Every homeowner loves a good home renovation. However, the motivation behind a home improvement varies from one person to another. For some, it is 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 home’s 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).
There’s no universal formula for raising a property’s value. However, there are a few popular renovations that are known to increase your chances of appraising higher. When you want to improve your property value in New York, you need to know what New Yorkers want. Apartments and homes that are efficient, attractive, and equipped with modern conveniences are highly desirable. Therefore, your property should be equipped with the best upgrades and renovations to appeal to the current market.
In every renovation, consider your ROI, or return on investment. If the money you’re putting into the project won’t match the payor benefits you’ll receive, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Here are my top improvements to boost your home’s value without breaking the bank.
Top Home Improvement Ideas
Table of Contents
- Energy efficiency
- Old Carpet? Make a switch to hardwood
- Replace your old fridge with stainless steel
- A minor kitchen renovation
- A minor bathroom renovation
- Add Some Green
- Add crown and base moldings
- Smart technologies
- Upgrade Your Doors
- Remodel your storage spaces
- Interior designers on Home Improvement
- Maximize your Return on Investment (ROI)
- If Preparing to Sell Your Home Inspect it First
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.
Old Carpet? Make a switch to hardwood
New floors are always welcome. If your property is a condo or coop apartment, switching hardwood floors are still a classic choice that is broadly appreciated, and most preferred can spruce up your interior.
If you’ve got a carpet with hardwood underneath it, rip up that old stuff and refinish the hidden glory. Hardwood floors look amazing, especially when they’re new. The carpet might be more useful on those cold winter mornings, but your target audience is house hunting with their shoes firmly on.
If you’re laying down new hardwood floors, I would suggest you spend for the real stuff. Imitation wood never looks as good and can cheapen the whole apartment. Hardwood floors also feel different when walked on and make the apartment feel more substantial.
Replace your old fridge with stainless steel
Stainless steel screams new. It looks great, usually has good energy ratings, and is a relatively small investment for you; you can get a new fridge/freezer and a range/oven for under two thousand if you shop around a little. It will make your kitchen look far more sleek and modern, and is an easy way to tip a maybe into a yes.
A minor kitchen renovation
Kitchen remodels probably the most expensive improvement you can make in a home. But who says you have to go all the way? A small kitchen renovation can look just as good and give an ROI of about 81%. This can be done one at a time as your budget allows. Putting in a new backsplash, replacing cabinet doors and drawer fronts, refacing the existing countertops and new appliances, etc. 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%.
Kitchens are still the most attractive spaces in a home. The better the kitchen, the more interest you will get. You don’t have to spend $50,000 to remodel your kitchen completely. A small investment can transform your space in hours. Replace old, bulky appliances with modern, energy-efficient models. Put a fresh new coat of paint on the walls, fix the cabinets, and consider replacing or refreshing the flooring.
New kitchen cabinets and counters can change a space, not to mention getting rid of all that everyday wear and tear. Go for quality, inert material (e.g., not granite) that’s easy to match. Remember: your taste is not necessarily the taste of your buyers, so something versatile is essential.
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. For the best return, it’s better to stick with low cost to mid-range materials. It’s effortless to go over budget with this, so keep a handle on things, and you can see a Roi of 70%.
Add Some Green
Head to the local nursery for outdoor plants and a few tropical plants for the indoors. Adding green to your home sets your property apart from the others. When you choose plants and foliage for the outside of your home, make sure they don’t take over the home. They need to serve a purpose without taking up too much space, and they must be easy to care for. Never underestimate the power of planting a tree.
The longer you live in a home, the more it shows on your walls. The unique colors you chose to decorate rooms in your home won’t impress buyers regardless of how much you love them.
One way to instantly beautify your apartment’s interior, and add value, is to apply a fresh coat of paint. Neutral colors are always best and will make it more appealing to a broader audience of buyer
If these walls could talk, they’d say, please paint us! Repainting (especially if you do it yourself) is the single most cost-effective way to brighten up your space. First, new paint is a bit like a new car smell – your walls lose their ‘fresh’ look pretty fast. So if you’ve lived in your apartment for any length of time, it’ll likely pay off.
