While the value of homes and property tends to generally appreciate over time, how much they appreciate will often depend largely on what you do with your home while you live in it. People who make regular upgrades to their homes often enjoy far greater returns on their real estate investments, compared to people who just do basic regular maintenance.
While there are certainly home upgrades that you will enjoy more, there are also home upgrades that will help you get a better ROI when it comes time to sell. For instance, while you may love gardening enough to plant a full vegetable garden in your backyard, that may not bring you the best ROI when it comes time to sell.
Thankfully, however, there are still a number of home improvements you can make that will both bring you enjoyment and increase the value of your home at the same time. Here are six ways to improve the value of your home that you can also enjoy.
1. Finish your basement
There is probably no other project that can bring you a better ROI than a finished basement. In many cases, finishing off a basement can turn your 2,000 sq. ft. home into a 3,000 sq. ft. home, increasing your living space by almost a third. While any finishing of your basement is generally going to create some kind of increase in the value of your property, there are a number of ways to get even more bang for your buck when it comes time to finish your basement.
The first way is by waterproofing your basement. One of the best things about investing in waterproofing your basement is that it is not a taste or style dependent upgrade. Whether future homeowners want to use the basement as a home theater space or play space for their kids, waterproofing is an upgrade they will all appreciate.
The second way to get the most bang for your buck when you finish your basement is by turning your basement into a small mother-in-law or apartment. Even if you don’t use it as such, installing the facilities for it will give new homeowners a potential source of extra income right off the bat. You yourself might even experience an unexpected financial turn where having a basement apartment can provide a much-needed source of income that can save your home.
2. Install wood flooring
While carpeting, tile and even linoleum are still acceptable flooring options, there is probably no type of flooring in greater demand right now than wood flooring. The best part is that with a wide variety of flooring options ranging from engineered hardwoods to modern laminates that are finding their way into even the highest-end homes, installing wood flooring no longer needs to break the bank. It can, however, still bring back a significant ROI. Be careful, however, if you are installing flooring as an investment. While you may love the customized look of white-washed or weather-beaten floors, you may want to invest in something a little more neutral for future homeowners to enjoy.
3. Create space
Where once homeowners wanted features like a separate dining room and walled-off kitchen, today’s home buyers are looking for open floor plans and light, airy spaces. If you have an older home that has several small, cramped rooms, you may want to invest in a structural remodel to open up the space and create a more open floor plan. While you are at it, you may consider investing in a skylight or even a simple sun tube to take advantage of natural light, which is another modern feature in high demand.
4. New roof and siding
While a roof and siding may not be the “sexiest” of upgrades that will add the most to your own personal enjoyment of your home, they may provide the best ROI overall. When new home buyers are looking for a home, the first thing they are going to want to invest in is renovating the interior to their own taste and style. They are far more likely to purchase a home that is structurally sound in every way, particularly when it comes to (literally) the roof over their head. Similarly, new siding protects the exterior of your home the same way the roof protects it from the top down.
5. Pay attention to the small details
While you may be used to the slight squeak the third step on your staircase makes or the chip in the tile in the bathroom, these are all relatively easy fixes that will go a long way towards convincing potential buyers that everything in your home is ship-shape. Conversely, while none of these small imperfections are going to affect the overall structural integrity of your home, they can all cumulatively lead to the vague impression of a home that has been neglected. If it’s chipped, worn, broken, cracked or frayed, it should be repaired or replaced.
6. Spruce up the bathrooms and kitchen
You want as large a pool of buyers as possible to be interested in your home, so you don’t want to invest a great deal in something that is very taste-specific. This doesn’t mean, however that you can’t give your kitchen and baths a goods sprucing up. Sometimes, a fairly inexpensive overhaul can actually give your kitchen and baths the same fresh, new look that a complete remodel would. Some inexpensive but worth-their-weight-in-gold upgrades are:
- Replace frosted glass doors in bath for clear doors
- Clean grout
- Remove rust stains
- Replace faucets
- Install low-flush toilet
- Replace toilet seat on older low-flush toilet
- Apply new caulking
- Update doorknobs, handles and cabinet pulls
- Update vanity if old or outdated
- Install new doors on kitchen cabinets
As a real estate agent with more than 28 years of experience, I have helped hundreds of families sell their homes across Mississauga and the GTA. This is a list of the top six items I would recommend sellers to undertake. Call me at 905-502-1500 for more information.