You’ve got some extra money in your pocket—maybe from tax returns, maybe a bonus windfall—and you want to use it to beautify your house. Excellent choice! Your home is one of the biggest financial investments you’ll make in your lifetime.
That said, one mistake many homeowners make is expecting their home improvement projects to return a dollar-for-dollar profit when the time comes to sell. There really isn’t any such thing as a “100%” ROI (return on investment) for your home improvement projects, although you will recoup some of that money you spent.
So instead of considering where you’ll make most of your money back when you sell, it’s much wiser to consider what improvements you’ll enjoy the most while you still own your house. That’s how you’ll maximize your investment by boosting the pleasure you take in your residence while you live there, in addition to improving your home’s value.
We’ve collected some of the highest-return projects that also beautify your surroundings. If you want to make your house look a little bit nicer (and are looking for a project you’ll enjoy while you live there, too!), these are the top picks for home improvement options.
Siding is another high-return
opportunity for people who are getting ready to sell their houses; you can
usually recoup a significant amount of what you spend on siding. It’s also a
great way to enhance the curb appeal of your house—it can change the entire
appearance of your house from slightly sad and shabby to the snappiest house on
the block, especially when paired with some thoughtful landscaping choices.
Local real estate agents should
have some good ideas about which types of siding thrive in your climate (and
which tend to be a pain to maintain), as well as newer products that might be
easier to power-wash and hold color for longer, for example.
10. Kitchen backsplash
The backsplash in your kitchen
is the space between the bottoms of your cabinets and your countertops, and
depending on when your kitchen was last redecorated, this can be a fast and
easy “facelift.” Tile or glass backsplashes are popular, but your agent will
likely have some ideas around what’s typical in your area; this is a project
you can typically manage yourself, making it relatively inexpensive to tackle.
11. Install crown molding
After the paint is on the walls
and your lighting is brightened up, one project that can really help tie a
room—and, in fact, the whole house—together is installing crown molding. This
is a cornice that is installed at the tops and bottoms of walls to help smooth
the transition between the walls and the ceilings or floors; you can also find
crown molding framing doorways, cabinets, and windows.
Using similar or identical
molding throughout your hallways and rooms on different floors of the house (or
the entire house) can give it a cohesive decorated look, especially if the
rooms are painted different colors.
12. Get organized
Nobody expects your closets to
be pristine, but if they’re stuffed full of clothes hanging on a single rack
with no drawers, baskets, or other built-in amenities, then one solid upgrade
you can make for yourself and your space is to hire a closet designer to help
organize your space.
Depending on your wardrobe and
the size of your closet, organizers can maximize your space while working with
you to ensure this is a closet you’ll be able to utilize. Buyers will
appreciate this renovation, of course—but a closet organization is something
you should do well before you decide to sell, so you have plenty of time to
enjoy it before handing it over to another owner.
13. Add outdoor lighting
Solar-powered patio lights or
pathway lights are another way to make your home look that much more inviting
in the evening; you can light up the walkway to your front door, and they’re as
simple to install as popping them in the ground.
You can find other kinds of
solar-powered lights for the backyard, too, if you spend a lot of time out
there at night, including flame torch-style illuminators that really flicker!
14. Make your outdoor areas
more inviting, period
Whether you’re building a deck,
an outdoor kitchen, or laying down stone for a patio, homes that have a
designated outdoor space for eating or spending time are always popular with
buyers. Put some rocking chairs on the porch, get yourself an outdoor dining
set or a fire pit (or both!), and create a space where everyone can lounge
during nice weather and warm nights.
15. Under-cabinet lighting in
Whether you’re adding an
additional light switch to your wall or using light strips that can be turned
on and off at the lighting point, under-cabinet lights can brighten up a
kitchen considerably while also providing much-needed illumination on the
countertops for food preparation. They’re one of those simple additions that you
won’t realize you needed until you have them!
Whatever home decoration
project you embark upon, try to choose something that you will
appreciate as the homeowner, too. Getting to enjoy the improvements you make to
your house is the best way to maximize your return on investment and milk every
last drop of equity from your property when the time eventually comes to sell,
so don’t hesitate to make your own tastes the priority!
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Representing Buyers and Sellers throughout Massachusetts