Upgrade Your Home Without Wasting Your Money

Upgrades and renovations are an exciting way to revitalize or prepare your home for sale. In last week’s article, I mentioned how important it is to do your research before dumping a ton of money into upgrades and renovations on your home. Choose them carefully and make sure whatever you choose to do, will provide a return in value. Keep in mind that touchups like painting, patching holes, and fixing trim may not add value, they are more pleasing to the buyer’s eye and is almost always recommended. Since I am not an appraiser, I wanted to get some insight from a licensed real estate appraiser and their professional opinion.

“Kitchens and bathrooms are typically where you get the greatest return,” said Jack Hall, a licensed real estate appraiser and REALTOR® with the Snider Realty Group.

This was no surprise to me as those always seem to be focal points for my buyers when touring homes. If you have laminate countertops in either your kitchen or bathrooms, consider replacing them with granite or quartz. Your bathroom upgrade may be as simple as tiling in your shower or replacing your single vanity with a double vanity. Small upgrades like sink faucets and cabinetry hardware can also go a long way, even if it is just esthetically pleasing.

Jack added “finishing a basement” is another renovation you can expect to receive a greater return on. Depending on the unfinished space you’re working with, it could get pricey. If finishing the entire basement is out of your budget, consider finishing half of it. Be sure to hire a trusted professional to make sure all utilities are connected to those used on the floor above, and the floors, walls, and ceilings are properly finished. That finished space will not only add value to your home but may be the deciding factor for buyers touring and comparing your home to others on the market.

The flooring in your home may need replaced due to wear and tear or simply upgraded to make more appealing. “Hardwood and Ceramic tile historically give you the best value. Carpet, Vinyl and Wood Laminate would most likely not give you as much return. More recently, the introduction of engineered wood floor and LVP (Luxury Vinal Plank) have become very popular and would also add value,” said Hall.

Although roofs and HVAC systems are necessities, homeowners should expect to see little to no return on these upgrades. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t selling points. Keep in mind that if your roof or HVAC system needs to be replaced, these are costs and headaches that a buyer will not want to incur, and it will likely lead to a negotiation point or price reduction. Pools and landscaping are two other expenses homeowners should expect to see little to no return on. Instead of completely redoing your landscaping, maintain it and freshen it up to keep the curb appeal at the very least.

Eve Leombruno, 2023 MBOR President