10 Home Improvement Projects that Can Add Value
For most people, their home is the largest purchase they’re ever likely to make. A great deal of a person’s net worth can be tied up in their home, so making wise investment decisions at home is a great way to shape your long-term financial future. And unlike a vehicle purchase, the home you buy is unlikely to depreciate over time – especially if you’re maintaining your home or even making improvements to it. However, not every upgrade creates equal value. Here are some of the best home improvement projects to add value to your home.
1. Focus on the Kitchen
Updating your kitchen might be the most significant improvement you can do to add value to your home. Some recent homebuyer surveys have reported that a third of respondents listed a modern kitchen as the number one thing they look for in a new house.
You don’t even need an expensive total renovation with luxury upgrades. In fact, if you don’t have an extremely high-end home, you probably won’t recoup those costs when you sell. Instead, focus on small improvements that can pay off in a big way. Making simple, practical, aesthetically appealing upgrades to cabinets, countertops, and flooring can modernize the room and may be achieved relatively cheaply by home improvement standards.
2. Improve Energy Efficiency
Making your home more energy efficient is an excellent way of attracting environmentally conscious buyers. More and more first time homebuyers seek to actively reduce their carbon footprint in all aspects of their lives, so environmentally-friendly upgrades can make your home very desirable. As a bonus, making your home more energy efficient won’t just get you a higher future selling price, it will save you money on your energy bill for as long as you live there.
The biggest energy hog in the average home is the heating and cooling system. Replacing leaky doors and windows to improve your home’s air sealing can reduce waste. A programmable or smart thermostat will also enhance efficiency by automatically decreasing heat or air conditioner usage during the times you don’t need it.
If you’re not sure what improvements to make, start by requesting an energy audit. Many energy providers provide free or low-cost inspections to determine your home’s energy efficiency. Such an evaluation can help you determine which home improvement projects can reduce waste and save you the most money.
3. Raise the Roof
A new roof may not have quite the same appeal as a freshly reimagined kitchen, but as an investment, it cannot be ignored. Some new shingling can improve both the attractiveness and energy efficiency of your home. The roof is also one of the first things a home inspector will check to assess your home’s value, so making updates here can help you with making a profitable first impression.
4. Touch It Up
A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective ways to make your home look new and well-maintained. You may not even need to paint every room. If you are crunched for time or resources, focus on high-traffic areas like kitchens, mudrooms, and bathrooms. If you have the time, you can probably do the job yourself, but if not, hiring a professional doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many resources online to help you compare rates or get quotes from professionals in your area. And while some projects on the list may require more of an investment up front, a personal loan can help with covering these costs.
Pro-Tip: Choose neutral color schemes to appeal to the most buyers.
5. Boost Your Curb Appeal
The front of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. While an inspector is likely to start with your roof, home shoppers will form their first opinions based on how your house looks from the outside. Making sure your home looks sturdy, well-maintained, and inviting is a great way to draw the eyes of potential buyers.
Boosting your curb appeal doesn’t have to be expensive. Simple updates like painting the front door, scrubbing the siding, or power-washing the driveway may be all you need. We also recommend making sure any flowers or shrubbery look healthy and well cared for. These small details can make the difference in a potential homebuyer deciding to schedule a tour or driving away without seeing the inside of your home.
Pro-Tip: Replacing your mailbox, house numbers, or wooden shutters can add a fresh sparkle to your home’s exterior.
6. Add a Room
Adding a bedroom or bathroom can increase your home’s appeal to buyers with families. The easiest way to add a room is to divide a larger room into two smaller ones. Even if you have limited space to work with, you still may be able to add a small office or storage room.
Bathrooms tend to be more expensive than bedrooms because they require plumbing work and fixtures that can get pricey. However, to an overcrowded family tired of waiting in line every morning, the extra bathroom could be exactly what they are looking for in a new home.
7. Bump Out
Another way to add a room is by “bumping out,” or adding a new attachment to the side of the existing house. This is generally more expensive, as it requires extensions to your roof and foundation, but it also has the added benefit of boosting your square footage and giving you the flexibility to build a bigger space than you could by dividing an existing room.
A well-executed addition can add tremendous value to your home, but it must has to be well planned and executed efficiently. Do your research to find out about any permits you may need, restrictions you may need to adhere to (ex: your HOA or city zoning ordinances), and utilities you should consider. Adding space to your home has a tremendous upside, but it can be a more involved process.
8. Make the Most of Your Attic
Transforming your attic into a bedroom can be a great way to increase livable space and costs less than bumping out a whole new room. However, an attic conversion won’t work for every house. For instance, some attics won’t have the necessary height to accommodate a new bedroom. Additionally, the room should be easily accessible, which means it needs to be connected to the house by a permanent set of stairs. The additional room probably won’t appeal to many buyers if it can only be accessed by a pull-down ladder.
9. Install New Flooring
If you want to make a strong impression on potential buyers, hardwood floors are an excellent choice. They’re classy, durable, low maintenance, and most homebuyers are willing to pay a little extra for a home with hardwood floors.
However, carpeting or wood finish laminate shouldn’t be entirely disregarded. They’re both less expensive and more quickly installed than hardwood. Review your options and see which choice best fits your needs, budget, and market.
10. Build a Deck or Patio
Adding a deck or patio adds living space to your home without the high cost of building a new room. A wood deck costs a little less up front, but a composite deck will add more value to your home when it’s time to sell. Either can be an investor-friendly option that can leave you expecting a generous return.
Pro-Tip: To really add appeal to your outdoor area, consider adding an outdoor kitchen. The possibilities are sure to impress many potential buyers!
Paying for Your Home Improvement Projects
When it comes to home improvement, you can expect to get out what you’re willing to put in. If you are serious about increasing the value of your home, you will find that even the simplest of projects can cost thousands of dollars. Sure, some handy people can tackle some projects on their own, but some jobs are better left to the pros. And even if you are able to tackle some things yourself, you will still be facing the cost of tools and supplies. How many of your desired projects will fit into your budget?
When to Consider a Home Improvement Loan
At First Service Credit Union, we want to help you secure a better financial future. If you’re looking to build value in your home, applying for a home improvement loan with us is a great first step. Get access to the funds you need with a low, fixed interest rate and flexible terms up to 20 years. Contact our team today to get started!