Every year, an estimated 43 million Americans move into new homes and go through the process of selling their old ones. However, many lose out on potential returns by not investing in their old homes prior to listing. Although it might sound wasteful to invest in a property that you know you are going to sell, in fact, it can help net you additional profits down the line. To help you identify the best ROI home upgrades, here is what you need to know.
Why Should You Invest?
First off, it’s important to understand why investing in your current property is valuable. Simply put, undergoing renovations and repairs prior to selling can help you sell your home for much more — granting you a large return on your investments — while also enabling you to potentially sell your property more quickly.
Homes that are in need of upgrades can have a hard time selling, especially when most buyers aren’t looking for a fixer-upper. Instead, most want to buy a home that is move-in ready, without the need for additional repairs and replacements. Certainly, moving can be time-consuming and expensive; most people just want to relax and enjoy their new homes once all the unpacking is done.
Because of reasons like these, it can be in your best interest to invest in your home now, as opposed to waiting for a buyer and potentially selling for less.
Landscaping and Outdoor Upgrades
First impressions are everything. When it comes to the best ROI home upgrades, your landscaping can make or break your home’s appeal. A home that is well-designed and kept up can help draw in buyers and allow you to increase the sale price of your home.
Consider renovating your yard and taking care of any problem areas that might stand out as eyesores. You may also consider hiring a tree trimming service to tidy up any trees on your property or remove any that are dying or diseased. Adding healthy shrubs around your home, as well as native perennial flora, can also help increase curb appeal and give your home an extra boost in price.
The addition of native plant life is also beneficial due to the fact that it will require much less special care than alternatives. The inclusion of these plants can also help local wildlife such as bees, ensuring that your landscaping is both attractive and ecologically friendly.
Additionally, adding fences around your property can offer a good ROI. Not only can they help boost curb appeal, but they can offer additional privacy to the home as well as security. Homebuyers will appreciate a home with ready-to-enjoy outdoor space that won’t require much labor to keep up. On average, outdoor upgrades and landscaping investments have the potential to garner you a nearly 100% ROI, making this one of the best ROI home upgrades to consider overall.
Similar to front yard renovation, your backyard is also something to consider. If that space currently isn’t be utilized, consider adding a patio area, a gardening plot, or a gazebo to build appeal from buyers while also giving you the opportunity to further increase the value of your home. These spaces could also be a great addition even if you’re not planning on moving soon, as you’ll be able to enjoy the space while having the peace of mind that they will inevitably benefit you when you do go to sell.
Repairing Your Roof
Sticking with the outdoors, your roof is some to also consider before listing your home. Typically, your roof should be professionally inspected at least once a year, although preferably twice: once during the spring and again before winter. However, if your roof is over a decade old or if it hasn’t been recently inspected, these are things to do before selling. Have a professional inspect your roof and have all necessary roof repairs completed beforehand. If your inspector advises replacement, consider replacing your roof with high quality, long-lasting materials. This will ensure that the next owners won’t have to worry about replacement in the near future while also giving you the ability to list your home for more. Roof repair and replacement are often overlooked. However, it can be one of the best ROI home upgrades for sellers.
Updating Your Garage
Another external improvement is your garage. While you may not think that replacing or repairing your garage door is a worthwhile investment, it can grant you a nearly 98% ROI when you go to sell. This makes it one of the best ROI home upgrades you can consider. Even a minor garage door repair can enable you to raise the asking price and net a larger profit.
Similarly, if your garage is a work in progress, fixing it up to include ample parking, storage, and a workspace is a great way to further increase ROI and make your home more appealing to a wider range of buyers. This appeal can also benefit you if multiple buyers make bids on your home. This competition can allow you to get closer to your asking price, if not slightly over.
If your current HVAC system is old and worn down, it’s worth considering an upgrade before selling. Oftentimes, homebuyers will ask about the age of the HVAC system as well as the age and style of your water heater (tank or tankless). If your HVAC system is over a decade old you should think about replacing it before selling your home. Not only will this make it more appealing, but an HVAC replacement can garner you a 71% return on investment making it one of the best ROI home upgrades you can consider.
Air conditioner replacement will be especially important if you live in an area that experiences hot and humid summers, while likewise, your furnace and heating system will be important in areas that have cold winters.
