Everyone has something to say about how to improve the value of your home. Even your car mechanic is happy to give you advice during your next oil change. Some of the the advice will be good. The trouble is, everyone’s advice differs a little. You want the right answers. So, what do you do?
Prioritizing Projects with a Contractor
When you finally decide to find a reputable contractor, you can expect them to start with a few questions. One question which really sets the stage for the rest of your conversation is “Why do you want to improve your home?” The two most obvious answers are to “…get it ready for the market” and to “…make it more suitable for my own personal needs.” In a perfect world, you want projects which satisfy both. When examining the joy score (yes “joy score” is a real number), the top ranked priorities for remodeling projects include:
- Better functionality and livability
- Durable and long-lasting results, materials, and appliances
- Beauty and aesthetics
- Adding more of the owner’s personality to the home
If they’re worth their salt, expect contractors share some of their own insightful and independent observations. Hopefully, they’ll be aligned with remodeling “impact reports” or “joy scores” from the National Association of REALTORS® and National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
From the reports, it was determined (for example) that the most popular remodeling projects inside the home included the bathroom, kitchen, and master bedroom, with the kitchen earning the highest return on investment if they were to sell their home. In fact, most REALTORS® recommend a kitchen upgrade before selling. As a general observation, buyers are trending toward wood floors over carpet. This means that if you have an old carpet, consider removing rather than replacing it.
As you proceed with your project, dedicate some time to researching good choices for appliances. Consider an energy savings app so your home improvement project can also become an energy reduction project.
Of course, there are also improvements which can be found outside the home too.
Curb appeal projects can mean landscaping improvements or just simple maintenance. Check with a reputable landscaping contractor for advice on encroaching tree limbs, for example.
Other projects require a bigger financial commitment, but are also high priorities with prospective buyers.
Other Elements to Consider
The roof: How many years are left on your current roof and how many shingle layers have been applied to the roof? This matters, because it tells the prospective home buyer how much money they’ll need to spend shortly after buying the home. This is on the mind of every homebuyer, which is why roofing gets so much attention among REALTORS® as a great remodeling value. In fact, REALTORS® reported that it provides the greatest return on investment at resale.
The surrounding area: If your home is near a good school, for example, you may want to keep that in mind. Incorporate features which make it family friendly, as long as they don’t interfere with your own quality-of-life choices.
In addition to a contractor, it may help to know a good REALTOR®. Even if you’re happy with your home and you have no plans on leaving, plans can change in a few years. You want your changes to be compatible with prospective buyers, and a REALTOR® can help in that regard.
Good luck, and enjoy your home!