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How Much Do Home Improvements Increase Value

home improvements that increase value

Home improvements and renovations cost valuable time and money to plan, execute and complete, so it’s likely that you want to make sure that what you’re doing will pay off later. For most people, the value of an improvement comes from the enjoyment, future savings and the use of installing a low-flow toilet, insulated windows, or additional kitchen counter space. 

However, it’s also good to keep in mind what will help the sale of your home later on. A kitchen renovation will likely demand a higher price than bathroom improvements. Another factor to remember is the area you live in and what is in demand from the market that you’re selling into. 

Perhaps the most important goal is how it fits into your life, especially if you’ll be living with the improvements for some time. If you’re making these improvements for your enjoyment and to add value, err on the side of things that you will get use from.

Take a look to find out which improvements will stretch your listing price, and which are less necessary to add value.

Home Improvements That Add The Most Value

These home projects can add anywhere from 15% to 30% of your listing price, so it would be wise to consider an improvement that fits with your needs and a potential buyer.

1. Convert your cellar (up to 30% added value)

If you’ve got a cellar that you haven’t done much with, now might be the time to consider repurposing it. Do some research to see if a cellar conversion is worth your time and money since it will cost quite a bit per square meter and might be out of fashion depending on where you live. Remember: a cellar renovation can typically boost a property’s value by 30%, and that is something to consider. 

If space is a premium where you live and you have a cellar that you can convert, this option can be worthwhile in expanding your living areas and investing in the property so when it comes time to sell, you can reasonably have a higher asking price. Since you’re just changing the use of the cellar, and likely not doing any structural changes, you won’t need to file for any permits.

2. Convert your garage (up to 15% added value)

Much like converting your cellar, you might want to convert your garage. You can do both improvements, or just one. However, it’s good to keep in mind that a garage conversion could have less value than a cellar, especially if you’re in an area where space isn’t necessarily a luxury. If there is street parking or you have a driveway, turning the garage into a different space can be beneficial for you and for future homeowners. 

Making another bedroom, bed and breakfast style rental, or new living space from the garage can add up to 15% more of your property’s value. Though you likely won’t need to get a planning application, it’s not a bad idea to have a professional check if everything is in order, such as the integrity of the garage and if any utilities need to be updated or added during the renovation.

3. Improving kerb appeal (up to 10% added value)

There’s a lot that can be done from the outside of your home as well that you shouldn’t neglect. This is a good area to focus time on, especially if you’re planning to sell soon. Giving your home a facelift doesn’t need to break the bank either, since a lot of the renovations you can do on the outside can go far in making a great impression on a buyer.

There are a few things that you might want to try. Planting a garden and keeping it clear of brush and weeds makes for an attractive front. New paint on doors and window sills can go a long way, and a new roof, though more costly, can help visually and structurally. Consider new hardware like doorknobs, lighting and a new welcome mat if yours is worn out.

4. Solar panels (3%-4% increase in value)

Most people appreciate eco-friendly options, especially since once solar panels are installed, they generate electricity that can help reduce your energy bills while also minimizing your carbon footprint. 

However, this improvement should only be done if you’re planning on being in your home for at least a few years. It’s a costly upfront investment that only pays off if you’re there long enough to reap the savings. 

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Home Improvements That Don’t Add Value

Skip the wallpaper

Though wallpaper is relatively dated now, there are some pretty and modern options. However, it won’t add to the resale value of your home, and can deter buyers in some cases. Most homeowners want to make the space theirs, and they’ll likely be tearing down any wallpaper that you put up. If you’ve ever taken down wallpaper before, you know that’s not a fun experience. Instead, opt for a new coat of paint and consider stencils for patterning.

Smart home technology

This upgrade depends on how much having a technology-kitted home means to you. It costs a lot and the return in value is minimal. Consider security technology first, and then work from there. Electronics that are built into the home can be a draw, but only for the right buyer who will want it. For most technology, the home electronics that you put in will eventually become dated and need replacing.

New carpets

New carpeting might seem like a good idea, especially if yours are worn out, but it won’t add any value when you sell. Materials and installation can cost a lot for carpets, and the incoming homeowners are likely to just rip it out and install what they like. Carpets are very personal, from the colour we choose, to where the wear happens--they collect a lot of dust and debris and often it’s the first thing to go.

Depending on how long you’re planning on being in your home, you might want to strongly consider (or reconsider) certain improvements that you’re planning on. If you’re going to be in your current home for some time, and will be able to enjoy the renovations you make, then that might be the option you choose. If you’re selling soon, keep the improvements to low-cost, high-value and impersonal customizations.

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