Every homeowner loves a good renovation. However, the motivation behind a renovation varies from one person to another. For some, it’s a mix of personal preference and increased home value. For others, it’s solely the latter. But even veteran renovators know that money invested in a renovation is never a 1:1 return from your homes future price tag. One also has to look to the future at emerging trends and new technologies that are changing what people expect to find in a modern home. With that in mind here are the home improvement projects with the best return on investment (ROI) in 2018.

1. Smart technologies

In a 2017 survey by the brokerage firm T3 SIXTY, 40% of realtors believe that smart homes sell faster, regardless of the price. This is borne out by buyers as well. In the 2017 Global Luxury Real Estate Report, 76% of buyers agree: having a smart home is important to me. Upgrading your NYC apartment with smart technology is much easier than taking on a major renovation. If you’re not sure where to start, look into smart appliances.

In the 2017 Concept Community study by MFE, 18.2% of people listed appliances as the smart home feature with the highest ROI. And let’s not forget smart home security cameras, smart locks, and smart shades to name just a few of the options out there.

2. Energy Efficiency

Most buyers nowadays, especially millennials, are all about energy efficiency. Just a few upgrades to your HVAC, water heater, windows, and lighting can make big cuts in your energy bills and save a bundle of money over time. Low-flow water fixtures can cut your water consumption by half while double pane windows can be up to 50% more energy efficient than traditional windows. Why not combine this with a smart technology upgrade and have smart lighting and a smart thermostat installed. Buyers will be doubly impressed by a smart home that is also energy efficient.

3. A minor kitchen renovation

A kitchen remodel is probably the most expensive renovation you can make in a home. But who says you have to go all the way? A minor kitchen renovation can look just as good and give an ROI of about 81%. This can be done one bit at a time as your budget allows. A minor kitchen remodel involves replacing cabinet doors and drawer fronts and refacing the existing cabinet base. Then throw in new hardware, a countertop, and a sink to give it a new modern look. By contrast, a full remodel will only get you a return of 59%.

4. A minor bathroom renovation

As in 2017, modernized bathrooms are still all the rage. Current style trends are for clean lines with rustic finishes. For color schemes, beige is currently out with light grays being the most popular choice now.

Like kitchens, bathroom remodels are among the costliest upgrades to make. But also, like kitchens, you have a better chance of getting away with a higher ROI by doing a minor renovation. For example, replace the tub with a modernized design and add a tile surround. To get the best return it’s better to stick with low cost to mid-range materials. It’s very easy to go over budget with this so keep a handle on things and you can see a Roi of 70%.

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