Unexpected Home Improvements That Pay Off

It may be overwhelming to look at your house from a buyer’s perspective and see all of the potential upgrades you could make. Then you start adding up the price tags. How do you know what may be worth your investment for a good return? Here are five home improvements that buyers typically love. The numbers speak for themselves.

1. Bathrooms are the Best

A mid-range bathropm remodel is on average one of the easiest ways to get the most for your money. Mid-range means $3,000 to replace the toilet, light fixtures, maybe add a new or double sink. If you have a bit leftover you can even update the wallpaper. On average, according to Zillow Talk, a bathroom remodel of this type results in a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1.00 spent on the project.

2. Pay Attention to the Attic

Adding fiberglass attic insulation is the only renovation that gets more than a 100 percent return on your investment according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 data. With a national average investment of just over $1,200, the recoup is around $1,482, a 116.9% return. If you’re willing to go all-out, converting attics into bedrooms is another particularly popular project that also offers a high return, as much as 84.3 percent. Even better? If you have exposed brick you could get nearly 5% above the expected listing price and sell your house 36 days faster.

3. Spiff Up the Front Entrance

U.S. News reports that something as simple as updating the front door, be it painting or installing a new one, can bring the highest return of nearly any project: 96.6 percent. Adding stone veneer around the bottom of the house, either to replace a few layers of siding or to cover an exposed foundation, is another worthwhile investment. Though the cost is a bit steep, at around $7,500, the return is at 92.9 percent and the added curb appeal of a clean front entrance could bring even more money overall.

4. Make Minor Kitchen Updates

Since kitchens are so high on the priority list of most potential buyers, it is a worthwhile place to invest money. Zillow Talk estimates minor kitchen remodel could recoup 83.1 percent of your costs. Anything dated is a big turn-off for buyers, and even small updates can have big payoffs. Simply swapping out kitchen cabinet hardware can take years off a dated kitchen.

5. Replace the Garage Door

While the front door is a no-brainer for the financial return, a garage door replacement is a bit more of an investment for sellers. But the return is high, according to Remodeling Magazine, and you can’t put a price on curb appeal. With an average cost of $1,652 nationwide, the return was 91.5 percent, or $1,512. If replacing feels overwhelming, a fresh coat of paint or stain to cover all those nicks can do wonders.

6. Update Exterior Siding

Engineered siding might not seem like a particularly fun home improvement project to embark on, but updating it is a 78.6 percent return on your investment. While the initial investment is hefty, Remodeling Magazine puts it at an average of nearly $14,000, you’ll recoup about $10,866 in selling price. Vinyl siding is a bit less of an initial investment, but the payoff also drops, to about a 73.2 percent return.

Kristina Miller

Kristina Miller

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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