Home Improvement Projects that Add the Most Value to Your Home
Renovation, a loaded term. From excitement to fear, emotions can run high. We’ve all heard the stories. And with Covid The truth is most homeowners take on a home renovation project at some point. Porch.com says, 76% of homeowners have taken on a home improvement project during the pandemic – and the trend is holding on in 2021.
It’s a moment to create your dream home, refresh or make some key changes to improve your lifestyle. If you’ve heard of my personal philosophy - Intentional Design - you know that I believe a home should be a sanctuary that lifts you up daily, keeps your eyes (literally) on where you’re going in your life, and gives you a sense of safety and peace. How? Found objects from your travels to inspire positive memories, images that represent a life goal strategically placed as a daily reminder to keep at it, and a flow in the home that makes things run smoother.
We also want to consider resale. I’m a realtor after all. I can’t help myself. And not all home improvement projects add value to your property. Just because you like it, doesn’t mean everyone will. Actually, some of the choices you make might even hurt it.
So, what are the best home improvement projects to tackle to add value and livability?
1) Outdoor Living
In Austin, anything you do to facilitate indoor-outdoor living is going to be a huge bonus for buyers and can definitely increase the value of your home. The top improvement on buyers’ list? An outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor living was already a major trend, but the pandemic kicked it into high gear. With everyone stuck at home, spending time outdoors in the backyard and outdoor entertaining have become essential at a whole other level. Barbecue’s may have been the top social gathering this year!
An outdoor kitchen doesn’t just add convenience and a break from the dining table, it boosts value because you’re creating additional living space. With an added fire pit and an updated patio, you’re creating a cooking space, an entertainment space, a party space. Woohoo! In Austin, it can be a usable space year-round (fans, misters, and heaters go a long way) that can set your property apart. When you add a vacation vibe to your home, it not only helps your life, it’s also great for adding value to your future sale. And a cohesive style factor really helps. Pinterest anyone?
2) Water Features
Speaking of year-round weather, the other major add-on that adds value is a pool or water element. It’s the holy grail for most homeowners. Even a Japanese soaking tub or a steel stock tank can hit the mark. You can leave the heater off in the Summer months to cool off. My first home in Austin had a pool with tree coverage so was cold all summer. It didn’t have a jacuzzi either. Not being a fan of cold water, I personally rarely used it. My hubby and kids did but my usage has gone up ten-fold at our new home which has a hot tub and no tree coverage yay!
More importantly, a water feature adds value and doesn’t go out of style. Stay away from trendy details. Keep it simple, usable, and elegant for its best value. Adding value is about finding those elements that are timeless, versatile, and always in demand, no matter who the buyer is.
3) Extra Bathrooms
The simplest tip for adding value to a property is to increase the square footage. But do it smart. Adding an impressive laundry room is fantastic, but it’s even better to add extra bathrooms.
And if the master bedroom doesn’t yet have a proper en-suite, then it’s the ideal element to add to the property as everyone wants their space in the bathroom if you know what I mean, ladies. It’s one of the rooms that sells a house (we’ll talk kitchen in a sec), so this is a spot for smart investing because you’re going to see a big return – upwards of 18K, according to statistics.
4) Extra Rooms
Who doesn’t wish for at least one more bedroom? Home gym anyone? An office you can sound out the family in? Yes please and a house that sleeps more costs more. If you’re able to redistribute the space and transform a 4-bedroom house into a 5-bedroom home, that’s some real value right there. Have an oversized bedroom beyond the master? Can you make it two instead?
You can also borrow space from other generous areas like a spacious living room or even an oversized closet. You might be uncomfortable in the transition but the gains are worth it.
5) Smarten Your Home with Tech
More and more people are working from home. Does anyone really miss the office? I know I know, there are a few of you out there. However, if you really want to notch it up, provide the ultimate conveniences for an office, by bringing your tech up to date.
Smart features like doorbells and cameras can add value as well. As does a reliable internet connection, and gadgets like home assistants. Practically every buyer is looking for at least, an Alexa-ready home.
6) Open Kitchen
Most folks love a spacious kitchen. Even the non-chefs appreciate a proper gathering spot for festivities. A kitchen needs to be esthetically pleasing and functional to attract an A-buyer. Surprisingly, this can be the most dated room of all.
An open-plan kitchen is what’s expected these days in newer homes, particularly in the Austin area. It creates the illusion of more space and multi-usage. Young buyers want the kitchen to be an entertaining space, or for families to enjoy while cooking, talking, and after-school activities. By merging the kitchen with the living room and dining room, you create a more inviting and connected space for the entire clan.
7) New Floors
Hardwood floors are often the goal but tile has come a long way in the past decade. From faux slate to ceramic wood, you can get the luxury and indestructible finishes high traffic spaces need.
If you can only do one thing to update your home visually, and add to the quality and the value, replace your floors. Keep it as cohesive throughout as possible. If you already have hardwood floors but they’re not in great shape, then you’ve struck renovation gold – refinishing is less costly than new floors, but the result is impressive.
8) Curb Appeal
What’s the use of having a handsome interior if the exterior of the home is unappealing? Curb appeal is everything. It’s the first thing a buyer sees. At a glance, you want the buyer to feel invited, welcomed, and attracted to the home. You want to create curiosity about what’s behind those walls. If you manage it well, it can bump up the value of your property by around 7%.
Work on the lawn. Healthy grass, plants, gravel, and mulch can make the front garden feel composed and fresh.
Effort in the exteriors can go a long way. Give it a fresh coat of paint, repair the roof, and paint the front door a vibrant, current color. It'll give your home the visual facelift it needs to bring in generous buyers that won’t just drive on by.
Home improvements, when well considered, make a home more attractive, but if you’re interested in boosting the value of your property you’ll want to be more intentional and strategic with your dollars.
If your property is in Austin or wherever you are, keep in mind what makes sense in your town and get smart about what people are looking for. In Austin, outdoor upgrades are in high demand. From fire pits, pools, to outdoor kitchens. Even simple string lights can go a long way. People want to make the most out of their outdoor space and enjoy the weather, especially in a post-pandemic world. And you’re not on your own, use your realtor to either help with the project and offer suggestions!
For Natasha, residential real estate is more than just finding a house to live in, it’s about building a lifestyle in the right home and community for oneself and family.Let's Connect