In an average year, “Americans spend more than $400 billion on residential renovations and repairs” according to Harvard University’s Joint Center For Housing Studies (JCHS). Put another way, Housing Wire estimates that that works out to $9,081 per household every year.
That may sound like a lot, but, really, it is only the beginning. Spending on home renovations and upgrades is up even more this year thanks to the global pandemic. Houzz reported an increase of at least 58% in home improvement projects.
It is important to acknowledge that homeowners are not necessarily making renovations and taking on home improvement projects without abandon. Rather, they are focusing on the projects that make their homes more livable and the projects that will ultimately increase their home’s resale value. Learn more about some of the best home upgrades for resale value below.
Install A New Fence
Residential fencing is a popular upgrade and for good reason. A well-constructed fence spruces up your property’s curb appeal, adds privacy, and packs a potential return on investment (ROI) of 70%.
Here is a deeper look at some of the benefits of residential fences installations:
- Cordon off your property and maximize your privacy. An increasing number of U.S. households are taking full advantage of outdoor areas, like decks, patios, and pools. Keep hanging out in the backyard a relaxing and laidback affair with a sturdy privacy fence. Plus, tall privacy fences add an extra layer of security and discourage any potential intruders.
- Fence in animals. Don’t overthink upgrades in and around your home. A fence is a great addition for dog owners. Fences keep dogs within your property lines, and they keep active dogs happy in between walks.
- Make your property look sharper. A new fence can go an incredibly long way to make your property look better. Plus, there are more options for residential fencing than ever before. Spruce up your home’s looks with chic frosted plexiglass panel fences, contemporary fences with geometric patterns, or a rustic and stylish corrugated metal fence.
- Add potential energy savings. The right fence has the potential to do far more than promise an impressive resale value. The right fence can potentially lower your energy bill, too. Choose a fence that doubles as a living wall for its insulating properties. Living walls can help keep heat inside your backyard, drive down energy bills, and improve the aesthetics of your home.
Eliminate Pests In And Outside Of Your Home
When it comes to the best home upgrades for resale value, essential repairs and maintenance may not immediately come to mind. However, they are desperately important.
In order to increase the resale value of your home, increase its structural soundness as well as your home’s overall desirability. Invest in residential pest control services to keep your home as good as new.
Remember, left unchecked, pests are destructive. Rodents and small animals expose wires, chew wires, gnaw and scratch drywall, and even rip insulation out of walls, attics, and crawlspaces.
Termites, on the other hand, can be even worse. “Homeowners should always hire a certified pest management professional when treating or preventing termite infestation,” Bob Vila writes. A termite infestation that spirals out of control can permanently damage the wood inside your home and ultimately impact its structural integrity. Plus, termite infestations can be difficult to detect. Some termites are only found deep inside walls.
A professional will thoroughly treat and eliminate termite threats. Plus, many have the ability to install termite barriers and monitors to prevent any problems from cropping up in the future.
The best home upgrades for resale value are not always the most obvious ones. Take proactive steps to keep your home in the best possible condition.
Invest In Landscaping and Curb Appeal
Investing in landscaping and curb appeal goes an incredibly long way to improve the value of your home. In fact, it is one of the best home upgrades for resale value across the board. “Improving your curb appeal can lead to a 150% return on investment or more,” Homes.com reveals. To optimize your returns on landscaping and curb appeal:
- Start with landscaping. Improve the curb appeal of your home by sprucing up your landscaping. Invest in edging and attractive mulch and fillers, like bark dust blowing, decorative stones, and filler stones.
- Fix the roof. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a new roof packs an impressive ROI of 109%. The average roof lasts 25 years. If your replacing your roof is well past due, it is a sound and worthwhile investment. Choose metal roofing, tile roofing, or asphalt shingle roofing to maximize your home’s energy efficiency.
- Install a new garage door. A residential garage door install comes along with an impressive ROI of 87%. A garage renovation can add instant style to your home and/or bring your home up to speed and into the future. A black garage door, an industrial-style metal and glass garage door, or a freshly painted garage door can completely change the look and feel of your home.Plus, these days, smart technology is growing… fast. Install a new garage door that is compatible with smart technology. Control your garage door using a central console or an app on your phone. Open and close the garage door entirely remotely. If you are uncertain whether you closed your garage door after leaving for work, pull up the app, check, and close the garage door if necessary.
- Do something about the driveway. If you want to improve your curb appeal and your home’s resale value, the driveway is another feature that needs your attention. According to The Lost Angeles Times, “a new driveway may indeed be the path to enhancing the value of your property.” Dramatically improve your curb appeal by adding lighting, redoing the driveway using mixed materials, or cleaning it up with eye-catching edging.
The best home upgrades for resale value are home upgrades that boost curb appeal. Curb appeal is what draws potential buyers to tour your home and, often, to ultimately buy it. Invest in curb appeal upgrades to attract buyers and maximize your ROI.
