5 Home Improvements that Add More Value Than They Cost

Clever Real Estate


Clever Real Estate

August 6th, 2021
Updated August 6th, 2021


Making small improvements to your home can help you get a great deal for your home sale. Here are five home improvements that will have the most return on your investment.

5 Home Improvements that Add More Value Than They Cost

If you’re pondering the idea of putting your house back on the market, you may want to take a step back and consider making minor improvements and renovations beforehand. Investing in upgrades to your home before selling can help you land an even better deal in the long run.

Here are five affordable home improvements you can make to attract more potential buyers that will have the most return on your investment.

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1. Kitchen Upgrades

Without a doubt, one of the biggest returns on investment comes from a kitchen remodel. For maximizing your home's value, kitchen updates are key. In fact, most experts agree that if you plan on updating only one room in your home to yield a higher asking price, it should be the kitchen.

Start by swapping out just one item, such as a stained sink or ancient microwave for shiny new stainless models. Even small kitchen updates will add big value to your home.

Large, open kitchens have become the social hub of the modern home. High-end touches like granite countertops, richly stained custom cabinets, and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances are the gold standard in modern kitchens.

Buyers will surely find value in these kitchen features and make them even more interested in your property altogether — which can certainly work to your advantage during pricing negotiations.

Experts agree that kitchen remodels return an average of 80 to 85% of every dollar spent. You can expect an even higher return if you are remodeling a really outdated kitchen.

2. Spruce Up the Bathroom

Bathroom updates are always a smart move, and if done properly, should only set you back around $750 or less. Even if you can't afford a full remodel, small changes such as replacing dated wallpaper with a faux or textured finish, and replacing old lighting will update the room without denting your wallet.

New flooring and a few updated fixtures in the bathroom should deliver a 70% return on investment. An upscale bathroom remodel, on the other hand, sees on average a 56% return on investment. These include updates such as heated flooring, custom cabinets, and designer fixtures.

A few other cost-effective changes that can be made in the bathroom are replacing an outdated vanity, swapping out old plumbing and lighting fixtures for new ones, or adding a new tile floor. These upgrades will guarantee a lot of bang for your buck, while giving your bath an updated, modern look that is appealing to buyers.

3. Curb Appeal

We’re just gonna say it: first impressions count. How your home looks from the street is your first chance to make a good impression to potential home buyers. A home’s exterior needs to make a prospective buyer wants to walk through the front door.

That’s why it’s crucial to make sure existing landscaping is well maintained. If your yard seems dull in comparison with your neighbor’s yard, consider planting flowers or repainting the front door.

Another option to consider is planting a tree. If you aren't planning to sell your house immediately, plan for the future with a landscaping improvement that will mature over time. Planting shade trees will not only will make your home more desirable, but a fully grown, properly placed tree can even cut your cooling costs by as much as 40% — another fantastic selling point for your property.

Low-maintenance landscaping is a double win; it saves you money now, and adds value to your property when it comes time to sell.

Additionally, when shopping at your local garden center, make sure that you "think green". Purchase plants that are native to your region, or plants that are drought-tolerant; these require less water and maintenance, which means more savings to you, and more green in your wallet.

4. Visually Increase Your Home's Square Footage.

The size of your home dramatically affects the value. In fact, bigger homes often command higher values, and even if the appraiser doesn’t officially acknowledge the full value of added space, a buyer will likely notice.

But square footage isn't the only space that counts. Visual space, or how large a home feels, is also an important factor to consider. The key is to make each room in your house feel larger, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves to accomplish this.

Replace heavy closed draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in; this instantly makes a sunny room feel larger and more open. Another trick you can try out is adding a single large mirror to a room to visually double the space.

The last thing you’ll want to do is clear the clutter. The more clutter, furniture, and plain old stuff you have lying around in a room, the more cramped it will feel. For less than $400, add an attractive shelving unit to an underused space and store your clutter out of sight.

5. Upgrades That Reduce Maintenance Hassles

If your house is 10 to 15 years old, any big-ticket items that buyers might have to repair or replace in the next few years could be off-putting. Making those repairs now helps you get your best asking price.

Redo the Roof

Replacing a roof recovers 105% of its cost at resale. Updating your home’s roof will not only bring more value to your property, but will additionally make it stand out from neighboring roofs that may be outdated.

Pump Up the HVAC

Buyers often ask when the HVAC was installed or replaced, as well as if the home has a tankless hot water heater. Stay ahead of the game by replacing a potentially faulty HVAC system.

Don’t forget to boast about the upgrades you made on your home’s online listings, and during open houses for buyers to know. HVAC replacement recoups about 71% of its cost upon resale, so make sure they’re fully aware of your efforts..

Siding That’s On Your Side

Is your home’s siding in good shape? Regardless, some buyers will ask about siding brands that have been in the news because of problems such as durability or mold.

That’s why it’s good to know what brand you have, and when it was installed. If you need to replace it, new fiber-cement, or vinyl siding recoups about 79% to 83% of its costs upon resale.

In order to ensure the best deal possible for the sale of your home, consider working with a Clever Partner Agent, who can help you determine which improvements will have the most return on your investment for your unique property.

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