Returns at Resale: 15 Home Updates That Pay Off

Home Updates
Updating and renovating your home is almost always a smart move, even if you’re not planning to sell anytime soon. It’s like reinvesting in one of the soundest investments you’ve ever made. You will often find a whole new level of enjoyment and ownership in your home not to mention see even more pay out when it comes time to sell. HGTV has ranked the top 15 home updates and offers tips for maximizing their resale return.


#1 Minor Bathroom Remodel
Re-caulk the moldy corners of your tub yourself using a caulk gun from your local hardware store. Have your tub reglazed for a few hundred dollars. Apply a fresh coat of white paint and replace old shower doors or remove them altogether to make a space feel larger and like new. These small changes can make a big difference.


#2 Landscaping
Curb appeal is important. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but often home shoppers will judge a house by its front lawn. Spending money on sod, permanent stone pathways, trees, and shrubs will usually gain a full return when it comes time to sell.


#3 Minor Kitchen Remodel
Updating your kitchen by painting cabinets and changing backsplash gives you quite a bit of bang for your buck. It is likely to gain you a larger return than a big kitchen remodel project that completely changes the layout of your kitchen.


#4 Exterior Improvements
New paint, new siding, and charming home updates to your stoop also immensely improve curb appeal. Sometimes a smart exterior update can be as simple as removing dated awnings or shutters.


#5 Attic or Basement Bedroom Conversion
This can obviously be a very expensive update depending on the state of your attic or basement. Insulation, ventilation, and adequate support are all expensive components to consider in your budget for this type of project. If it adds a fully functional bedroom to your home however (especially a large bedroom with a walk in closet and full bath) it can be quite a game-changer in your home’s potential price point.


#6 Major Bathroom Remodel
A large project like reconfiguring or expanding a bathroom won’t recoup as much as the quick fixes previously described but it can dramatically change the way you enjoy your home especially if it makes a once small bathroom much larger or much more functional.


#7 Major Kitchen Remodel
Similar to bathrooms, quick fixes in the kitchen will see a bigger spread on return than larger ones. However, it can be almost essential to address your kitchen at some point during the time you live in your home. As trends evolve and the way we use our kitchens change, bigger kitchen remodeling projects will help your home feel like new again. Open shelving, glass pane cabinetry, and built-in breakfast nooks are just some of the concepts that have been popularized over the last few years.


#8 Deck, Patio or Porch Addition
Especially now, spending time outside is so important. Creating area to entertain and enjoy the outdoors can be a great investment, especially when it comes to the upkeep of existing deck, stairs, and railings. Neglecting the outside of your home hurts your resale value and can even be dangerous for your family and guests.


#9 Basement Remodel
These projects can be as extravagant or as cost-effective as you want. Adding drywall and flooring to an unfinished basement obviously increases the square footage of livable space in your home which makes a big difference. Fancier changes like heated floors, adding a wet bar, etc. add lots of enjoyment in your home but may not gain as much of a resale return as keeping it simple. At the very least, be sure to fix all flood and drainage issues as soon as possible as these can easily escalate to large problems.


#10 New Windows
The resale potential of new windows can depend quite a bit on the climate of your area. It seems to recoup a bigger pay out in large cities and colder areas. They do tend to increase the efficiency of your home either way which is a huge plus.


#11 Family Room Addition
Oftentimes it seems like a good idea to convert a sunroom or sunporch to a family room. It only counts towards the square footage of your home if it is heated and cooled for year-round use. This project should be done properly. It will see more of a return in upscale neighborhoods.


#12 Bonus Room Updates
How you use your bonus space in your home greatly affects what your home is worth to you. The same is true of how it is staged and the difference it will make for potential buyers. Improving and displaying the functionality of bonus/multi-use space in your home is always a good idea.


#13 Living Room Decor Updates
This can be quite the investment. Unless you plan on having your new furniture for a long time and maybe even taking it with you to your next home, buying all new living room decor might not make the most sense. That’s why staging your home when it comes time to sell with updated and trendy decor is a smarter way to recoup a return.


#14 Bedroom Updates
Again, staging is a great alternative but adding a bold color or feature wall, sconces over the side tables, and a statement light fixture can make the main bedroom of your home feel more elevated, charming, and romantic. Luckily many of these changes are fairly inexpensive, especially if you’re interested in DIY.


#15 Living Room Wall & Floor Updates
Get rid of the popcorn ceiling (but make sure it is tested for asbestos first). Maybe add wainscoting. Clean your carpets or better yet, if there are wood floors underneath, rip them up and have the original hardwood refinished. One of the easiest home updates, at the very least, is to give your living room a fresh coat of paint before resale.


Our job is to always help you get the most out of your home updates when you decide to sell (and while you live there and love it in the meantime) with Corken + Company. We are your complete buying and selling real estate resource.

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Rachel Sartin

Lori Corken