Like many new homeowners, you probably began plotting improvements soon after signing your mortgage agreement. If you have the money to spend, this is perfectly acceptable. However, before you start sourcing granite and bribing your buddies to help you with some do-it-yourself wall demo, carefully consider your options and pick projects that will increase the value of your new home.
To get started, take a look at these three resale-boosting home improvements:
1. Blow the doors off
Outdoor upgrades that enhance your home’s curb appeal should be your first concern, HGTV reported.
“If I were going to spend money on a property, I would really work on making sure the curb appeal is strong,” real estate agent Ron Phipps told the publication. “If all your remodeling is on the inside but the outside of the house is challenging, you’ll never have a chance to even show the inside.”
With this in mind, start with the thing buyers glimpse before entering a home: the front door. Entryway improvement projects regularly pay dividends for homeowners, according to the magazine Remodeling. In fact, most recoup 70 to 101 percent of the cost on resale.
Start by selecting a new door that matches your home’s aesthetic and can stand up to the elements. Contractors often suggest steel models, as they last longer and cost less than fiberglass and wooden alternatives, This Old House found. Plus, many come as part of a prehung setup, making installation easier.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider replacing your garage door as well. Homeowners usually see returns in the neighborhood of 90 percent on such projects. Again, ensure the door you choose matches your home. Additionally, keep in mind that garage doors and openers are sold separately.
2. Spice up the kitchen
Kitchens are often the focus of new homeowners with home improvement on the mind. Most experts agree that this widespread passion for food prep areas is warranted.
“People buying a house look first at kitchens and baths,” Kermit Baker, director for the remodeling futures program at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, told This Old House.
However, this doesn’t mean you have license to drop $60,000 on kitchen improvements. Smaller, more conservative tweaks are the way to go. Minor kitchen remodels between $15,000 and $20,000 net 80 percent returns, while more involved remodeling projects in the $60,000 to $100,000 range only reap 60 percent returns on resale, according to Remodeling.
Instead of installing new cabinets, resurface your existing ones or add decorative or glass paneling. Additionally, switch out older hardware for newer knobs and pulls. You might also consider upgrading the cabinet interiors by adding useful storage features like lazy Susans or slide-out shelving.
If you’re working with a laminate countertop, you can replace it for around $30 per square foot or resurface it with a plywood deck – these provide a strong base for tile or stone. Can’t get granite out of your mind? The material costs between $45 and $200 per square foot.
3. Rethink roofing and siding
As you go about planning improvements, don’t lose sight of key structural elements. Though unexciting, these can make or break a sale.
“Buyers want to take the basic systems for granted,” Sal Alfano, editorial director at Remodeling, told HGTV. “They assume the roof doesn’t leak and the air conditioning and plumbing work.”
Luckily, such upgrades offer good return on investment. For example, homeowners that undertake roof replacements that cost under $20,000 see returns of more than 70 percent come selling time. And, those who replace their siding recoup around 80 percent of their investment, depending on the material, Remodeling reported.
With these high-return upgrades in mind, design a home improvement plan that will set you up for future success on the home market.