Buy high-quality paint and keep it neutral. When you paint your home with neutral colors, it allows potential buyers to envision their decorations and color schemes.
Add crown and base moldings
Adding crown and base moldings can also make an apartment or home look more refined and spruce up any plain interior. Since this update is a relatively inexpensive project, it’s an excellent renovation to add to your list.
Make the home a smart home. Affordable and straightforward upgrades such as programmable thermostats, whole-house generators, LED lights, water filtration systems, high-efficiency windows, and energy-efficient water heaters are attractive amenities when shoppers are looking at listings.
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 essential to me. Upgrading your NYC apartment with smart technology is much easier than taking on a significant renovation. If you’re not sure where to start, look into intelligent 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 intelligent home security cameras, smart locks, and stylish shades, to name just a few of the options out there.
Upgrade Your Doors
Doors often get neglected, but they’re critical to setting the tone of your home to potential buyers (the front door in particular). Either refurbishing the ones you have (for example, getting repainted or re-dipped if they’re natural wood) or getting new ones will lift the entire feel of your place.
If your front door has seen better days, replacing it with a new door made of steel or fiberglass is a good idea. Not only is this remodel affordable, but it also adds security to your home or condo. Most fiberglass and steel doors are Energy Star certified as well, giving you additional savings on your utilities.
Remodel your storage spaces
It is another area where a chat with a professional might come in handy. Getting a custom closet solution or expanding any storage space you have is an inexpensive way to build value.
From the second buyers walk into an apartment they’re considering what space is going to look like with their stuff. The more comfortable you make it build that vision (e.g., look at this fantastic shoe storage, That’s where I’ll keep my off-season footwear!), the more likely you are to get the offer you want.
Interior designers on Home Improvement
A quick one or two-hour consultation with an interior designer on how to style your house can do wonders. It’ll help you position your stuff just so as well as identify weak areas you can tidy up quickly (and cheaply). Plus, it’s always good to get a third party with a bit of distance to check out the place before you reach potential buyers in (e.g., does that nude of your Great Aunt Myrtle need to be on display?)
Maximize your Return on Investment (ROI)
Increasing your property’s value depends on knowing the heartbeat of the market. By adding highly functional and updated interiors, your home’s value is likely to increase if planned and managed well.
If Preparing to Sell Your Home Inspect it First
Instead of waiting for a home inspection to come in as the buyer, inspect the home first; address any of the concerns before listing your home for sale. If the home, already inspected, fewer concerns arise for the buyers when it comes time to close.
Clear out the clutter and get organized. It doesn’t matter how clean your home is or how big it is—if it’s cluttered and unorganized, potential buyers will swipe past your home when looking at photos online. The handful of visitors that you do get to view the home won’t stay long. The more attractive your home, the more valuable it is.
Renovations before a sale are always a delicate balancing act of investment and return. The key is to identify areas that are important to buyers and pick things that you can do to improve those rooms inexpensively. Kitchens and bathrooms are ripe for home improvement, and no matter what choices you do, stick to quality materials and simple color schemes. With those guiding principles, you can’t go wrong.
Get to Know your Neighbors
Buyers want a good neighborhood. Your relationship with the neighbors plays a significant role in that. When you talk about your friendly neighbors, it gives new buyers a sense of security. Also, the appearance of your neighbor’s home affects the curb appeal of your own. If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, they are more likely to spruce up the outside of their home to help you out, or they are at least more receptive to it if you ask.
These are just some simple steps you can take to improve the value of your home. What are the most successful ways you increased the value of your property before you sold? Let us know.
Remember – your buyers already want to buy your place – all you’re doing is helping them see it in the best possible way.
Final Thoughts on Home Improvement
Everyone selling a New York City apartment wants to get the best deal possible. The hard part is figuring out what renovations are going to appeal to a broad range of buyers with minimal investment on your part.
If you are thinking about selling your home, small home improvements can make a big difference. Increase the value of your home with a plan and a little time investment.