Real estate agents always say, “kitchen and baths” sell homes, hence the minor bath and kitchen remodels topping out this list. For a minor bath remodel, we’re talking about maybe a $8K-$10K investment which would include new quartz or granite counters, freshly painted cabinets and walls, tiled shower and tiled floors. Also, a new seamless glass shower surround adds the illusion of more space. In terms of a minor kitchen remodel, you could spend $15K upgrading the counters to granite or quartz (honed and leathered texture for the granite is a current favorite), plus new midgrade stainless appliances, freshly painted or resurfaced cabinets, subway back splash and lighting. All of those upgrades would make buyers very, very happy.
The landscaping is kind of a no-brainer. It is your investment in the buyers’ first impression of your home. Spend $2-4K updating old foundation plants (and overgrown shrubbery) or fill in missing/died sod. Adding some seasonal color and fresh mulch is critical to boost the all-important curb appeal. Exterior improvements are the obvious fresh paint but repairing any wood rot and using a more current tone on tone color palate is highly recommended, as the stark 1990s white trim dates a home.
If you have defective LP siding, replacing it will help ease buyers worries about that looming expense. Adding square footage, especially a bedroom, is always a good investment and is appreciated by buyers and appraisers. Major kitchen and bathroom remodels are good investments, but more so for a longer-term investment. If you are going to spend $50-60K on a kitchen or $25K+ on a bathroom update, you may want to take time to enjoy your new space and give the market time to appreciate. That strategy could earn you a 100% return! Coming in a #8 is a deck/porch/patio addition at 83%.
I suspect it could be higher down here in the south given our moderate weather. The costs can range greatly from $12K for a new medium sized deck to $100K for a covered porch with built-in fireplace. Using high-end materials like Ipe wood/Tigerwood decking or the latest durable composite materials seems to pay off as well. The #10 spot, according to HGTV, goes to window replacement offering an 89% return. My experience would estimate that number to be a little lower. I have never seen buyers jump up and down about new windows, but they do have a strong aversion to old single paned windows. So, it’s debatable. One thing I do know, consulting with an experienced real estate agent well ahead of starting home renovation projects is a good idea and it’s true what they say, “you have to spend money to make money.”
Eve Jones, Harry Norman Realtors