As a homeowner, you are probably constantly thinking about the things that would add value to your home. Investing in your home now could lead to a big pay day when it comes time to sell. Thanks to your home’s appreciation, which is the increase in a home’s value over time, people can end up selling their homes for more than what they purchased it for. Of course, there are some things that no one can predict (such as market conditions) but staying on top of repairs and making smart upgrades are proven ways to add major value to your home. Here are five tips for the most worthwhile home improvements that will pay off big in the long run. 

  • Doll It Up

The first, and most obvious, tip is to make your home more attractive. This can be done in several different ways. One of the easiest is to throw fresh coats of paint around the whole house. Yes, the whole house. Don’t underestimate the power of the paint can! It can dramatically change the look and feel of any room. It is usually more attractive for buyers to see neutral colors (think light greys, soft greens and tans) rather than bold colors. This one cosmetic change to your home could have a return investment of up to 109 percent. It would also be worthwhile to consult with your Realtor who has experience with interior design to help point out what things can be done aesthetically to update your home.

The curb appeal of your home is also very important. The exterior is the first thing anyone sees, so it better make a good impression! If people aren’t impressed with the outside, it’s much less likely that they’ll want to go inside. One of the easiest ways to improve this is minor landscaping. Making sure your grass is cut, your driveway is paved, your flowers are groomed, pathways are swept, and your front door looks inviting with a seasonal wreath and doormat are all great, easy ways to impress potential buyers. Planting perennial trees and shrubs that add color year-round are also a great way to add value. Attractive landscaping on homes typically has a perceived value increase of about 15 percent. Plus, be sure to include basic home maintenance or repairs to your to-do list. This includes such as replacing damaged siding, cleaning gutters and downspouts, addressing trip hazards, and even organizing your storage shed. All of these items are likely to give you a return on your investment with your future sale.

  • Make It Work

Maintenance and upkeep on a house are continually some of the most expensive things that homeowners have to do. Many take for granted perfectly working homes without realizing the work and cash that goes into making it that way. One of the first things that people will ask while looking at your home is if there is anything that doesn’t work or needs to be fixed. And, if the answer is yes, it could be a turn-off for your potential buyers. So, make sure you stay on top of repairs and maintenance, especially for the main utilities, for your house so that everything is in perfect working order. 

If you want to go a little further with this, making your house more low-maintenance is a great thing when you’re trying to sell. Most people don’t want to have to do constant work in order for their home to work for them. Replacing an old furnace, repairing the roof or leaky pipes is a great improvement for when it comes time to sell. 

  • High-Priority Rooms

If you’re thinking about making some major changes to some rooms in your home, there are certain areas where you should start. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are consistently two of the top places where homeowners see a high return on their investment. It is important to keep in mind the value of your house, the market where you live and the quality of the project you are doing. For example, think about adding an extra half-bath, laundry room, or new kitchen appliances. Traditional styles are always safe to do when remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. Natural wood, stone and brand new appliances is a foolproof formula. Additionally, adding a second bathroom can increase the sale price of a home by 8.7 percent, according to a National Association of REALTORS study done by Florida State University professors. Think of items that will help your home stand out from others in your neighborhood and other competitive listings in your price range.

  • Adding Timely Upgrades

It’s no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone and everything. And, homebuyer priorities are no exception. Buyers this year have somewhat different demands than in the past. Since so many people are living, working, teaching etc. from home, buyers are placing more weight on different aspects of a home’s layout, qualities, and location.

Home offices have become a very important factor during the pandemic. In the past, home offices have not had a very high return on investment and were often seen as “empty space”. However, during 2020, the demand for home offices has risen to return an average of about 60 percent and is likely to keep rising.  The same goes for pools, outdoor areas, and spacious yards! During the pandemic, outdoor areas, such as a decks and patios, have also see a higher ROI. Families who have had to stay inside for months need space outdoors to relax and unwind. Decks, outdoor furniture, and fire pits are all things that families are putting higher on their shopping lists. Adding an outdoor kitchen can have a big return investment of 100 to 200 percent

  • Making it Energy Efficient

As younger generations start to look to buy homes, many are looking for homes that not only fit their needs, but are also environmentally friendly. Additionally, the return on investment for doing home improvements that are eco-friendly tends to be high. Eco-friendly improvements can often be seen as a win-win: having a high return on investments and being good to the environment. One downfall, however, is the fact that many environmentally friendly upgrades tend to be an expensive endeavor. For example, adding solar panels (one of the most popular eco-friendly upgrades) can cost you between $11,000 to $15,000. But, in the short term they can save you about $400 per year.

Some smaller, less expensive options are to replace old doors with new, energy-efficient ones. New doors will better seal the outside weather from getting in, thus making the temperature in your home more constant. And, even though hardwood floors look really nice, they are not as energy efficient as carpet. Carpets will trap the air that’s inside your house and make the temperature more consistent, no matter what season it is. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for your grandmother’s orange shag! Along with the energy-efficient options, you can browse hypoallergenic options too.

So, if you’re thinking about selling your house and you would like to get more than what you paid for it (aka, everyone,) take these tips into consideration when making improvements and upgrades to your home. Ask your Realtor to discuss the best options for your home’s needs and what will make your home competitive in your local market!