500 at a minimum, but if you want your deck to be fancier and larger it can cost you in excess of $10,000. However, you just need to stick to your budget and choose whatever you can afford.
Should I Build A Deck Myself?
If you are willing to construct the deck by yourself, to save money on labour, remember that deck construction is not easy. You need some tools that can cost you a lot, and if you are not planning to use them again, it is a waste of money. So, first, if you want your deck to look perfect, we suggest that you hire professionals…unless you’re super handy, and know you can do a pro job!
If you have decided on hiring professionals, first survey different shops in your areas. Interview different carpenters or deck builders, and get everything that is necessary. Do not make a final decision quickly, look at their previous projects also. Check different websites where they offer service of trusted carpenters. Then after doing all your research about the carpenter you can proceed to order.
If you end up deciding to build the deck yourself, then arrange all the paperwork in advance, and keep a record of purchasing equipment needed for constructing the deck.
6. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
When you place your home on the real estate market, the real estate agents who show your home to prospective buyers will make note of the flaws. and the best parts that they find in your home. So, if your house has damaged doors, windows or other components, or it does not have sufficient insulation it will have a negative impact on buyers.
Energy-saving houses do not cost you more. You can easily save a good amount of money on a net basis, by renovating certain areas. Not only that, but it will look more attractive to buyers. You can save money on your utility bills just by adding another layer of insulation to your attic, and this will not cost you a huge amount. This little change can save you a good amount yearly. Not to mention that because it’s a factor that can save energy, the government may be offering a rebate or incentive. Definitely worth looking into.
Can Air Leaks Affect My Heating Bill?
There are also other issues which a lot of people don’t think about. Air leaks, which can have a negative effect on your utility bills. Most commonly there are cracks in the various seals and weather stripping. You will notice it mostly in the winter. If you are in an area of the house, where you feel cold as compared to other parts, there is most likely air leakage.
The most common places where usually leaks appear are area near doors, windows, power sockets, pot lights, and the loft hatch (if you have one). The area where ducts are, and wiring that is connected from the outside of the house.
Can LED Bulbs Really Save Me Money?
When purchasing light bulbs, only use bulbs that are energy efficient. In the market, some companies are providing light bulbs that consume less electricity. The best technology at the time of writing, are LED bulbs, and are extremely efficient compared to the old-style incandescent bulbs. Some people who change all their light bulbs from the old-school bulbs over to the LED bulbs have experienced a 30 – 35% drop in their electricity bill.
Should I Get A Programmable Thermostat?
Nowadays, buyers look for a programmable thermostat. To keep up to proper standards, you need to install a programmable thermostat or a Smart thermostat. It will save money around $180 yearly, on the average. The beauty of these modern thermostats is that you set the time that the furnace needs to come on, based on what your schedule is.
So, if you leave for work at 7 am, you set the thermometer to drop the temperature by 10 degrees. Then you finish work at 4 o’clock, and it takes you half an hour to get home, then you set it to bring the temperature up to room temperature at 4:15. So, for 8 -9 hours/day you’re using less energy to heat the house, while nobody is there.
As far as the best home improvements to increase value, this one is perhaps one of the best investments on this list. After roughly a year it will have paid for itself. Doesn’t get too much better than that.
Should I Get A Tankless Water Heater?
If your water heater needs to be replaced for any reason, we recommend you that buy a high-efficient water heater. These high-efficiency heaters can noticeably cut your energy bills. Some choices include a 50 – 60 gallon high efficiency water heater, or a tankless system.
This tankless system is hot water on demand, and doesn’t utilize a reservoir. However, everything comes with a caveat. The Tankless system is prone to calcification, and as such requires a maintenance every 2 – 3 years to descale and remove any build-up inside the manifold.
7. Routine Maintenance
The above-mentioned renovations are useful if you want to add extra value to your home. However, there are standard renovations or routine maintenance also, which can easily help to prevent loss of value and are an important part of our list on the best home improvements to increase value. Some of that regular maintenance includes:
- The paint in your house should be fresh, and helps to protect the walls.
- Maintain your roof. If you see a leak repair it. Do not procrastinate on this issue.
- Outside general maintenance. Fences, decks, driveway, downspouts, etc.
- Check for mold (usually in the basement) and if there is any, get rid of it. If you encounter a lot, you’ll want to get an air-quality test after the removal of the mold.
- Yearly HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) inspection. Always get the furnace/air conditioning company to come and inspect these systems as a safety measure, and to keep this equipment running as efficiently as possible. Also, change your furnace air filters every month or two, as required….just like all of us, the furnace likes to breathe!
Conclusion – Best Home Improvements To Increase Value
Basically the best home improvements to increase value are based on good judgement and common sense. You just have to put yourself into the shoes of a buyer. Ask yourself “What would make a buyer the most happy?”, or “What would I want in a house if I were looking to buy right now?”
Sometimes, years go by and we realize that our home requires a lot of updating and maintenance. Yes, life can get in the way and we neglect our most valuable asset. So, another option could be to move, and not do the upgrades. You’ll take a hit on the sale price, but it may be worth it if you’re in a good financial situation, and you don’t want the hassle of getting all the upgrades done.
If that’s the case, then be sure and get the numbers down pat. Especially all the closing costs of selling and buying.
Failing which, you can follow this guide on the best home improvements to increase value. I don’t think you can go too far wrong!