Home Remodels and Upgrades… “The Best Bang for Your Buck”

So, you want to remodel or invest in some home upgrades? If selling your home in the near future is a possibility for you, one might wonder what remodel or upgrades offer “the best bang for your buck”. Though, it’s true that kitchens and baths can have a huge impact in selling a home, there are other areas that are important. You may also be curious as to what buyers are looking for in a potential house; let us give you some remodeling insights for a promising future.

Garage door replacement scores highest for return on investment for home upgrades.
Image via BobVilla.com

Kitchens are generally considered the focal point of most homes thus, making it important to homeowners, as well as, possible future buyers. Budget friendly or minor kitchen remodels have been shown to offer the most return for your investment. If you cannot afford new cupboards, paint them or replace the doors and hardware. New upgraded appliances and upgraded countertops are also a vital renovation.

Next to kitchens, bathrooms rank second as a selling point in homes. Minor bath remodels can include replacing toilets with efficiency models, replacement of mirrors, fixtures, new sink, vanity, re-grouting of tiles, and removal and replacement of caulking.

One of the most important upgrades that a home owner can make is often an overlooked one. Improvement in the area of energy efficiency such as installing attic insulation, upgrading HVAC, water heaters, and windows can be vital. While these upgrades may not increase the value of your home when sold, they will save you on utility costs now. This information is important to share with potential buyers, as well as, sharing utility bills. Today, buyers consider energy efficient homes a plus when house shopping thus, it’s a win- win for both of the parties.

Furthermore, flooring is another upgrade to be considered as this makes an enormous difference in how your home appears. New carpeting or upgraded flooring such as hardwoods, laminates, and upgraded tile will immediately transform a room and present a neat, clean, and updated look.

If your home is small, cramped, and has limited square footage, adding more living area can be accomplished by finishing a basement. A lower level family room or adding a bedroom in the lower level is not just an increase in a home’s square footage, but the home’s value and ultimate desirability of future buyers.

One of the least costly updates a home owner can make is a fresh coat of paint. New paint can hide visual defects and makes a room feel fresh and clean. Be sure that the color will appeal to a large number of people rather than a personal favorite that would appeal to few.

Aside from remodels and upgrades, taking care of your home with regular maintenance and keeping on top of wear and tear helps to maintain a home’s value. Keeping records of dates of maintenance and remodels of a house are a plus to buyers.

Now let’s look at a handful of the top desirable remodels, offering the highest returns on investments.

Remodel/Upgrade                                                Return on Investment

Garage door replacement                                98.3% (Realtor.com), 97.5 %( Bankrate.com)
Installation of manufactured Stone Veneer (In a part of your home exterior such as an entry way)  97.1% (Cheatsheet.com), (97.1% Realtor.com), 94.9% (Bankrate.com)  
Minor kitchen remodel                                                80.5% (Bankrate.com), 81.8% (Realtor.com), 81% (Cheatsheet.com)  
Major kitchen remodel                                           50%( Cheatsheet.com), 53.50 %
Deck addition (wood)                                    75.6% (Bankrate.com), 82.8% (Cheatsheet.com), 83.8 % (Realtor.com)  
Replacing old siding                                                 75.6% (Bankrate.com), 76.7% (Cheatsheet.com), 76.6%(Realtor.com)  
Entry door replacement (steel)                        74.9 %( Bankrate.com), 91.3%(Cheatsheet.com)  
Vinyl window replacement 74.3% (Cheatsheet.com), 74.3 % (Realtor.com)  
Bath remodel                                                            70.1% (Cheatsheet.com), 70.1% (Realtor.com)

*Realtor.com % – The National Average   **Cheatsheet.com % – Research Study by Remodeling.Net                                   ***Bankrate.com % – 2019 Cost VS. Value Report

At this point many of you must be asking yourselves, what are the worst remodels for return of your investments? Information from many sources show that sunrooms, pools, major kitchen remodels, home theaters and media rooms, wine rooms, and areas built for kids only are not a good idea (forget the rock climbing wall). Also, removing features such as fireplaces and reducing the number of bedrooms, or getting too fancy, (the 14 karat gold bathroom fixtures probably should be left out). In addition, it is important to note, a bad design, unprofessional work, and cutting corners can actually reduce the home’s value. Using an experienced professional will pay off in the end.

Brenda Straw
Hoffer Realty Agent

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