Top home upgrades that pay off in the long run

Ok, you’re ready to invest back into your home. Just one question: where should you start with these updates? For many homeowners, this is the biggest roadblock when it comes to making value-adding improvements. The key to prioritizing updates and improvements, other than adding updates that you love, is knowing what will get you the best return in a resale, what investment will increase the value of your home, as well as what would make the next homeowner happy.


Invest in essential repairs first

A major repair project—such as a roof that needs to be replaced, a basement or slab leak, or a cracked sewer line—should always be dealt with first before moving on to non-essential upgrades and renovations. Not only could procrastinating on these urgent repairs end up being disastrous and add to the overall cost, but it could make selling your home that much more difficult. While addressing issues with the HVAC, roof, plumbing, or structure of your house may not be as exciting as designing a new kitchen, it’s worth it for your home’s long-term value.

What constitutes an “essential repair”? Generally speaking, you should prioritize fixing anything that could cause further damage to your home or harm its resale value. A leaking roof certainly qualifies. Left unrepaired, this could lead to water damage, structural harm, mold growth and increase the cost of the repair. Think in terms of a home inspection: if you were a home buyer looking to close on this home and your home inspector told you about this issue, would it make you think twice about moving forward? If so, you need to deal with the issue or issues—and fast.


Remodel your kitchen and primary bathroom

Once any essential projects have been completed, it’s time to renovate. For the best ROI, start with updates to the kitchen and master bathroom. Remodeling these two spaces with smart updates will add the most to your home’s resale value and overall appeal.

In the kitchen, make new countertops and cabinets your priority. These are not only the most visible parts of your remodeled kitchen, but they’re also what adds the most value. If you’re looking to add long-term value, invest in high-quality materials and installation. With the best upkeep and care, good quartz or granite countertops and new wood cabinets should look great for many years to come.

In the master bathroom, the key to maximizing your ROI and resale value is making aesthetically pleasing changes without major plumbing or electrical rework. In other words, try to work within your current bathroom layout and keep the shower, tub, toilet, vanities, and sinks where they currently are and add stone countertops and change out the cabinets. In the shower, work with an experienced plumber to install new faucets and fixtures. Then, add shower tile and replace the existing frosted glass with something more modern. Even something as simple as changing out the lighting in your master bathroom can improve the entire feel of the space.

To get the most-possible long-term home value out of your kitchen and bathroom remodel, aim for simple design styles that make use of neutral colors. Not only does this appeal to the widest-possible range of prospective home buyers today, but it’s more likely to have lasting appeal into future years as tastes shift providing the best chance for a strong resale.


Make your home more energy-efficient

When most people think about “remodeling,” they tend to overlook energy-efficiency upgrades. Yet, these projects require a low upfront investment, are DIY-friendly, and can completely pay for themselves with enough time. Every home, no matter how old or new, is inefficient to some degree. In some properties, a majority of the cooling produced in the summer and the heating produced in the winter goes to waste. This energy is lost through the attic, exterior walls, windows, and doors. Stemming this energy loss could equate to lower utility bills in the months to come. Add that up over the course of several successive years, and you’re talking about big savings against the cost of these updates.

One of the most effective ways to improve your energy-efficiency is by installing additional attic insulation into your house. This slows and prevents heat transfer between the roof of your home and the inside, which leads to a more comfortable and efficient home in all seasons. Next, add caulking around your windows and weatherstripping around your doors to reduce drafts and airflow. If you have the money in your remodeling budget, get a few quotes for replacing older, single-pane windows with dual-pane windows. This can significantly boost your home’s energy-efficiency and, as a bonus, make it much more attractive to prospective buyers and help you sell your home.

Written by Amanda Lee

home upgrades that pay off