Wednesday, May 29, 2024

6 home improvement projects that offer the best return on your investment

Rocket Loans reports that there are large and small home improvements that provide a good return on investment.

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A photo of a remodeled modern kitchen with green, white and wooden interiors and fully furnished.

Joseph Hendrickson // Shutterstock

No matter when you think you might make your next move, considering the resale impact of your home improvements makes sense. Most home improvements won't net you a profit upon sale, but some improvements can recoup 66% – 217% of your expenses. 

Rocket Loans looked at what homeowners can keep in mind when planning a major renovation project that could add value to their home. In addition to directly recouping expenses by raising the sticker price, key improvements can also broaden the home's appeal and widen the range of buyers.

Major Home Improvements That Add Value

The big takeaway of this article: Don't get deterred if you aren't really feeling a complete home renovation. There are large and small improvements you can make that can help provide a good return on investment (ROI).

The bigger-ticket items are more likely to result in a higher uptick to the final price when you sell for many reasons. They likely catch the eye of the buyer and are improvements they desire but don't want to spend the time or money on. These are often the must-haves buyers have on their lists especially if their goal is to upgrade their home.

The following averages are based on the most recent numbers (2023) from Remodeling magazine's cost/value calculator

  • Fuel-Burning To Electrical Conversion

    Converting a fossil fuel-burning HVAC system to an electrical one is not only good for your ROI, but also for the Earth. This home improvement provides the highest cost recoup – 103.5%. If the new system costs an average of $17,747, the resale value would be around $18,368.
     
  • Major Kitchen Remodel

    Counters, cabinets, appliances, sinks and floors offer endless possibilities in terms of materials, styles, layout and cost. Although return on investment for major kitchen remodels varies by state, there is an estimated national average. According to Remodeling magazine, 85.7% is the average recoup for a minor remodel. So, for a major renovation of around $60,000, you would recoup around $25,080.

    Also, if you have some money to invest but don't want the headache of renovating, replacing kitchen appliances with modern, stainless steel ones can be a great way to up the resale value of your home. 
     
  • Bathroom Remodel

    A midrange bathroom remodel (think $25,000) will likely recoup about 66.7% of its cost upon resale. It still might be worth it to you, as an appealing bathroom can be a huge selling point and can also do a lot for your own quality of life.

    However, if you're not ready for a complete overhaul in these rooms, no worries. Smaller projects like fixing cracked tiles, recaulking the bathtub, replacing the toilet seat or installing a new showerhead or faucet can go a long way in sprucing up a dated or dilapidated bathroom.
     
  • Entry Door Replacement

    Replacing a front door is the least expensive and one of the relatively easiest improvements on this list. Costing an average of $2,200, this improvement can recoup slightly more than 100% of the cost. This includes replacing the jambs and door with a new steel unit.

Minor Home Improvements That Add Value

Many home improvements that are characterized as minor are those that may be a DIY project or cost hundreds of dollars – or, at most, a couple thousand dollars – versus tens of thousands of dollars.

  • Lawn Service And Maintenance

    Real estate agents are largely in agreement that curb appeal is the number one factor in a home's marketability. The two projects that have the highest ROI are standard lawn care service and landscape maintenance – according to the National Association of Realtors' 2023 Remodeling Impact Report. Lawn care service includes six annual applications of fertilizer and weed control and recoups a whopping 217% of the cost. Landscape maintenance includes annual mulch application and flower planting as well as regular lawn mowing and shrub pruning. This maintenance can recoup 104% of cost.
     
  • Fresh And Neutral Interior Paint

    You may think people can look past paint color when deciding to buy, but the reality is that it's much easier to get distracted by it than dismiss it. Not to mention, it's easier for prospective buyers to imagine their own stuff fitting in a neutral space than one that's colored to fit your personality.

    Painting your interior is another upgrade that can generally recoup more than 100% of its cost.

Any Major Concerns Highlighted In An Inspection Report

Remember that report your inspector handed you when you bought the house that had a list of items to take care of once you moved in? You know, the one that has been sitting in a basement drawer collecting dust since closing day? This report will be the ideal place to start looking for high ROI repairs.

Whoever buys the house will have a new inspection done, so any issues you can head off at the pass will put you in a stronger position as you negotiate your way to finalizing a deal.

Most buyers prefer essential issues such as an old roof to be addressed. Although attractive upgrades can seal the deal, the practical considerations that an inspection report will raise, such as old roofs or aluminum wiring, tend to weigh more heavily on buyers' minds than anything else.

Financing Your High ROI Home Improvements

If you're worried about having enough cash to make improvements, financing could be an option. If you're going after something major, a cash-out refinance or home equity loan could be the way to go.

However, if you're keeping your upgrades modest, using a personal loan on home makeovers may be a good move. Once you explore your loan options and secure your funds, you'll be ready to start right away.

Final Thoughts: Bigger Isn't Always Better

Whether you're planning a big remodel or a DIY painting project – or anything in between – it is possible to recoup the costs of your home improvement. Making sure you stay within budget will also help greatly.

With a little homework and some elbow grease, you can find ways to improve your home and add to its resale value regardless of your timeline or fix-it ability.