9 Best Home Improvements to Increase Home Value
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9 Best Home Improvements to Increase Home Value

Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the near future or you’re ready to make renovations, it’s a good idea to focus on improvements that will pay off on resale. Some upgrades and remodeling projects offer a better return on investment than others, such as improvements to the kitchen and bathroom compared to replacing bedroom flooring. Want to increase your home’s value without overimproving or wasting your renovation budget? Here are some of the best home renovations for resale value.

#1. Fiberglass Attic Insulation

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs Value Report, there is one home improvement project this year that will actually earn a profit on your investment: adding fiberglass insulation to your attic walls. According to the report, insulating the walls of a 35’x30′ attic will cost an average of $1,268 but you will recover almost 117% of your cost when you sell. This is because today’s buyers are very energy-minded and want an efficient home that will keep heating and cooling costs low.

#2. New Vinyl Siding

If your old siding is showing its age, replacing it can make a big impact on potential buyers and improve your curb appeal as well as your home’s value. New vinyl siding costs around $12,000 on average. At resale, you can expect to recover about 83% of your investment, according to the Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Still, replacing the siding isn’t recommended if you’re about to put the home on the market, unless your siding is damaged.

#3. Garage Door Replacement

If your home faces the street, the garage door is one of the most immediately recognizable features of the home and a broken, dingy, or cheap garage door will cost you curb appeal and value. A new garage door consistently ranks as one of the best home improvements for return on investment. On average, you will pay around $2,300 for a garage door but recover 87% of your cost at resale.

When choosing a new garage door, consider what buyers are looking for in your area and your home’s style. Garage doors with windows are very popular as are carriage-style garage doors that look handmade.

#4. Add a Backsplash

Kitchen remodels don’t need to be expensive or major to improve the value of your home. A new backsplash is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to add new style and color to your kitchen and it can even be a weekend DIY job. Depending on the type of backsplash and whether you do it yourself, you can get your money back at resale or up to a 200% return on investment. If you’re struggling for ideas and aren’t sure what type of backsplash to add, consider subway tiles. A Zillow Digs analysis found that home listings that mentioned subway tile sold for almost 7% more than the expected sale price.

#5. New Interior Wall Paint

Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint won’t increase your home’s value in the long run, but it will offer an impressive return on investment if you’re getting ready to list your home for sale. Painting is an easy do-it-yourself project that costs about $30 per gallon plus supplies. Stick with neutral shades that appeal to most buyers and lighter shades that make rooms feel larger. You can expect a 250% return on your investment in freshly painted walls.

#6. Landscaping

Landscaping is another project you can do yourself to dramatically boost your curb appeal and earn a great return on investment. Great landscaping can add up to 28% to your home value, but you don’t need to get too fancy. Depending on the scale, you can get a return on investment of 20% to 500%. Focus on the basics if you’re listing the home for sale. This includes mulching and edging the lawn, adding flowering annuals near the front door, pruning scrubs and trees, and adding color with affordable flowerbeds.

Remember: it pays to put at least a few hundred into fixing up your front lawn and entry as it’s the first thing potential buyers will see. If buyers are turned off by the outside of your home, they’re less likely to even walk inside to see the rest of your home.

#7. Smart Thermostat

Potential buyers love homes with smart technology. A 2015 survey by Better Homes and Gardens found a whopping 64% of millennials want smart home technology while a NAR survey found millennials represent the largest share of today’s home buyers. A smart thermostat is an easy and cost-effective home improvement that costs around $250 but saves $170 or more per year in energy costs. Highlight smart technology in your home to attract buyers who want lower heating and cooling costs for a return on investment of 90% to 200%.

#8. Energy-Efficient Windows

If your home has drafty single-pane windows, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can save up to $500 a year in energy costs and make your home more appealing to buyers. Better Homes and Gardens, replacing your window can give you a 60-90% return on investment and you may also be eligible for a 10% green energy tax credit. Some states and utility companies offer additional credits that can bring your return on investment even higher. You can expect to pay between $7,500 and $15,000 to replace all of the windows in an average-sized home.

#9. Minor to Moderate Kitchen Remodel

Most buyers focus on the kitchen and bathrooms when they buy a home and are willing to pay up for recent remodels. A minor to moderate kitchen remodel can return 90% to 95% if you do it right. Improving the lighting, upgrading the countertops, and installing a new sink are all smart areas in which to spend your renovation money in the kitchen. You can also turn to cost-effective remodeling solutions to maximize your money, such as adding pullout pantry drawers, a second sink, refinishing the cabinets, or replacing the cabinet faces but not the boxes.

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