Remodel or upgrade? –

Done right, home improvement projects can improve the quality of life you enjoy while living in your home and increase its value when it’s time to sell. But not all renovations are created equal: timing, budget, and location all play a role in the return on investment (ROI) they bring.

According to the National Association of Realtors, Remodeling Magazine and local sales agents, timing is everything when it comes to remodeling your home. If you plan to live there for years, adding to the home to increase your usable square footage – a master suite, state-of-the-art kitchen, new bathrooms or family room – is an investment that brings higher returns as you go. that your home appreciates over time. But you should think twice about a major construction project if you’re thinking of selling right now.

“If you’re thinking of selling now, you don’t want to use up all your capital sprucing up the house to sell it,” says Veronica Taylor, realtor at Keller Williams West. “If the primary goal is simply to get a good price for the home, there is often little you can do to bring your home up to market value. It could be something as simple as replacing your windows.

Key investment

Protecting the mechanical systems and building envelope – the roof, windows, insulation and cladding – with regular maintenance, upgrades and repairs is one of the best investments you can make in your house. A 2021 study of the cost of home improvement projects versus investment in the Richmond area by housing market research firm Zonda Media reports that depending on the type (wood or vinyl), replacements of windows recover 57.1% to 62.9% of your investment on resale; siding replacement (again depending on type) 76.2% to 78.9%; and replacement of the roof, whether asphalt or metal, from 52.5% to 65.1%.

“It suits you because you have lived there for so long. But for the next person that comes in, they want the move-in ready. —Veronica Taylor, real estate agent at Keller Williams West

“Keep in mind that these aren’t really improvements,” says David Feibish, associate broker at Joyner Fine Properties. “People expect a roof in good condition. They expect the furnace and air conditioner to work. They won’t pay you more because you implemented a new system. They expect it to work well. You can’t say, “I just installed a $5,000 system, so my house should be worth $5,000 more.” It just doesn’t work that way.

Put your best foot forward

They say you have a chance to make a first impression, and that also applies to homes, whether viewed in person or online. Investing in curb appeal pays dividends: “Curb appeal helps draw people into your home,” says Taylor. “It’s the first thing you see when you stop. You have to bring them in to sell it to them.

Simple upgrades that improve curb appeal and generate high returns include replacing front doors (74.2%) and replacing garage doors (90%), according to Zonda Media.

“Your house is beautiful [to you]. It suits you because you’ve lived there for so long. But for the next person that comes in, she wants them to be ready to move in,” Taylor says. “You do the kitchen and the bathroom. You change your carpet – sometimes you can just clean it – but if it’s been down for years, you need to change the carpet.

For homeowners preparing to sell now, she advises keeping a minimal budget and freshening up with simple upgrades that have a big impact: a thorough cleaning and decluttering; fresh paint; new counters, cabinet hardware and light fixtures. They’re not free, but they’ll help your property show up and sell better.

Kitchens and bathrooms: high ROI

Pay special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms – these are the most used rooms in the house and because of this, they are of paramount importance to homebuyers. According to Feibish, you will always get something back on your investment in these spaces. Zonda Media reports that major kitchen renovations, both mid-range and high-end, have a return on investment of just under 48%, while minor mid-range renovations generate a return of 76%. %. Bathroom renovations recover from 47.3% for a luxury renovation to 61.5% for a universal design, allowing homeowners to age in place. However, if your house is located in an upscale neighborhood and you have lived there for a long time, renovating your kitchen and/or bathrooms to bring them up to neighborhood standards will pay off at the time of sale.

Your kitchen and bathrooms should fit the neighborhood. You can upgrade without overpricing your home by thinking strategically about your budget. It’s important to keep in mind that upgrades that are purely decorative or outside of the norm for homes in your area will always perform worse than mid-range upgrades. As Taylor warns, you don’t want to have the most expensive house in the neighborhood, but you don’t want it to be the cheapest either.

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