Have you ever considered putting a funky retro tile in your bathroom? Or, maybe you’ve been wanting to add a farmhouse sink to your kitchen thinking it will make doing the dishes enjoyable. Or, maybe you’ve been dying in the Texas heat and you’ve been dappling with the idea of installing a pool in your backyard?
Each of these upgrades is going to affect the resale value of your home differently. While the pool may provide an immediate value in your quality of life, the return on investment when you go to sell usually doesn’t add up. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, you should consider which home improvement projects will give you the most bang for your buck when you eventually decide to sell your home.
My top tips for prioritizing home upgrades are as follows:
1. If there are any major systems or parts of your home that are in need of repair, you should address these issues first. I know you’ve been fantasizing about wallpapering the powder room with a trendy print, but you should really fix that leaky faucet before you get all fancy. Look at the major home systems and components, things like the HVAC, plumbing, and roof. If there are any known issues, get them fixed now. Not only will buyers pay attention to these items when you eventually sell, but also, if you wait to fix these items they may lead to more costly repairs down the line.
2. If you are ready to invest some money in updates, consider upgrading your kitchen and baths. Spending money in these locations pays off. Both of these home improvement projects usually rank fairly highly on reports of popular home renovations that increase your home’s value. The kitchen remodel usually has a higher ROI, but be careful not to overdue it here. You don’t have to spend and arm and a leg to get the effect you and future buyers are looking for in a kitchen. If you have Formica countertops that have seen better days, consider replacing them with quartz, a natural stone, or even butcher box countertops. I’ve even seen concrete countertops done quite inexpensively, yet they can make a serious WOW factor when paired with a fun backsplash. Consider painting your cabinets instead of replacing them entirely, add a fun backsplash, and replace your hardware to get a new look without breaking the bank.
3. The expenditure with the best payoff when you decide to sell your home is probably something exterior. When you have killer curb appeal, it attracts buyers, and attracting buyers leads to a high sales price. The exterior of the home is like your home’s headshot, and it needs to look amazing! The first photo you usually see of a home online is the exterior, and if it doesn’t look amazing, buyers probably won’t want to come inside. There are a few easy ways to boost your curb appeal without spending a ton of money. You may want to paint the entire facade, or maybe just add a pop of color with a fun front door paint selection. One of my favorite ways to boost curb appeal is by adding sleek address numbers. I find these on amazon for mere dollars! Lastly, consider boosting your landscaping- pretty flowers always make me swoon over a home.
4. Focus on flooring, to maximize your return on investment. Worn out carpet or a combination of four different flooring types on one floor can seriously mess with the vibes of a house. If possible, try to keep the flooring the same throughout the entire main living spaces and choose anything besides carpet! Life happens, you may have pets or enjoy wine, and honestly neither of these things go well with carpet in the long run. In general, buyers prefer something else too. If you’re on a budget, consider replacing your outdated flooring with a laminate or even a vinyl wood look flooring (trust me they have come along way in recent years).
Finally, if you want to make some upgrades to your home, do yourself a favor and think carefully about which ones will enhance your life and pay off in the long run. Getting quotes from multiple contractors to find the most qualified and economical contractor is always a good idea. Ask a friend or contact me for specific recommendations in the Austin area. You may even want to consider DIYing some parts of your remodel. It’s amazing what you can teach yourself to do with the power of youtube at your fingertips. Also, don’t forget to shop around for materials! You can find great deals online, and I’ve found some serious bargains on brand new materials such as flooring and tiles at the Habitat for Humanity RE-Store.
Want more personalized tips on the best upgrades for your Austin area home? Give me a call today, I’ll give you my two cents and I won’t pressure you to sell.
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.