It can be tough to decide where to spend your money when it comes to remodeling your home. Though every home is different, there are some basic guidelines to be aware of before you start your renovation. If you want the best return when it comes time to sell your home, there are areas you should focus on and some common mistakes to avoid.
Having a functional and attractive outdoor living space usually brings a great return. Easy access to a deck or paved area extends your home and ups the value. If you don’t have a functional outdoor space to entertain or an easy way to access your outdoor space, you should consider investing in this area. Simply adding a deck or patio and some landscaping can be one of the less expensive upgrades for your home if you choose your materials wisely and don’t go overboard. Choosing native plants will save money on landscaping, and if pavers are needed, try finding them at a salvage store. Natural wood decks are beautiful and initially less expensive, but they require regular maintenance and don’t last as long as composite materials. When dealing with a natural wood that is exposed to the elements, it is suggested that the wood be cleaned, stained, and sealed every spring to prevent deterioration and keep it looking good. With composite, usually the only maintenance needed is an occasional cleaning.
If your bathrooms are dated, you should consider investing in them. Replace old fixtures and old toilets. Many modern toilets and fixtures are made to use less water and work just as well as, or even better than, their older counterparts. If you have linoleum floors in your bathroom, you should definitely tile your floor. The right tile can make a bathroom look gorgeous and still be fairly inexpensive. Outdated countertops and cabinets are an eye sore too. Many older cabinets can just be refinished to give them a more modern look and there are many options for affordable, beautiful countertops. If your bathroom doesn’t have a fan, install one! If you have a full size tub in your bathroom, don’t replace it with a small stand up shower unless space is a serious issue in your bathroom. Potential future buyers with young children (or furry animals) will appreciate having a bathtub to wash their little ones in.
If you house has a lot of walls, open it up! Areas where you entertain should not be separated from each other. The kitchen, dining room, and living room should be open and the style of these rooms should flow together. Also, have access to your outdoor living space from this area. Replace old linoleum kitchen floors and cheap/ugly countertops. To save money, simply refinish sturdy, but outdated cabinets. If your appliances are extremely outdated, you should replace them. Kitchen renovations have the potential to be very expensive depending on what materials are used, so keep a level head when planning and shopping. Remember that if you go overboard, you probably won’t make all that money back when it comes time to sell.
Warmer colors are becoming popular but if you plan on selling your home you shouldn’t choose wall colors that are extremely bold or dramatic. No matter how great blood red walls might look with your furniture, the next potential might hate it and see it as a downfall. Subtle, warm colors are the key. Choose a finish like eggshell and your walls will be easier to clean than a flat finish would be. Don’t go any shinier than an eggshell finish for walls, but for trim a semi-gloss or gloss is acceptable.
When it comes time to sell, curb appeal can make or break the deal. First impressions are extremely important, so repair cracked sidewalks & steps, replace loose or mismatched shingles & siding, and repaint if your paint is cracking or peeling. If your yard is bare, a few well placed bushes or plants can make a huge impact. If your home doesn’t have gutters & downspouts, you should have some installed. If your windows are old, installing energy efficient windows can also be a good place to invest. Replacing windows can be very pricey, but if you can afford it, not only will it save you money heating and cooling, but it is a great selling point when it comes time to put your home on the market. Also keep in mind that exterior style of your house should mirror the interior style.
Please keep in mind that this is just a guideline. Use common sense when planning a renovation and address major issues/repairs first. Dropping lots of money in completely new floor plans and custom materials make sense if you plan on staying in your home forever, but if you plan to sell, you have to make renovation choices wisely. If you are not sure where to start or aren’t sure what your options are for your budget, consult a professional.