Buying & Selling Home Ownership

Renovating for Resale: Where to Put Your Remodeling Dollars

The housing market has been pretty wild for the last few years, and there are still a lot of variables in play. The Federal Reserve keeps hiking interest rates, rents are soaring in high-demand areas and inflation is a struggle that everybody is coping with as best they can.

In short, everybody is very money-conscious these days, whether they’re buying or selling real estate. For buyers, this means making sure that they’re getting the most “bang for their buck” when they settle on a property. If you’re a seller who is renovating for resale, however, this means making sure that you’re using your remodeling dollars in the wisest way possible by focusing on projects that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property but also offer a substantial return on your investment. 

Let’s delve into the intricacies of renovating for resale and discuss where exactly you should invest your remodeling dollars to maximize the value of your home in your potential buyers’ eyes.

Elevate the First Impression for Buyers

The adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” definitely holds true when it comes to real estate – so curb appeal is a critical consideration.

When prospective buyers see a well-groomed exterior on a home, it conveys the idea that the property has been loved and well-maintained overall, and that sets a positive tone for their perception of the entire property. Curb appeal is literally the number one way you can capture potential buyers’ attention and draw them in.

Anything that can significantly boost your home’s visual allure is a good investment, so don’t be afraid to throw some of your remodeling dollars into landscaping, power washing the siding, painting the trim and updating or repairing the walkway or drive.

Transform the Kitchen With Smaller Fixes

Kitchens hold immense sway over a buyer’s decision-making process – but you don’t want to sink your entire remodeling budget into renovating your kitchen (and it’s easy to do).

If you’re remodeling to sell, aim for a “face-lift” not a total re-do. Think about putting in new flooring, repainting, adding new hardware and fixtures, putting up a new backsplash and upgrading to granite or quartz countertops to make a big impression on a limited budget. 

If you have any mismatched or old appliances, replace them with high-quality models, but don’t sink thousands into state-of-the-art models unless it really makes sense for the price point on your home.

Add Modern Comfort to Bathrooms

Bathrooms rank high on the list of spaces that potential buyers closely scrutinize. A sleek, updated bathroom can significantly influence a buyer’s perception of your property’s value. 

Consider overhauling outdated fixtures, tiles and vanities. Incorporate modern amenities such as rainfall shower-heads and single-level shower handles, and make sure that the toilet and vanity counters are new.

You may also want to pay attention to storage space in your bathrooms – since that’s something that every homeowner seems to need. Adding fixed shelving and cabinets can make your bathroom seem tidy and neat, which will appeal to many potential buyers.

Invest in Energy Efficiency

In today’s eco-conscious world, energy efficiency is both a selling point and a financial boon for potential buyers. Allocate a portion of your budget to projects that promote energy savings, such as installing energy-efficient windows, bolstering insulation and replacing outdated appliances with energy-conserving models. 

One example is your water heater. If it has seen better days, replacing it with an energy-efficient model (especially if you can afford to go tankless) can allow potential buyers to check one worry off their list, thus improving the odds of a sale.

Highlighting the energy-efficient features of your home not only enhances its marketability but also appeals to environmentally conscious buyers seeking long-term savings.

Behold the Power of Fresh Paint

Nobody can blame you if you didn’t want to live in a home that had beige on every wall – but covering up the bold, lively colors on your walls is a wise move when you’re trying to sell.

A fresh coat of paint possesses transformative powers, but you should opt for neutral color palettes that serve as a canvas for potential buyers to project their own visions of life in those spaces. Subdued tones create a harmonious backdrop, allowing prospective homeowners to visualize their personal style within the space. 

This cost-effective update wields substantial influence in enhancing your home’s overall appeal – and choosing trending colors like Redend Point (Color of the Year 2023 by Sherwin-Williams) for accent walls can help your home seem fashionable.

Consider Your Flooring Options

Flooring serves as the foundation of any interior space and is a key element that buyers immediately notice. Upgrading to high-quality, resilient flooring materials such as hardwood, eco-friendly bamboo or high-quality ceramic tile can significantly elevate your home’s perceived value. 

At a minimum, it’s definitely time to replace any carpets that have gotten a little worn over time and refinish the hardwood floors you already have. Similar to the walls of your home, it’s also time to get rid of any carpets with overly bold or colorful patterns.

Integrate Smart Home Technology

The digital age has ushered in a new era of home convenience through smart technology – and integrating at least a few smart home features like thermostats, lighting systems, and security devices can give your property a modern feel. 

These enhancements not only contribute to streamlined living in the digital age but also resonate with tech-savvy buyers who value innovation and connectivity. Given the trends in the automotive industry, one of the best investments you can probably make is adding an eclectic vehicle charging station. At least one study indicates that homes with a Level 2 EV charger sell for about 13% more than comparable homes.

Renovating your home with the intent of resale demands a strategic and informed approach. The ultimate goal is to craft a living space that not only captivates buyers but also fosters a sense of belonging. That allows them to envision their own future in the comforts of your thoughtfully remodeled abode. If you’re unsure how much of your remodeling budget you should allocate to which home improvement, it may be wise to speak with a real estate professional about your plans. Seeking their take on remodeling matters allows sellers to get the best return on their investments.