There are times when you look at other homes in the neighborhood and realize that you have your work cut out for you to get a good price when you sell. If you know that you will have to spend a fair chunk of change getting your house up to snuff, it's worth the effort to do research beforehand to find out what the best renovation choices are. These five upgrades can put your home far ahead of where you are now, with a good investment for the money you pay.
1. Add a Bedroom
People who want to sell older homes are battling not just age and condition, but the progression of the American lifestyle. In decades past, people thought nothing of putting several kids in a single bedroom, with extra space for rooms that many modern families think are entirely superfluous. Fortunately, converting a den or a parlor to a proper bedroom may not be as difficult or expensive as you think. In order to count as a bedroom, a room must have:
- a minimum amount of floor space
- two methods of egress (e.g. a door and an adequately-sized window)
- lighting and ventilation
- closet space
If you can enclose a room for privacy and ensure these conditions are met, you may boost the value of your home significantly without having to increase its size.
2. One More Bathroom
Just like adding a bedroom, an extra bathroom is a boon to a home seller trying to sell a house that is on the smaller side for the neighborhood. Many home buyers look for homes that have at least two bathrooms and perhaps a half-bathroom (i.e.: toilet and sink only) near the kitchen and living room. Installing another bathroom may not be quite as simple as getting a den up to code, since you have to create new walls, route new plumbing, and purchase new fixtures for the space. You may spend close to $45,000 on the endeavor and get a bit more than half of it back. However, if your home only has one bathroom, this may be your best bet to set the property apart.
3. A New Garage
For a space that never counts toward your home’s square footage, the garage certainly is becoming one of the hottest items on the real estate market. With extra storage options and the ability to protect your cars from the elements (or vandals), turning a carport into a garage is an appealing prospect. Building a freestanding two-car garage could cost as much as $50,000 or more. When every other house on the street has a garage, it seems like a no-brainer. Fortunately, you can get about two-thirds of the amount you pay in an increased resale value.
4. Finished Basement
Finishing your basement could be an excellent choice to beef up the living space in your home, depending on the laws in your state. In some areas, a finished basement may count in your total square footage. This could be a real boon for your home, especially if the main floor is a little on the lean side. Even if you cannot use a finished basement to add to your square footage count on an appraisal, it will still add value to the home. Home buyers love to find lots of extra space where they did not expect any. A finished basement could add bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas–even the ability for a buyer to convert it into a separate basement apartment. Some good pictures for your selling profile could make all the difference.
5. Upgraded Kitchen
Many experts love to deride the money people spend on a major kitchen upgrade, especially right before selling. This is a limited view of what, for many sellers, is actually a big problem. Buyers only want to spend a lot of money and time fixing up the space if the price matches the home’s fixer-upper status. Perhaps more than any other room, the kitchen is the hallmark of the home’s vintage. Virtually anyone who watches design shows can pick out a kitchen that was built in the 1970s and remodeled in the 1990s. If your kitchen has ancient appliances, a stained or chipped countertop and faded cabinets, it is time to bring it into this century. You might be surprised how much adding a kitchen island or granite countertops will modernize the space.
Getting your home ready to sell when you know it is running behind the pack can be a little daunting. If you target your upgrade budget to the heaviest hitters, you will make your property more appealing to anyone who checks out the MLS or comes by for a showing.
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage
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