Whether you’ve already purchased a home or you’re thinking about purchasing one soon, you likely have an idea of upgrades you want to see happen. After all, everyone has different tastes. What a previous homeowner may have loved (or been able to put up with) isn’t necessarily what you have in mind. However, before you pay thousands of dollars on granite countertops, hardwood floors, and a whirlpool tub, you’ve got some homework to do.
Most people don’t realize that the money they receive back on upgrades isn’t always dollar for dollar what they put into them. Smart owners look at their home as an investment. That means putting your money where it is wisest, which doesn’t always equal cosmetics. In fact, if your home has a leaky roof, an unreliable hot water heater, or poor plumbing, chances are that potential buyers won’t be able to move past that quite as easily as they could a baby blue bath tub. What are the home improvements and additions that will give you the biggest bang for your buck? We’ve listed them below.
1) Home maintenance. These are all of the “little” things that make a huge difference to potential home buyers. That’s because no matter how much someone may love the paint colors you’ve chosen, they likely won’t be able to get past standing water in the basement. If a home you’re looking to sell or rent has an old or leaky roof, a cracked foundation, or roots blocking plumbing pipes, call in experts and get the problem fixed. Home buyers are often limited in what they can spend on a house. While cosmetically you may be providing them with everything they’ve been searching for, they’ll be less apt to buy if they know they’ll have to turn around and spend $10,000 on urgently needed repairs.
2) Curb appeal. If your home doesn’t look good on the outside, no one is going to want to venture inside. Instead of investing your money solely on interior cosmetics, spread the love outside as well. It can be easy, as well as fairly inexpensive, to plant flowers and small shrubs. You can also look into repainting your siding, which is usually cheaper than replacing it altogether. You can also repave your driveway or add furniture to a patio to make it more inviting.
3) Kitchen and bathrooms. It’s true that updating these two rooms is a surefire way to get back much of the money you spend, should you choose to sell. However, most homeowners overlook the basic fundamentals of kitchen and bath upgrades. For instance, if you discover that many homes in your area have two bathrooms while your home only has one, don’t spend thousands of dollars upgrading your existing bath. Instead, put the money toward building a second bathroom. Additionally, a kitchen remodel doesn’t have to mean tearing everything out and starting from scratch. By painting cabinets or updating flooring and appliances you still add appeal and value to the home.
It’s important for homeowners to realize that the overall look of their home isn’t everything once they put it on the market. Instead of spending money on cosmetic upgrades, you should first invest in the things that add value to your home. Should you decide that a home you move into is more of a long-term stay than an investment, spend your money on things that make you happy. That’s not to say you shouldn’t invest in overall maintenance, but assuming that everything is in good order when you move in, later cosmetic changes should make you really happy.