Six Renovation Hacks That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

Lisa Lyons's picture

If you are wondering how to pump up the volume on your home’s market value, a few simple “re-nos” can make a world of difference in what buyers will pay for your house.

Below are the top improvements/upgrades that professional brokers, realtors and loan officers say can boost your home’s financial profile.

Kitchen Remodel

Most people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and because of this, updates in this room pay off.  According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long as you don’t go overboard; be warned, prices can run the gamut from $5,000 to $75,000 or more.

You should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighborhood. If you plan on selling your home within the next five years, keep potential buyers in mind before you start on any major remodel, as many people won’t pay more for a high-end deluxe kitchen.

To get more return on investment for your upgrades, try looking at a simple change of wall color. Fresh paint, in modern colors, can make an old kitchen look like a retro gem for relatively little cash. Also, if you use low-VOC paint, your kitchen will be more eco-friendly.

Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. Energy Star-rated appliances are better for the environment, and they also help you save money, because they use less energy. Potential buyers often look for ways to save money when shopping for a new home.

Bathroom Addition

If your home only has one bathroom, you can recoup a large chunk of your investment by adding another one. HGTV estimates that you can recoup 80%-130% of whatever you spend adding a bathroom.

Like any project, the cost of adding a bathroom depends largely on the types of additions and cost of accessories you want to use. Many home improvement stores offer big discounts on sinks and toilets that have been floor models. You can also find great prices on tubs, doors, toilets, and fixtures at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore - and you’re helping a needy family find their own new home.

Go Green

Making your home more energy efficient is a plus—anything that helps keep heat in during the colder months and out during the warmer months will help. Even small changes, such as adding storm doors or a ceiling fan in each room, can make a big difference on your utility bill.  For a bigger improvement, consider replacing the windows with double- or triple-paned windows. You can also receive a green energy tax credit of 10% for this upgrade, as long as you install Energy Star-rated windows.

Most buyers expect to see programmable thermostats in a home these days, and they can save you money. Energy Star estimates that installing a programmable thermostat will save the average homeowner $180 per year in heating and cooling costs.

If you need to replace your hot water heater, consider spending a bit extra to purchase a high-efficiency model. Savvy home buyers know these compact water heaters can really trim energy bills. If you use less than 41 gallons of water each day in your household, a tankless water heater can save you as much as 24%-34% on your water heating costs.

Furnace/HVAC Replacement

Not as sexy as a new master bathroom, replacing the heating and cooling system can be a money-saver. Between the rebates and the energy savings, replacing a forced-air unit can start to pump not only comfort, but money into your living space.  Brokers suggest this only if you are going to be in the home a long time. Typically, you need at least five years to reap the benefits from the cost savings vs. the cost of the unit and installation.

Update Plumbing

Believe it or not, an appraiser takes the plumbing into heavy consideration when assigning the value to a home. Once a huge undertaking with walls and floors being torn up, repiping is now done with PEX (basically plastic tubing) that is extremely durable and easy to install since it can be run through your walls like an extension cord. This means less holes and a lot less mess. It also means less money spent on materials and labor.

Raze the Roof

Roofs do need replacing eventually, and the consequences of waiting could be very costly, including ruined walls, mold, and mildew stains. Most experts say you only receive 55%-60% of the cost to replace a roof when you sell your home. Conversely, a damaged roof or an old roof may turn prospective buyers away. A new roof can make your home look crisp to prospective buyers, and help you stay competitive in the market.

Most of these home improvement projects can definitely add to your home’s market value, as well as improve your family’s quality of life. By working on these projects, you can enjoy the benefits now, as well as later when you consider selling.

Data courtesy of: DIY Network, Consumer Reports, HGTV


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