Making Sense of Home Improvements: What Adds Value?

Dated: June 8 2024

Views: 12

Before diving into renovation projects, it's important to understand which upgrades are likely to boost your home's value and which ones may not yield a significant return on investment. While certain improvements can enhance your home's appeal and attract potential buyers, others may fall short of expectations.

It's prudent to explore examples of home improvements that have the potential to increase your home's value, as well as situations where renovations may not have a substantial impact on its worth. By gaining insights into these factors, homeowners can make informed decisions and maximize their return on investment when upgrading their properties.

Home improvements that may increase the value of the home:

Hardwood floors ... Refinishing or updating to wood floors have good appeal and have a high return on the cost.

Kitchen Remodel - Updating the kitchen with modern appliances, countertops, and fixtures can increase the home's value by improving functionality and aesthetics.

Bathroom Update - Renovating bathrooms with new fixtures, tiles, and amenities can enhance the home's appeal, especially if it increases the number of bathrooms or improves their condition.

Curb Appeal - Enhancing curb appeal through landscaping, exterior painting, or updating the front door can make a positive first impression and increase the home's perceived value.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades - Adding energy-efficient features such as insulation, or windows can attract environmentally conscious buyers and reduce utility costs, thereby increasing the home's value.

Open Floor Plan - Removing walls to create an open floor plan can improve the flow of the home and make it feel more spacious, which may appeal to modern homebuyers and increase value.

Home improvements that may not affect value significantly:

Over-Personalized Upgrades - Home improvements that are highly customized to the homeowner's taste, such as extravagant or niche features, may not appeal to a broad range of buyers and may not recoup their cost.

Low-Quality Workmanship - Poor-quality renovations or DIY projects that are not executed professionally may detract from the home's value rather than adding to it.

Excessive Upgrades - Spending too much on renovations relative to the home's overall value for the neighborhood may not yield a commensurate increase in value.

Unpermitted Additions - Home improvements made without the necessary permits or that violate building codes may lead to complications during the selling process and may not add value to the home.

Overcapitalization - Investing in upgrades that exceed the anticipated resale value of the home for the neighborhood may result in diminishing returns and may not justify the expense.

While there are many powerful investment aspects of homeownership, not all the money spent on it will necessarily increase the value.  If the cost of some renovations won't be able to be recaptured in the sales price, homeowners should recognize that in advance of making them.  If they decide to move forward, they must realize that it was done for personal convenience or enjoyment. 

On the other hand, some improvements can satisfy convenience, enjoyment and return part or all the cost.  The latest Remodeling Impact Report done by the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Remodeling Industry  can provide more insight into cost recovery.

Blog author image

Clinton Hanks

Born and raised in Mendocino County, I know the people and the property of the North Bay and the North Coast. I left the area right after high school to serve in the U.S. Navy and after seeing the wor....

Latest Blog Posts

Making Sense of Home Improvements: What Adds Value?

Before diving into renovation projects, it's important to understand which upgrades are likely to boost your home's value and which ones may not yield a significant return on investment. While

Read More

Bridging Wealth Gaps: Homeownership's Stand Against Inflation

When exploring the benefits of homeownership, it's more than just having a place to call your own. Among its many advantages, homeownership stands as a formidable safeguard against inflation and a

Read More

Access "Trapped Equity" without Refinancing

American homeowners have a record amount of equity in their home.  Many of these homeowners would like to cash out part of that equity but don't want to trade an historically low interest

Read More

Navigating Closing Costs During Your Home Sale

Typical closing costs can vary depending on what is customary in an area, the mortgage type, property value, and other factors.  The largest expenses can be the real estate commission and

Read More