Top 7 Home Renovations & Return on Investment

The Edmisten & Buck Team
Published on March 3, 2020

Top 7 Home Renovations & Return on Investment

Have you been considering upgrading your home? Have you even been considering selling your home? Well here are our top 7 home improvements and renovations as well as how much cash they’ll be putting back into to YOUR pocket!

As mentioned in the video, here is a link to our quarterly seller’s guide: Things to Consider When Selling Your Home

Find below our video and it’s transcription if you’d prefer to read!

JEFF EDMISTEN (JE):Hey, Everyone, The Edmisten & Buck Team here with Coldwell Banker Elite. I’m Jeff Edmisten, and my partner… 

RUTHIE BUCK (RB):I’m Ruthie Buck. 

JE:Today we’re going to talk about something that anybody who owns a home, who is potentially considering selling their home, probably has thought about or maybe done some research about, and we get asked this question more than anything, which is what, Ruthie? 

RB:What are some of the top renovations I can do to prepare my house for sale? 

JE:And what is the return on investment on those renovations? Today we’re going to cover probably about six of them. Many of these, when we walk through a house with someone who is considering selling their house, are things that once we learn their timing, what they’re goals are, how they want to prepare the house for sale, meaning, where they want to position themselves in the market, whether in the middle, or top dollar for that particular home, or whatever, we may make some of these recommendations. But most important for you from this video is, “What is the return on investment if I do put this money into my house?” Number one on the list, Ruthie, is what?

 RB:Number one could be minor bathroom remodel. That could include things such as changing the toilet out, the sink, on your vanity, your fixtures. But this is something important to people. A bathroom renovation is something that they look for in homes, and it’s more frequent than not in what we’re seeing in today’s market. 

JE:As we go through homes with buyers, we definitely hear them making comments about the upgraded bathroom. So, your return on investment for that, there are very few renovations you can do that actually give you a dollar-for-dollar return. This is one of them that often does. The average return on investment for a minor bathroom remodel is 102%. So, you actually get all of your money back.   Number two on the list? 

RB:Number two is your upgraded landscaping.   

JE:Which, really, we’re talking about curb appeal. Curb appeal.   

RB:Yes. For me, when I walk through a home with somebody, I tell them, “This is where it really starts,” because the moment somebody pulls up to your home, that’s what they’re looking at. They’re already starting a checklist in their head. So, the prettier you can make it outside, the better it looks, the more attractive, the more they even want to come into the home. This starts with the mulch, the plants, and also the exterior of the home as well. 

JE:And I would actually add something to what Ruthie said. It starts long before they pull up to the house. It starts when they’re looking online. If someone’s doing a search online and they have 20 or 30 results that fit their criteria, they start the process of elimination based on what they see in the photos, and usually the very first photo is the exterior photo which is all about curb appeal. But this, again, is one of those renovations that has pretty much a dollar-for-dollar return. Average across the nation is about 100% return on investment for what you do for your landscaping and your curb appeal. Minor kitchen remodels, number three. 

RB:With a minor kitchen remodel, you’re looking at maybe refacing your cabinets, maybe adding some undercabinet lighting, a new countertop depending on how old your countertop is. This is something that is very important to somebody because we spend a lot of time in our kitchens. 

JE:And this is one of the most common renovations that we are asked about, is kitchen remodels. So, really, there’s a couple levels to kitchen remodels. You can do a minor kitchen remodel. You can do a full-blown kitchen remodel. But the return on investment for a minor kitchen remodel is about 98% on average, and it’s one of the top couple of places that buyers are most concerned about when they’re going through homes – the kitchens and the bathrooms – being in that top tier. Again, return on investment for that is about 98% for a minor kitchen remodel. If you do a full blown, it’s more like 80% or so. Exterior improvements. We kind of already talked about those with upgraded landscaping. Do you have anything to add to that? 

RB:With exterior improvements, that is part of landscaping and when you pull up to the home. But one of the things that we’ve recommended to some sellers, too, is looking at, like, your front door. Is your front door dated? Does it need to be… You could paint the front door if you’re not going to replace the front door. Just to give it that little bit of pop and a little bit of color. Add a little bit of color to your front door, and it makes it, just draws you in. 

JE:It is amazing what changing the appearance of, simply, the front door does for curb appeal. Return on investment for things like this is probably about 95%, well worth doing. Again, we’re going back to that curb appeal, that first impression, first impression online. Very important stuff. What about garage doors? 

RB:Garage doors are also pretty eye catching. With garage doors, you want to make sure that you don’t have any wood rot. If you do, that’s something you would want to replace your garage door because they are eye catching. And it’s a big door. 

JE:Obviously, not everyone needs to replace a garage door, but I can tell you, if there are issues with the garage door, it impacts selling your home in a variety of different ways. One, again, is its curb appeal. It may not necessarily show up in photos, right? But what I’ve noticed is, as a buyer is walking up to a home, more often than not, they’re looking at that garage door for the majority of that walk from the car to the front door, and they’re noticing imperfections in that garage door.   Secondarily, if there are any wood rot or whatever, a home inspection is going to catch that. An appraiser may catch that. So, it is often a renovation that is not only recommended from an aesthetic situation but from a necessity standpoint. And the return on investment on those is about 97% or so. So, nearly dollar for dollar but certainly makes your house a lot more marketable, right? 

RB:I believe so. 

JE:Number six.   

RB:Number six is maybe adding a pop of something to the exterior. Maybe changing some vinyl into some sort of stone veneer or if you need to replace some vinyl on your home to just give it a little bit of that pop as well. 

JE:This is not something that we normally recommend, but occasionally someone has a home that they know they want to add a little extra something to it, and they wonder what the return on investment for that would be. It’s actually usually about 95%. So, it’s, again, not quite a dollar-for-dollar return on investment, but it can certainly make your home more marketable. It can make you enjoy it more while you live there. And you get nearly all of your money back. And the last one we’ll talk about today is the addition of a deck. 

RB:Everybody loves outdoor entertaining, outdoor living, especially when our weather gets nice. To have a deck added to your home to give it some exterior living is also nice as well, and I think adds a lot of value to a home because it gives you that distinction of living outside of your home. 

JE:So, let’s qualify value, because the actual return on investment for adding the deck is considerably lower than what most people think it would be. It’s about 75%. So, among the ones we’re talking about today, is actually the lowest return on investment. However, it will kill a deal really, really quickly. We’ve had so many buyers standing in a home that doesn’t have a deck, and they say, “This is nearly the perfect home if only it had a deck.” So, it has an intangible value that goes well beyond the return on investment. But the return on investment is about 75%. These are the top things that not only you should consider if you’re considering selling your house in the next year or two, but if you’re considering doing, regardless of whether you’re selling, we wanted to give you some information about the return on investment.   If you are considering selling in the next year or so, Ruthie and I put out a quarterly guide to selling your home. It’s basically things to consider if you are considering selling your house. You can get a free download. There will be a link in the description for that. Whether you’re on Facebook or YouTube or whatever, there will be a link for you to get to that.   And until the next time we meet with you, remember this is Jeff and Ruthie with The Edmisten & Buck Team, and we put the real in real estate.


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