If you’re looking to improve your home but can’t guarantee you’ll live there forever, chances are you’re weighing the costs and benefits of certain renovations—what kind of return will you see if or when you need to sell? Knowing the answer drastically increases your enjoyment of your space for the time being and gives you some peace of mind about the future. We’ve compiled a list of the categories below which offer the most added value. Enjoy!
The first item on the list is necessarily pragmatic—maintenance. Realtors the world over assure owners that a home’s snazzier features won’t make a difference if the foundations aren’t sound, both literally and figuratively. Compensating for malfunctioning household basics quickly becomes expensive, and buyers are wary of that. Quoted in Realtor Mag, Ron Phipps says, “If the roof is leaking, buyers won’t get beyond that. I don’t care how awesome the kitchen is.” Updates that score high in terms of recoupment include steel entry doors, new roofs, and new windows.
On a similar note, most buyers won’t give a house a second glance, no matter how impressive its interior, if they aren’t drawn to its exterior. Appearance-oriented improvements often justify their cost by attracting buyers willing to pay for their dream home. It might seem surprising that upscale garage doors make Realtor Mag’s “5 Home Remodeling Projects for the Most Return on Investment,” but this update takes a highly visible—and frequently unsightly—exterior element and gives it an elegant and unique look. Clean home siding (whether entirely new or simply power washed) and landscaping go a long way in this department, as well.
As newly built homes feature more and more spectacular kitchens, which are quickly returning to their prominent position as a family gathering place and not just an area for food preparation, buyers are looking for the same sophistication in resales. Spend money thoughtfully—according to HGTV, some cities (like Providence, Miami, New Orleans, and San Diego) see more than a 100% return on minor kitchen renovations. What to focus on here? Appliances and surfaces that combine maximum efficiency with beauty—think stainless steel ranges and granite countertops.
Bathrooms updates can also offer 100% recoupment, but owners must choose their renovations carefully. A steam or walk-in shower can win buyers over; they’ll feel pampered by the splurge. In contrast, an expensive tub might seem equally luxurious—or perhaps more aesthetic—but it provides a comfort most homeowners don’t have time for on a daily basis and forgoes space, often precious in a smaller room like the bath.
This is what HGTV refers to as the “Bells and Whistles.” Sometimes, if the investment benefits your personal enjoyment or all of your bases are covered, it can be worthwhile to shell out for an extra treat that you’ll actually use. Home theater? Exercise or hobby room? Wine cellar? You name it. These icing-on-the-cake leisure spaces can set your home apart and offer comforts that other houses can’t.
Want to see these upgrades in action? CLICK HERE to browse a selection of gorgeous current listings that have been recently remodeled.
President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Dallas, Fort Worth Cultural District, Fort Worth-Mira Vista, Uptown, Lakewood, Southlake, The North, Ranch and Land East, Ranch and Land West, and The Ballpark. Visit the Best Neighborhoods in DFW.