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The 5 Best Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Looking for the best ways to add value to your home? Home improvements are an obvious option, but it’s key to upgrade strategically. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you. Read on to find out which upgrades can add the most value to a home and which projects to avoid.

The top 5 ways to add value to your home

Here are the top five home improvement projects* that can increase your home’s resale value and give you a great return on your investment:

1. Give your floors a facelift

Whether you’re refinishing existing hardwoods or installing new flooring, you can expect to recover all of the upgrade costs and likely increase your home value by another 18% to 47% above and beyond those costs.

2. Add insulation

Most homes, especially older ones, weren’t designed with energy efficiency in mind. Adding new insulation can help shrink your electricity bills and increase your home’s value enough to pay for itself.

3. Refresh your garage doors

They may strike you as a utilitarian part of your home, but garage doors are large and highly visible and can therefore be an important factor in your home’s curb appeal. Installing new doors costs less than $5,000 on average, and the typical homeowner will recoup 93% to 100% of that cost.

4. Install a stone veneer

Adding just a 300-square-foot band of stone veneer to one side of your home (the side that’s visible from the street, of course!) can greatly improve your home’s first impression. It’s a fairly simple project that can bump up your home’s value enough to cover around 91% of the installation costs.

5. Replace your roof

A roof is one of the most important elements in a house, both aesthetically and functionally. Replacing an old, worn-out roof won’t only increase your home value but may also fully pay for itself.

*This list is based on the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2022 Remodeling Impact Report and Remodeling Magazine’s 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, both of which analyzed and ranked common home improvement projects for how likely they are to add to a home’s resale value.

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The best low- and no-cost improvements

  • Improve the landscaping. Doing some basic lawn care and applying mulch is a fairly low-effort “curb appeal” intervention, but can provide a huge return: a $4,500 bump in your home’s resale value.
  • Spruce up your front porch. Although porches have always been a nice feature to have, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity and function since the coronavirus pandemic. As a homeowner, an appealing porch will give you a whopping 61% more in return now than it did pre-pandemic.
  • Replace bathroom hardware or fixtures. Bathroom improvements tend to give a solid ROI, and if you can’t afford a full bathroom remodel, you can still achieve a lot by updating outdated hardware and fixtures. A modern, single-lever shower control — or fresh vinyl wallpaper with a modern print — can update a neglected bathroom without breaking the bank.
  • Repaint a single room. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do — and how little it can cost: typically $15 to $60 per gallon, or $1 to $3 per square foot. Painting is one of the few home improvement projects that almost anyone can “DIY,” and instantly refreshes a dingy or out-of-date room.
  • Repaint exterior accents. Have your exterior accents lost their “pop”? Applying fresh paint to your front door, trim, shutters or garage door is a great, low-cost way to refresh a facade. And if you have your finger on the pulse of design trends, this upgrade is really for you because the correct use of on-trend colors can increase your home’s resale value by a surprising amount.

Upgrades that aren’t worth your time or money

We’ve covered the best ways to add value to your home, but what about the worst mistakes you can make? Here are some common home “improvements” to be wary of.

Swimming pool

Unless a swimming pool is a standard feature for the homes in your neighborhood (read: you live in a very upscale community or an exceptionally hot state like Arizona, Florida or Nevada), it may take away from your home’s perceived value. Pools are expensive and labor-intensive to maintain, and many homebuyers don’t want to sign up for that ongoing cost.

Master suite

Many of us may dream of a master suite with walk-in closets, an attached master bath and his-and-hers everything. But in reality, most homebuyers aren’t willing to pay a premium to make this dream come true. Adding a master suite is one of the riskiest home improvements you can make, because it’s expensive and only likely to return about 46% of the costs in increased home value.

Elevator

While an elevator could be a must-have for some families, the truth is they appeal to a very niche market. In fact, elevators topped the list of the “most unwanted” home amenities, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, representing a deal-breaker for 56% of homebuyers.

New technology

While having a “smart home” may be appealing, use some caution — it’s extremely difficult to predict which devices or systems will stand the test of time. Today’s smartest domestic technologies could rapidly go the way of intercom systems and 10-foot-wide satellite dishes.

The lesson here is that if you want to increase your home’s value through home improvement projects, you need to:

Avoid

  Overly expensive upgrades

  Hard-to-remove upgrades

  Trends that may not last

  Upgrades with very niche appeal

Always keep in mind

  How much you stand to gain in home value versus how costly a given upgrade is to install.

  How to appeal to the widest swath of homebuyers possible.

  How you want to leverage your home’s value — your rising equity can help you reach other financial goals if you decide to refinance, borrow against your home equity or sell your home.

 

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