Wanting to Increase Your Home's Value?

Blog Post Image
Home Improvement

Wanting to Increase Your Home's Value?

The most common reason people want to increase the value of their home is because they are wanting to sell.  There are ways to increase your home’s value for resale ranging from the expensive (major remodels and additions) to free (tidying up the front yard).  We’ll look at a whole range and when possible note how much value is added.

Before you begin any of these projects, it is important to keep the following in mind: you do not want to raise the value of your property too far above others in the neighborhood.  You may ask why?  Because people who want expensive homes typically shop exclusively in higher-value neighborhoods.  If you own the “best house” in the neighborhood, you are likely to recoup less of your investment.  A good rule of thumb: keep the value of your property within 15 to 20 percent of your neighbors’.

According to an article in the January 2015 issue of Realtor Magazine, it is good to remember that simpler, lower-cost projects tend to return greater value.  Here are several remodeling projects and the 2016 national Cost vs. Value average recouped at resale.

Project (average cost recouped, national):

Minor kitchen remodel (83%)

Bathroom remodel (66%)

Major kitchen remodel (65%)

Family room addition (68%)

Deck addition-wood (75%)

Master suite (64%)

Siding replacement (77%)

Window replacement-vinyl (73%)

These are national averages, so in your area, the figures may be lower or higher.  To explain, if you spend $10,000 on a minor kitchen remodel, you will be adding $8,800 to the value of your house.  Remember that it’s a tricky business, trying to add value to your home.  What seems to be value to you may not be the same for a prospective buyer.

Projects that may increase your home’s value include: Jacuzzi (4 jets or more); permanent hot tub; in-ground pool with nice deck area; security system; sprinkler system; substantial out buildings such as a two-car garage or finished workshop; and vaulted ceilings.  

Some tips when attempting value-increasing remodeling:

*  Remodel with mass appeal in mind.  Potential buyers are usually attracted more to neutral, mainstream design.

*  Don’t go cheap when it comes to construction.  Use durable, quality materials.  If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, honestly evaluate your ability.

Don’t remodel in a different style from the rest of the house.  Additions and improvements that look “tacked on” may detract from a home’s appeal.

*  Turning a bedroom into a bathroom is a mistake – it reduces the number of bedrooms, a chief selling point.

*  Don’t do a $30,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 house – unless you plan to continue living there.  

If you don’t have the kind of money it takes for even minor remodeling, there are low-cost ways to increase your home’s value.  At the very least, the following things will make your home more attractive and inviting to prospective buyers.

Make sure the outside of your home is spic-and-span.  Clean out the gutters. Wash the windows and remove cobwebs and bugs.  Trim the hedges, cut and edge the lawn, sweep the sidewalks and driveway.  Plant some colorful flowers out front.  The reason for these small things is simple; if two similar homes in the same are area are both for sale, the one with the cleanest and most appealing front yard will sell first.

You may want to add to or improve your landscaping while you’re at it.  According to a study conducted by Money Magazine, landscaping may be the best investment to improve a home's value.  The study found that well-planned, attractive landscaping was estimated to have an actual recovery rate 100 to 200 percent higher than a kitchen or bathroom renovation.