Another of the best ROI home upgrades lies with the insulation. While an updated HVAC system is great on its own, if your home doesn’t have appropriate insulation, you could see that energy go right out the door (literally!). Insulation can help keep your home cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. However, if you’re home is poorly insulated, you could risk putting a strain on your HVAC as it tries to maintain a comfortable temperature. This puts you at risk of having your HVAC fail prematurely, as well as causing higher energy bills overall. Because your system will have to run harder for longer to compensate for the lost energy, you can expect a sharp increase in your bills that otherwise could be prevented.
Consider updated insulation installation in areas that are found to be lacking. The attic especially is one of the top places for energy loss, and inadequate insulation there can also attribute to pest problems or water damage if you’re not careful. Be sure to have a professional inspect your home and take the steps they recommend to protect your home and your investments.
Additionally, your windows and doors can be factored into your insulation updates, as older fixtures can contribute to energy loss as much as (if not more than) internal insulation. When replacing these fixtures, you can expect an up to 74% ROI or potentially higher if you use Energy Star rated windows and doors.
Fixing Water Damage
While no buyer wants to purchase a damaged home, water damage can come coupled with additional problems that can make it harder to sell your home. For instance, water damage can be caused by roof damage, foundational issues, plumbing problems, and insulation issues, all of which can quickly turn off a potential buyer and force you to sell your home for much less. Identifying the underlying problem and repairing the damage beforehand will ensure that you get the most out of your home, while also making it easier to sell.
Additionally, water damage can also create mold and mildew issues throughout the house. This can quickly turn buyers off, as well as create potential health issues if someone has breathing problems. Be sure to undergo a thorough inspection and have a mold and mildew removal service completely clean all problem areas before going forward. While it may not sound like one of the best ROI home upgrades, consider for a moment if you would want to buy a house with these problems.
While a well-kept lawn will always make a great first impression outside, your flooring will likewise make an impression indoors. If your home has damaged hardwood or stained carpets, this can quickly turn off potential buyers and make them look elsewhere. Updating your home with hardwood flooring is by far one of the best ROI home upgrades you can make. Not only is it sleek and easy to clean, but you can expect a high return on your investment.
Even cheaper options, such as vinyl and linoleum can grant you a higher ROI overall. Similarly, stains or paint can be used over wood, cement, or tile to help spruce up floors that have seen better days. Floor upgrades are one investment that doesn’t have to be expensive in order to pay off in the end, and how you go about updating them is completely up to you.
Minor Kitchen Updates
Another of the best ROI home upgrades stems from one of the most used rooms in your home: the kitchen. While a whole kitchen overhaul is nice, often it’s the minor upgrades that can have the biggest impact when it comes to netting larger returns. Replacing old inefficient appliances with Energy Star brands, replacing or re-finishing old cabinets, and repainting the space can garner up to 81% ROI. Consider how much time is spent in the kitchen daily, and you’ll understand why even a little can go such a long way.
Know What Buyers in Your Area Want
While there are some features that will always net you higher returns, others will be dependant on demographic. For instance, millennial buyers will have different preferences on features than older generations. Top preferences for them include smart technology, such as smart thermostats, keyless entry locks, and high-speed Wi-Fi access. Installing features like this in your home can make it more appealing to a younger buyer, but ultimately older buyers may be indifferent to these changes. Similarly, accessibility upgrades will be important to older home buyers. This can include walk-in showers, outdoor ramps, easy open cabinets, and access to bathrooms and bedrooms on one level.
If you’re not sure of the most prevalent demographics in your area, consider speaking with a real estate agent to learn more about what buyers are after. This can also help you plan out the things that you absolutely need to cover, as well as give you a leg up when it comes to selling.
A Valuable Investment
Whether you’re planning on moving in the near future or just want to keep the option available, investing in your home is a smart and secure thing to do. Keep in mind the best ROI home upgrades and reach out to a professional agent in your area to learn more specific updates that buyers in your area are looking for. Additionally, you should always speak with a home inspector and have a thorough inspection completed before going forward with a listing. Not only can this inform you of repairs that need to be done, but it can also give you a good idea of how much you can realistically sell your home for.
Ultimately, there is a lot of thought that needs to go into selling your home, and taking steps to improve your home beforehand is both smart and financially beneficial. Consider these above investments and speak to a real estate agent and home inspector to learn more about what you can specifically do to get the most out of your home.