The Ins and Outs of Upgrades – How to Make the Most of Home Improvement
The housing market is recovering, albeit at an excruciatingly slow pace. So slow that many homeowners looking to sell are still apprehensive about putting their property on the market. Some are even waiting until 2016, when a new administration could lead to more lending and, thus, more sales.
Whether you’re among the hesitant or the patient, now is a great time to commit to home upgrades that will increase its value when it’s time to sell. Not just any upgrades – you want to invest in projects that add enough value to recoup most of the expenses. Here’s a look at some of the best – and worst – home improvements to consider.
Give the Kitchen a Makeover
Remodelling a kitchen isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the major factors that potential buyers will consider when they look at the home. Upgrading the appliances goes a long way, and adding an island will always enhance the appeal, but freshening up the surfaces is important, too.
Remodel the Bathrooms
In addition to the kitchen, the bathrooms contribute significantly to a prospective owner’s overall impression of the home. While an outdated bathroom will leave a decidedly bad impression, a fresh remodel will do just the opposite.
Upgrade the Plumbing
Buyers want to take comfort in the knowledge that they won’t face expensive repairs immediately after moving in, and upgrading the plumbing is a great way to give them peace of mind. Having the old valves and fittings replaced with reliable new ones will reduce the likelihood of damaging leaks and bursts.
Fix the Roof
The thought of having to pay for expensive roof repairs keeps potential homebuyers up late into the night. Ease their fears by having your roof inspected and, if need be, repaired. Better still, invest in a specially-formulated coating to improve the home’s overall efficiency while extending the life of the roof.
Upgrade the Equipment
Investing in an energy efficient furnace, air conditioner and water heater is an excellent way to leave buyers with a positive impression of the home’s core systems. They’d rather not have to deal with these sorts of essential upgrades themselves.
Replace the Windows
Energy efficient windows can do wonders when it comes to saving money on heating and cooling costs, and there’s even a 10 percent green energy tax credit to help save you money on the upgrade. And as with all of the efficiency upgrades in the list, you’ll benefit from the savings while you wait to sell the home.
Add a Deck
Outdoor living spaces are extremely desirable, and adding a deck is a guaranteed win when you want to add to the value of your home. Even better, building a deck is a popular DIY project – if you have the tools and the motivation, you can save a huge stack of cash by doing it yourself.
Install a Home Rainwater Collection System
Home rainwater collection systems are becoming an increasingly popular way to save money on lawn maintenance while contributing to the conservation effort. These systems can be as simple – or as complex – as you like, which means you can choose the size of the budget for this project.
Landscape, Landscape, Landscape
According to HGTV, the average return at resale for costs associated with landscaping is 100 percent. That’s right, you can count on making every penny back after the sale. Curb appeal is always an important factor when it comes to making that sale, too, and there’s no better way to enhance it than making your lawn the best it can be.
Whether it’s a sound system or a complete whole theatre, the only value in this investment comes from the enjoyment you’ll get out of it before the home sells. Sure, some people will be attracted by the novelty, but they’re not going to base any decisions on this factor.
Built-in aquariums are truly impressive when they’re well set-up and properly maintained, but that setup and maintenance is a cost that many potential owners will see in a negative light. Since many won’t know the ins and outs of properly caring for a large aquarium, it’s more of an expensive challenge than a real room enhancer.
A pool is another example of an upgrade that appeals only to a subset of potential buyers. Some will love the idea, but others will see it as a time-consuming – and expensive – hassle that’s not worth the cost it adds to the price of the home.
As you can see, buyers are very practical when it comes to the things they like to see in potential homes. They’re making a large investment in the property, and home repairs and upgrades are often very expensive.
They want to enjoy the property, but they need to manage their potential risk. By helping them to do both of these things, you make the home more appealing. Stick with the basics and everyone wins.
Philip Piletic – originally from Europe, currently situated in Brisbane, Australia, where he’s working as a marketing coordinator for a major Queensland company, Process Systems.
You can reach him on LinkedIn