If you’re like most people, your home represents your single biggest investment. It’s also your opportunity to reap the greatest returns when you sell — if you make it appealing to buyers.
Which big-ticket improvements offer the best ROI? Much depends on the market. For example, an inground pool might be a must in places like Phoenix, AZ, but considered an unnecessary hassle and safety hazard by many buyers in the northeast.
However, other upgrades are nearly always good ideas when you can afford them. Here are five more pricey home improvements that pay off in the long run.
Upgrading Your Garage
You beautifully remodeled the bedroom above your garage into a home office. The only problem is your feet freeze every time you clock into work, making you crank the thermostat and sweat out the rest of your family members.
Insulating the space beneath could solve your problems, improve your home’s overall energy-efficiency and reap a nice ROI. Start with your door, selecting rigid steel lined with foam insulation for security and climate control.
Then, insulate the remaining space — and put on your design hat. Time and again, homebuyers cite garage storage as one of their top ten most desired features, making adding shelves and cabinets a speedy way to reap a tidy ROI. Fortunately, it’s also less pricey than other upgrades on this list, as items like pegboard cost little.
While you’re at it, epoxy your floor. Doing so costs less than $200 but hides unsightly oil stains and helps prevent future concrete cracks, improving your curb appeal when you open that shiny new door.
Switching to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Energy-efficient appliances are another item that consistently makes the top ten list of things homebuyers want. Here’s where you want to strategize how you use your money. How? You don’t want to go for a piecemeal approach that leaves your kitchen or laundry appearing unfinished.
However, it’s okay to take a one-room-at-a-time approach. If you only have the budget for one or another, start with your kitchen. Have you paid attention to the news recently? Now’s your opportunity to trade in that gas stove for an electric or induction model. Doing so could be the single best improvement you could make to instantly boost your ROI, as buyers have legitimate concerns about the fumes such devices create.
Should you go with induction or electric? Here are the pros and cons to consider:
- Energy efficiency: Induction models are 5% to 10% more energy-efficient than electric.
- Safety: Flat-topped electric stoves have burned many a hand when accidentally left on. Induction burners do not get hot unless there is a pot on the stove, protecting wee fingers.
- Food preparation: Induction stoves cook foods faster and more evenly than electric. Simmering sauces won’t splatter your walls.
- Ease of cleaning: Both induction and flat-topped electric models wipe clean with little more than a damp rag — but remember the safety factor.
Another question many homeowners ask is whether a refrigerator with an ice maker and water dispenser is worth the extra price. Your best answer? Go for it if it will enhance your lifestyle but don’t expect an ROI. Some people adore these devices, while others find cleaning them and the risk of them breaking too much of an unnecessary hassle.
Investing in Sustainability
They may or may not like ice makers, but two-thirds of respondents to a recent survey indicated that they would pay more for sustainability. What are some ways you can make your home more energy-efficient besides upgrading to new appliances?
Is it time to replace your roof? If so, switching to solar panels is a huge draw — telling potential buyers that your average electric bill is less than $20 a month can sell your home more quickly.
Look for ways to take advantage of passive solar. For example, one-way window film lets the sun stream in on cold winter days while protecting your privacy and safeguarding your floors from UV rays. Adding skylights and solar tubes likewise takes advantage of the sun’s light to illuminate your home, even in areas like bathrooms.
Enhancing Your Outdoor Living Space
Ever since the pandemic, beautiful outdoor living spaces have topped homebuyer wish lists. Why? Scientists warn about future outbreaks, and it’s safer to socialize outside in the fresh air. If your existing patio consists of a bare concrete slab, begin beautifying it by adding a deck or repaving it with decorative stone and a railing.
Outdoor kitchens offer a considerable return on investment — most people welcome the opportunity to entertain without tracking dirt through their homes. What should yours include?
- A grill and perhaps a secondary smoker or pizza oven
- A side burner
- Enclosed storage space
- A mini fridge
- Fans and cooling misters
Additionally, more people today are interested in mind-body fitness than ever before. Consider adding features such as a meditation garden or gazebo for practicing yoga.
Adding an ADU
Finally, multigenerational living is back in vogue, thanks to soaring real estate prices. To save money, many families now keep adult children or aging relatives close to home — but they prefer to maintain privacy. An accessory dwelling unit or ADU offers the convenience of closeness with distinct, separate living spaces that you can also use as a short or long-term rental. Where should you place yours? Here are some ideas:
- Finish your basement: Be sure to include two points of egress.
- Add a backyard unit: You can find these on Amazon.
- Convert a garage: If that 3rd bay sits unused, make it a liveable space.
Pricey Home Improvements That Pay Off in the Long Run
Your home is a huge investment. If you have the budget for upgrades, spend them where they’ll produce the largest ROI.
Consider these pricey home improvements that pay off in the long run. You’ll enjoy your home more now and get more money when you sell.