Improved Water Quality: A Home Upgrade With Lasting Returns
Some of the best home upgrades for resale value are invisible upgrades. A home in the suburbs or a home that is out-of-the-way with hard water or a lack of city water can pose a very real problem. Many buyers simply do not want homes with hard water, and others are extremely hesitant to purchase homes that rely on well water. That is where water filtration systems come in.
Whole-home filtration systems filter and sanitize all the water in your home, eliminating the need to purchase separate attachments for each individual faucet. Whole-home filters remove sediment, like dust, sand, and rust, first. Many also include secondary and tertiary filters that remove contaminants, like carbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and reduce heavy metals, like manganese and iron, in well water.
If you need a water softener or water softening system as well, filtering your water first is an important step. Filtering your water removes sediment, increasing the effectiveness of your water softening system.
Do not undermine the value of invisible home upgrades. Install a whole-home water filtration system and a water softener to increase your home’s desirability.
Take Another Look At Your Windows
Among the best home upgrades for resale value are upgrades that fix leaky doors and windows and improve the energy efficiency in your home.
Think of your home like you would an essential medical device or medical product. It is imperative that these products have secure connections. As such, fasteners may include hermetic connectors and other, infallible airtight seals. If you hold your medical devices to such high standards, it stands to reason that you should hold your home’s doors and windows to similarly high standards.
“Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Losing nearly one-third of your energy right out the door or window (literally) is not an acceptable figure.
Replace old windows with energy-efficient ones. To maximize your energy savings, choose ENERGY STAR certified windows or windows certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). Not only will these windows save you money on your utility bill, but these windows also boost your home’s resale value by 77 to 78%.
Similarly, install weatherstripping to fix drafty doorways or replace doors altogether.
The best home upgrades for resale value are largely practical. Installing new doors and windows and repairing critical air leaks can make all the difference to prospective buyers.
Give Your Floors A Makeover
Another one of the best home upgrades for resale value is residential flooring. Residential flooring is versatile and that means there are several different avenues to explore when replacing, renovating, or improving residential floors. Here are just a few:
- Rent burnishing tools to polish and shine floors. Burnishing tools can make tile floors, marble floors, and hardwood floors look like new. Burnishing goes a step above and beyond buffing, polishing floors to an extremely striking high shine.
- Install engineered hardwood. Hardwood floors are very trendy right now. Hardwood floors are stylish, easy to clean, and they make sense in kitchens, living rooms, foyers, and more. The benefits are so plentiful and tangible that many buyers confess they would pay up to $2,000 more for a house with hardwood floors compared to homes with other flooring types. Unfortunately, hardwood floors come with notable downsides. Wood floors are especially vulnerable to moisture and may get easily nicked and scratched by pets’ paws. For all the perks of hardwood flooring without the downsides, choose engineered hardwood. It looks the same while holding up against scratches and moisture and requiring significantly less upkeep.
- Deep clean or replace carpets. Very old carpets may trap dust and allergens, lowering the air quality in your home. Rent a carpet shampooer or hire professionals to come in, clean your carpets, and leave them looking like new. If it makes sense with your budget, consider replacing old carpets altogether. Carpet is a cozy, sharp-looking option. If you have pets and/or kids, install carpets that are stain-resistant, like nylon rugs and carpet
Renovate Your Kitchen Or Bathroom
At times, the best home upgrades for resale value are also the most obvious ones. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are among the most popular home improvement projects. Kitchen remodels pack a potential ROI of 81%, while bathroom improvements typically recoup about 73%, according to Zillow. Zillow notes that these amounts hold true, even for relatively minor and budget-friendly renovations.
A minor kitchen remodel typically entails making changes to what you can see. Replace outdated appliances and fixtures, and install new custom cabinets and custom countertops. For example, granite or butcher block countertops both look sharp, while being decidedly practical as well. Granite is environmentally friendly, easy to clean, and holds up well against wear. Butcher block countertops are similarly sustainable and even have naturally occurring anti-bacterial properties.
For minor bathroom remodels, replace cabinets, replace outdated features, and repaint. Keep cabinets economical by purchasing granite cabinets with visible imperfections (styles are trending away from perfect patterns and symmetry!) or transform an old dresser into an eye-catching pedestal sink. Dressers repurposed as vanities look vintage and chic while being deceptively reasonably priced. As for other upgrades, “You can update light fixtures, sink faucets, towel racks, and drawer pulls for a relatively small investment,” Money Crashers explains. Top off the look with a fresh layer of paint. Only use paints that are moisture-resistant, like paints with a satin finish.
Making changes to your home doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it can guarantee you considerable returns when it comes time to sell. Invest in the best home upgrades for resale value as you tackle home improvement projects this year.
Prioritize pest control, preventative maintenance, kitchen and bathroom remodels, curb appeal improvements, and new windows. All of these things will recoup a considerable amount — with some home upgrades, like installing a new garage door, even earning you an eventual and impressive profit.