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Every homeowner who is considering a home improvement project should stop and think about how the project is going to effect the value of their home. Is the home improvement project going to increase the value of their home? A better thing to consider is the possibility of decreasing the value of their home. Yes, believe it or not, there are home improvement projects that can negatively effect a homes value!
Another thing that a homeowner should consider when choosing their next home improvement, is the personal enjoyment they may get from it, regardless of the impact it may have on the value of a home. If the homeowner is planning on staying in their home for another 10-15 years, a project that may negatively effect the value of a home, may not be a huge deal.
As real estate professionals, we are constantly asked by homeowners if a specific home improvement project is a good or a bad idea for resale purposes. A common misconception by homeowners is that a remodeled kitchen that costs $25,000 will add $25,000 to the value of their home. This simply is not the case! There are certain home improvement projects that are “slam-dunks” and will most of the time increase the value of a home. So, when planning that next home improvement project, consider the following projects since in most cases, they will add value!
Adding Additional Living Space
When performing a comparative market analysis, if two homes are comparable in terms of upgrades, amenities, and location, a home that is larger than it’s counterpart, is going to be worth more. There are many opportunities for homeowners to be able to add additional living space in a home, which should have a positive impact on a homes value. The finishing of an attic or basement are two examples of adding additional living space.
Attic (if applicable) – Most homeowners who have an attic use it as an area to store holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, or their “junk.” A home that has a full walk-up attic that is unfinished has a great opportunity for additional living space! There are a couple important things to keep in mind when finishing an attic. First, is there a heat source available in the attic? Are there heat ducts that run to the attic? Can electric baseboard heat be added? It is important that a heating source is available to ensure the additional space is livable! As important as heat, is ensuring there is a means of “egress” from the finished attic. It can be as simple as purchasing a fire escape ladder that can be stored in the finished attic area.
Basement (if applicable) – Similar to an unfinished attic, an unfinished basement is commonly used to store a homeowners personal belongings, an area for a homeowner to do their laundry, or area where a homes “mechanics” are located. A finished basement can be considered “legal” living space or not “legal” living space. Whether it is considered “legal” or not has an impact on the total square footage of a home, which can impact how it is compared to similar homes. If it is not “legal” living space, it certainly still can add to the desirability of the home to some buyers.
The kitchen of a home often times will be the biggest selling feature of a home or can be the biggest negative of a home if it very outdated. The first thing that a homeowner needs to determine when improving their kitchen is how long they plan on staying at their home. If it is 5,10, or 15 years, a complete “gutting” of a kitchen may be a great idea. If this is the case, upgrading to “high end” kitchen cabinets, counter tops, flooring, lighting, and appliances may be worth it. Like mentioned above, a high end kitchen that is remodeled for $25,000 will not add $25,000 in value to a home, but if a homeowner is going to enjoy it for many years, it can be worth it.
If looking to sell a home in the next couple years, a complete “gutting” of a kitchen may not be a great idea. Instead of adding granite counter tops, a nice Formica counter top maybe the better idea. Instead of purchasing high end cherry cabinetry, refinishing or re staining existing cabinets maybe the better idea. The decision to completely remodel or choose to improve depends on a homeowners situation, but either way, remodeling or improving a kitchen will absolutely increase a homes value.
Similar to a kitchen, bathroom’s can have a significant impact on a homes desirability or lack there of. When deciding between a complete bathroom remodel or improvement, the amount of time a homeowner plans on staying at their current residence should be taken into consideration. If a homeowner is going to stay at their current residence, adding a granite vanity, ceramic enclosed shower/tub, high end lighting fixtures, and flooring can be worth it. If a move is in the near future and a bathroom improvement is inline, choosing the fiberglass shower/tub insert maybe the better option than the ceramic enclosed shower/tub. Like a kitchen, remodeling or improving a bathroom will increase the value of a home.
Boosting Curb Appeal
The first impression is extremely important in real estate. The front of a home is the first thing that is noticed on a home. Boosting the “curb appeal” of a home will increase the value of a home and can be relatively inexpensive. A few easy ways to boost a homes curb appeal can be adding some nice landscaping (flowers, shrubs, etc.), adding some exterior lights, redoing a walkway, or redoing front steps. These quick, easy, and cheap improvement projects don’t have to cost a lot of money but can have neighbors or potential buyers in “awe” when driving by a home.
Upgrading the Exterior Elements
The exterior elements need to be considered when thinking of a home improvement project. Even if a home has a “mint” interior, a poor exterior can be detrimental to the value of a home or can deter a buyer from looking inside. Improving doors, siding, or windows are all very good improvement projects and can improve a homes value.
Doors – The improvement of a homes doors can increase the value of a home. This can be the front door, back doors, or garage doors. By improving the doors on a home it also can help boost the “curb appeal.” If a complete door replacement is not necessary, then a fresh coat of paint or replacing old handles and locks can go a long way!
Siding – The type of siding does make a difference when determining a homes value. When considering a home improvement project, a seller should consider improving their siding. If a home has a wood or cedar exterior, it would be beneficial to consider a low maintenance vinyl or aluminum siding, as this would increase the value of a home.
Windows – The improvement of a homes windows will increase the value but also the desirability when it comes time to sell. Many of today’s buyers are concerned with the quality and efficiency of a homes windows. A common piece of information that buyers are looking for is the utility bills of a home. Upgrading a homes windows from storms and screens to energy efficient thermopane windows will increase the value, bottom line.
Every homeowner should want to complete home improvement projects that are going to increase their value, not decrease! The above improvements, if done properly, will achieve this! If there is ever a doubt to whether or not a project is going to increase or decrease value, a professional real estate agent should be consulted for their opinion and feedback.
What other improvement projects do you feel will increase a homes value?
Other Home Improvement Resources
If you are considering a home improvement project to your Rochester, NY home and are unsure how it will effect your home’s value, please contact us and we’d love to share with you our opinion and feedback. If you are unsure what the value of your Rochester, NY home currently is, we’d love to give you the value before and after the home improvement so you can make a great decision!
About the authors: The above article “Home Improvement Projects that Increase a Homes Value” was provided by the Keith Hiscock Sold Team (Keith & Kyle Hiscock). With over 30 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.
Visit our website at www.HiscockHomes.com.
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