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Home Improvements that Have the Largest and Smallest Impact On Your Home’s Value

Tari Haberfield
Sep 7 8 minutes read

If you decide to sell your home, you probably want to get the best possible price. You'll hear or read lots of advice on preparing the house for a quick, profitable sale, from staging to making necessary repairs. However, you might also consider the potential benefits of other improvements designed to increase a home's beauty, utility, and overall appeal. Since some improvements impact home value more than others, let's examine some of the most and least valuable enhancements.

A Useful Home Office

COVID-19 encouraged many employers to let their employees work from home, while countless entrepreneurs have always maintained home offices. Research indicates that creating a dedicated home office space can boost your home's resale value by at least $10,000. However, resist the urge to convert your garage into that home office. Buyers expect a home to include a usable garage, even if they don't end up parking their cars inside it. For this reason, garage conversions hurt resale value instead of helping it. Modify your attic or basement instead.

Eye-Catching Paint and Lighting

Painting your home's interiors offers a simple way to boost its resale value by over $2,000 while also making the rooms and hallways look more inviting to buyers. Clever home staging techniques invariably include painting a home in strategically neutral colors such as white, ivory, beige, and gray. These neutral colors, combined with a sparse arrangement of equally neutral furniture, help home shoppers imagine their own families and belongings occupying the home.

New or modified lighting fixtures can make your freshly-painted interiors look even more cheerful. Moderately-priced lighting fixtures can look just as appealing as the high-end options, allowing you to increase your ROI. Many buyers love homes with features such as recessed lighting, automated timers, and dimmer switches. LED lights offer the additional appeal of long life and tremendous energy efficiency. Installation of these lights can boost your resale value by up to 3%.

Fabulous Flooring

New flooring can breathe new life into your home's interior. It can also yield a solid return on your remodeling investment, but only if you select the right flooring material. Clay tile can provide a higher ROI than porcelain tile, for example, because the latter always requires professional installation. Wood flooring commands the highest ROI and can add 2.5 percent to your home's total value.

Think twice before selecting the most luxurious marble tile with the notion that it will command a higher asking price. Many buyers prefer harder-wearing materials that require less care and offer easier replacement or repairs. As for carpeting, it may disappoint buyers who expect to see solid flooring in the house's entryway or other public living areas, so you'll probably achieve a low ROI on this choice.

A Long-Lasting New Roof

As you may know from previous experience, a roof replacement represents a serious investment. However, it can also pay big dividends if you want to sell your home. Although a new roof may only yield an ROI of 60 to 68 percent, it can still boost home sellers' asking prices by an average of $12,000. The appeal of a new roof that shouldn't need replacing for decades can also help you sell your home more quickly to a more enthusiastic pool of buyers, allowing you to start the bidding at a higher price point.

Exterior Enhancements

That attractive new roof offers only one way of increasing your home's curb appeal and resale value. Almost anything you do to improve the exterior's beauty will yield dramatic results. For instance, consider the national average value added by installing new siding and windows. New fiber-cement siding can increase your home's value by $13,618, but even vinyl siding can raise its value by $11,315. A fresh set of vinyl-frame windows can add $13,297 in value, while wood-framed windows can increase resale value by an eye-popping $15,644.

Lovely Landscaping

Curb appeal requires more than just fresh-looking exteriors and a beautiful roof. It also includes the visual impact of your lawn and garden on prospective buyers. A beautifully-landscaped property communicates that the owner has tended the home with loving care, implying a durable, good-looking property inside and out. Depending on the baseline value of your property and the specific modifications you make, an investment in professional landscaping could boost your home value by as much as 12.7%.

To gain even more significant benefits from your landscaping efforts, equip your exterior walkway, porch, and driveway with exterior lighting. Buyers will like the safety and security that this lighting promises. They may also enjoy the idea of showing off their luxurious lawn, garden, and other exterior features at any time of day or night.

Of course, that gorgeous lawn will stay gorgeous only if you take proper care of it throughout the home selling process. Try to mow the lawn and trim the hedges regularly (or schedule regular visits from a professional landscaping team) to preserve your property's good looks. Keep the front and back lawns free of toys, trash, and other items that might undercut your efforts.

Skip It: Swimming Pool Installation

If you always thought installing a large, luxurious, sparkling swimming pool increases a home's desirability, think again. Specifically, ponder the extra expense and trouble your buyers must endure to maintain and operate that pool. Many buyers would prefer a pool-free home, so don't waste money on this project to increase your property's value.

Skip It: Limiting Your Living Space

Taking a bedroom and converting it into a closet or home gym may seem like a great idea now, but, in the end, these projects are usually not worth it when it comes to resale because they're removing the home's livable space. What happens if a potential buyer doesn't need the extra closet space but could really use another bedroom?

Skip It: Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Wall-to-wall carpeting is expensive and hard to maintain or clean, so it might not be a wise investment. Instead, people are using rugs to create that warmth without the commitment to full carpeting. That allows future homeowners to make their own decisions on flooring instead of needing to take up the carpeting. 

If you're going to add carpet, we'd recommend sticking to your bedrooms but not expanding it to your living or great rooms.

Brilliant Move: Consult Your Trusted Real Estate Professional

Hopefully, these home improvement options give you a clearer idea of how to boost your asking price. Consider taking the most intelligent step to ensure you get top dollar for your home. Contact us to discuss these home improvement tips and other ideas for increasing your home's value.

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