The 5 Best Home Improvements to Add Resale Value

Whether you’re planning to sell your home this year or a decade from now, remodeling projects can improve both the resale value and the appearance of your home. But it’s challenging to know which upgrades are worth the investment and which are a waste of time and money.

Here are a few home improvement projects to consider that are almost certain to improve your resale value and the look of your home.

1. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Kitchens in older homes weren’t designed to be as functional as they are today. If you’re still cooking in a kitchen that pre-dates your birth, a minor kitchen remodel might be just the thing to make you love the culinary arts again, all while increasing the value of your home.

Upgrade your appliances with energy-efficient models, replace outdated cabinets with newer options, and redo your counters. The average return on investment for a minor kitchen remodel is 81 percent, with the average cost of the project coming in at around $21,000.

Always over-budget for your project. It doesn’t matter what you decide to replace or upgrade—remodeling projects will pretty much never cost less than you anticipate. You can make choices to save money, but in the end, you will almost always end up spending as much or more than you expected.

2. Wooden Deck Installation

Adding a deck to the back of your home gives you a great place to throw a barbecue, host an outdoor dinner, or even install a hot tub so you can enjoy the outdoors without getting dirt on your feet. It is also a great way to add value to your home, as long as you choose a design made of wood instead of one made of plastic or composite. A wooden deck will cost you an average of $10,500 to build, but most homeowners recoup 85.4 percent of that cost—one of the largest returns on investment that you’ll find on this list.

If you do choose wood, make sure that you’re ready to sand and refinish it periodically to ensure that you can enjoy your deck without worrying about you or your guests getting splinters.

3. Garage Door Replacement

When was the last time you replaced your garage door? An old or out-of-date garage door doesn’t just damage your home’s value—it can be downright dangerous. While they were made safer in 1993 when a law was passed mandating that all garage doors be equipped with an auto-reversing feature, they’re still the biggest and heaviest moving object in your home.

On average, you’ll spend around $3,600 to replace your garage door and all the associated equipment, but you’ll reclaim nearly all of that in value for your property. The ROI for a garage door replacement is an astonishing 97.5 percent, in addition to making your home safer while improving the property’s value and curb appeal—all in one neat package.

4. Update or Add a Bathroom

Older homes might only be designed with a single bathroom, but if you’ve got more than two bedrooms, you’ll be hard pressed to sell a home that’s only got one bathroom. Depending on where you live, adding a new bathroom to your house can give you a return on investment of anywhere from 50 to 70 percent. It might not sound like much, but for someone who is shopping for a new home, that extra bathroom could mean the difference between choosing your property or passing it over for another option.

You don’t even need to add a full bath—one that includes a bathtub, shower, toilet, and sink. A three-quarter bath, which includes a shower but not a bathtub, can save money while still providing the kind of return on investment you’re looking for. As long as your home has at least one bathtub, you’re good to go.

5. Siding Replacement

The exterior of your home has a lot to do with your property’s value. They say you never get a second chance at a first impression. And for a potential buyer, the exterior is that first impression. Upgrading or replacing your siding is like giving your home a facelift. Replacing the siding on the entire exterior of your home will usually cost around $14,000, but you will usually recuperate between 77 and 80 percent of that cost in terms of increased property value.

Don’t pick crazy colors or things that will make your home stand out from all the other houses on your block. Part of curb appeal is making sure your home looks like everyone else’s. You can certainly make it stand out in other ways, but don’t opt for choices that are too bold (like neon green siding). That will end up costing you money.

All Around Wins

It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to sell your home next week, next year, or in the next decade—or if you don’t plan to sell it at all and are just improving your property value because you’re going to refinance—these projects can increase your home value while making it more comfortable for you in the long run. Enjoy your new upgrades.

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