When It Comes to Your Home's Value, Some 'Improvements' Are Better Than Others

If you're like most of us, your home is one of the most valuable things that you own. So it stands to reason that taking care of it over the years is of utmost importance.

And that leads us to home improvements, which probably anyone who has ever owned a home has undertaken. Some are minor, like replacing wallpaper with a fresh coat of paint or ripping up your carpeting to expose or lay beautiful new hardware floors.

Others are more extensive, of course, and can range from upgrading your kitchen or bathroom with new fixtures to even something as major as adding a couple of new rooms to your home.

But did you know that some home improvements can significantly add value to your home, while others can be a bit of a "money pit?"

Today, we're going to go over some of the best, and also some of the worst, home improvements you can undertake. For our purposes today, the terms "best" and "worst" refer to whether or not they add value to your home and property.

This is especially useful information if you plan on selling your family home anytime in the near future, as you'll want to get top dollar when going through that process.

Okay, so let's take a look at the best and worst home improvements when it comes to selling your home. We'll start with the good...

  • New Appliances. If you're planning to sell your home, a new set of kitchen appliances can really help this important room of the home come to life. Sellers have consistently stated over the years that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the home when it comes to making improvements, and studies have shown they're often willing to pay a little more to avoid the hassle of making these types of purchases themselves.

  •  Granite Countertops. Staying in the all-important kitchen, granite countertops have become very popular over the last decade or two and are almost always a good decision when it comes to improving the look and feel of your kitchen. And they certainly hold their value, with this important improvement also ranking high on buyers' wish lists.

  • Hardwood Flooring. We mentioned this above in our introduction, but hardwood flooring is all the rage these days. Carpeting is still preferred in certain instances, but you can't go wrong by installing some gleaming hardwood in a few rooms of your home. And you also don't have to worry about choosing a color of carpeting that sellers are going to like. If you want to make an improvement to your home that will have lasting value, hardwood flooring is definitely a good choice.

  • Master Bathroom. Aside from the kitchen, bathrooms are probably the most important rooms of the home to keep upgraded and looking nice. Consider adding a new jacuzzi tub, or an expanded shower or a double vanity or whatever else will spruce up the look and feel of your master bathroom, or even other bathrooms in the home. Improvements like this tend to hold their value during the selling process.

  • Walk-In Closets. If you have any extra space in the master bedroom, consider converting some of it to a walk-in closet before listing your home for sale. Studies over the years have shown that this is a popular feature for potential buyers and something that is mentioned frequently in surveys. So if you have the space, this is a home improvement that could definitely be worth your time and money.

Okay, we've discussed the good, now it's time to turn the tables and look at a few home improvements that are certainly not the best of ideas, at least in terms of recouping your investment when selling the property.

Here are the top, or should we say bottom, home improvement projects on our list...

  • Swimming Pools. A pool can provide countless hours of fun and entertainment for you, your family and your friends. In those terms, you certainly can't discount the investment. But in terms of recouping your investment when you sell the property, adding a pool is certainly not a great choice. They're costly to add, costly to maintain and, even though you may love it, not all buyers are going to want the added responsibility of caring for a swimming pool.

  • Garages. Whether it's adding a garage, expanding one or even converting one into extra living space, spending the money to alter this space is not a good financial investment. Again, if you're not planning on selling your home, then this point is moot. But if you are, and are concerned with recouping your investment, then your money can be much better spent elsewhere.

  • Home Office. If you work from home, converting an extra room into an office can be extremely beneficial from a work standpoint, and even as a tax break. But in terms of selling your home after making this sort of change, it can often be a costly investment. If you converted an extra bedroom to your home office, for example, potential buyers may not be able to visualize that space as a bedroom. And if they have to spend money to convert it back to a bedroom, that will likely turn them off further.

  • Sun Room. This can provide a lovely space for you and your family to spend some quality time together, but an investment in a sun room rarely pays off in the long run. Experts suggest spending that money instead on a deck, which is less expensive to create, thus creating less of a financial outlay to recoup during the selling process.

  • High End Landscaping. This may dramatically improve your home's curb appeal, but what you like may not be what others like. And if the landscaping is extensive, potential buyers could be discouraged from buying the property due to the extensive work it will take to maintain it.

If you plan on selling your property anytime in the next few years, these are definitely tips and suggestions that you want to keep in mind in order to ensure a smooth process down the road.

As always, consult with a licensed and experienced real estate agent about these types of decisions. His or her experience will prove extremely valuable, and isn't that what you're paying for?

And please remember that the Oldfather Group is here to help in any way that we can. Give us a ring today at 302-260-2000 and let us show you what we can do for you and your family.

Have a great day everyone!

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