Not all home improvements are created equal. These will reward you the most when it comes time to sell.
Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. (Yay southern exposure!)
But the home itself? Perfect isn’t the adjective you’d use. But you knew that moving in, and now you’re ready to start making it just right.
But where to begin? How about with data? Data is that friend who tells you like it really is.
Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect.
The National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Remodeling Impact Report and 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features (full disclosure: NAR is a sponsor of HouseLogic.) have tons of data on how much improvements cost — and how much of those costs you can recoup.
Here are the best seven home remodeling projects with equity-building might:
#1 Upgraded Landscaping
This one might be a bit of a surprise. (Maybe you expected a major kitchen reno to top the list.)
But if your yard is one of your home’s imperfect parts, a little color and a touch of hardscaping can make a huge difference to your curb appeal, which is a great immediate equity-booster.
What does a basic landscaping upgrade include?
- Flowering shrubs
- A 15-foot-tall deciduous tree
- A flagstone walkway
- Two 6-by-2 stone planters
- Fresh mulch
The cost: $4,750
The return: 105% at $5,000
#2 New Roof
If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn’t cool.
The cost: $7,600
The return: 105% at $8,000
Considering it’s what’s between you and the elements, it’s a no-brainer.
Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:
- Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss.
- Gritty bits from the asphalt shingles are coming out the downspout.
- The sun’s shining through your attic.
- You notice stains on ceilings and walls.
- Your energy bill is sky high.
#3 Hardwood Floors
You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that’s stuck in the ‘80s.
They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They’re psyched — and for good reason.
Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.
The cost to refinish: $2,500
The return: 100% at $2,500
The cost to buy new: $5,500
The return: 91% at $5,000
#4 Patio or Deck
If your home is your castle, your yard is your kingdom. After giving your yard a much-needed overhaul, you need a place to watch over you handiwork. How about that deck or patio you’ve been dreaming of?
The cost of a patio: $6,400
The return: 102% at $6525
The cost of a deck: $9,450
The return: 106% at $10,000
Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it’s often out of mind — that is, until you’re forced to wear your parka indoors because it’s sooo darn cold.
The cost: $2,100
The return: 95% at $2,000 plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs
#6 New Garage Door
No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list — a new garage door provides a big boost for your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost.
The cost: $2,300 (for a two-door)
The return: 87% at $2,000
There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that’ll give your doors bankable personality.
#7 Vinyl Siding
In any color! And never paint again.
Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home’s value.
But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today’s vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties.
The cost: $12,000
The return: 83% at $10,000
Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 79%. Although it’s the pricier option — you’ll spend $19,100 — it has one thing vinyl still lacks — the perception of quality.
And quality matters. In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), “quality” was the one of the most important traits that home buyers focused on when house hunting.
- Costs and ROI of the Most Common Home Remodeling Projects (including kitchens and baths)
- Time-Sucking Home Remodeling Mistakes You’ll Wish You Could Avoid
Time to De-Clutter? Some Tips for Selling Your Stuff
If you are looking around your home and thinking to yourself that it’s time to de-clutter, the summer months provide an ideal time to hold a garage sale. But if that sounds like too big of an undertaking, there are other options available to you thanks to popular resale sites like eBay and Craigslist. And if even that sounds like too much effort, you might also consider donating lightly used items to charity or sending them off to the dump. Here are some questions to help you decide which method is best for you.
How much stuff do you have? Are you liquidating your space of large furniture items, a large quantity or quality items, or do you have a small pile of electronics?
If you have yards worth of stuff to get rid of, you definitely want to consider a garage sale. Getting rid of multiple items on Craig’s list can be time consuming, and shipping items sold on eBay can be expensive and eat into your profits. On the other hand, if your items are easily shippable or you have a small enough quantity to take quality photos and post online, then you can save time by using eBay or Craig’s list – and potentially make more money too.
What type of stuff am I getting rid of? Is it worth anything?
If you have large furniture or unique/valuable pieces it may be worth the time to take some quality photos and try to sell these items on Craigslist first. Generally Craigslist works as “first come, first serve” so be prepared to respond to inquiries quickly. If you have small items that have some value, you may want to consider eBay. You reach a much larger audience through eBay which can result in a greater financial return.
How much time do I have?
Garage/yard sales are by far the most time intensive of your options. If you choose to hold a garage sale, you will likely need to dedicate at least three days for prep, clean-up, and the sale itself. All items should be cleaned up, priced, and neatly displayed for sale. Signage should be prominently placed around your neighborhood. You can also place an ad in your local classifieds or on Craigslist to attract a larger crowd.
Will your home/community accommodate a Garage Sale?
Garage and yard sales are generally held at a single-family residence. If you live in an apartment or condo, you may want to consider alternatives due to limited public space. You may also want to consider your community traffic. If you live on a quiet street, you may not get enough customers to generate sales.
Can you enhance a sale by joining with neighbors, friends and family?
Some communities hold an annual neighborhood garage sale, encouraging all neighbors to participate on the same day. This increases your ability to market the event and attract a larger audience.
Want more information on hosting a garage sale? Go here.