Looking for ways to improve you home? Here are 7 home improvement projects to consider first.
1. Kitchen makeover
Updates to the kitchen pay off. Many prospective homebuyers are looking for modern, updated kitchens.
This is one of the best returns on investment (ROI) you can expect when considering home improvements. The average return from a kitchen remodel can be as high as 80%. Take into consideration though that you also don't want to build out of your neighborhood. If the homes in your neighborhood range from $200,000-$300,000, you don't want to have $400,000 invested in your home.
When remodeling a kitchen, start small at first. Replace the kitchen faucet, add new cabinet hardware, and replace old light fixtures with modern, energy-efficient options.
Rather than replacing cabinets, paint the cabinets a new color or hire a refacing company to refinish the cabinet boxes and install new cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware. These small updates will improve the overall look of your kitchen.
2. Time for an appliance upgrade
One thing to consider if your appliances don’t match is ordering new doors and face panels from the manufacturer. This will give your kitchen a more uniform look without the expense of replacing the appliances.
Next to kitchen remodels, bathrooms are also one of the biggest returns on investment. Also like the kitchen, don’t go overboard. Install new fixtures, brighten the room with paint, and re-grout the bathtub/shower. A new mirror, vanity upgrade, and light fixtures can easily transform the look of a bathroom.
4. Open up your floor plan
Many older homes have more traditional floor plans that can best be described as all chopped up. Consider removing a wall between the kitchen and the family space or dining room. Most people end up spending more time in the kitchen than anywhere else in the home, so making it larger can add appeal and value. This is something you definitely want to hire a licensed professional to complete.
5. Outdoor space
A high return on investment makes adding outdoor space worthwhile. One reason for this is decks increase the living area but cost less to build per square foot.
Most homes will have either a patio of deck already, but if not, consider that outdoor spaces that can be used for recreation or entertaining will typically add more to a home's value than they actually cost...and you get to enjoy them until the time comes to sell.
6. Improve your curb appeal
First impressions count. Enhancing your home’s curb appeal can be as simple as power washing your siding or painting your front door. The cost is typically not high, and the outcome can be enormous.
Installing a new front door is a fast, inexpensive way to instantly improve your home’s appearance. A new front door is one of the top ranking home improvements on the Cost vs. Value Report.
Trim the shrubs and add new mulch or pine straw to your flower beds and around trees. Consider some potted plants to add color as well.
If your trim needs to be freshened or has peeling paint, that should be addressed.
Again, don't overdo it. Cleaning up the yard and maintaining it are right behind cleaning and decluttering when it comes to selling your home. They may not add a lot of value to your asking price, but they will help your home sell faster and time is money!
7. IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY.
A home inspector will note if your home lacks solid insulation or has drafty doors and windows. All of this leads to higher energy use, which costs the homeowner. You can start with small updates, such as adding extra insulation to your attic. Seal cracks around doors, windows, light switches and electrical sockets to prevent energy losses.
If you don't already have double paned windows, consider replacing them with energy efficient thermal windows. The ROI may take a few years, but your home will sell better with this step already having been completed.
Since buyers expect windows to be in good condition before they buy, replacing them might not significantly add to your asking price. But not replacing them could decrease it.