Regardless of where we live or what kind of home we have, we all daydream of ways we can improve our sanctuaries. Perhaps we consider adding a rainfall shower head in the master bath or a vivid backsplash in the kitchen. We may dream bigger and fantasize about building a luxurious home theater or creating a perfect patio for entertaining friends. Whenever we contemplate such projects, we can’t help but wonder about our return on investment (ROI).
A high ROI means the investment’s gains compare favorably to its cost. Some homeowners want to feel confident that their ROI is worth it, but for others, ROI is not the primary factor – they go forward with a project because they know it will bring them joy.
According to Nicci Perkins, owner and managing broker at Custom Moves Real Estate Services, there are certain rooms that, when updated, consistently yield a high ROI – particularly kitchens and bathrooms. The extent to which you make upgrades depends on the price point of course.
For homes in the $80,000 to $120,000 range, Perkins suggests painting cabinets a neutral shade and installing new hardware. Replacing tired or faded countertops with a laminate is also a good choice. For homes priced at $200,000 or above, homeowners may need to replace cabinets and go with granite countertops. When it comes to appliances, Perkins says the most important factor in a higher-priced home is to be sure they match and are all the same brand. Even in lower-priced homes, appliances should be the same color.
“Let’s not have a black refrigerator, a white stove and a stainless-steel microwave,” Perkins says.
There’s no need to get fancy on tech trends either, since not everybody will want a transparent refrigerator door or appreciate receiving notifications from their appliance when they are running low on milk.
“Techy stuff can scare some buyers,” Perkins says.
As far as flooring, carpet is passé due to allergies and the fact that it’s hard to keep clean.
“I recently showed a house built in the 1960s that had pink carpeting throughout,” Perkins says. “We pulled that up to reveal beautiful hardwood floors, and once we did that it sold right away.”
She’s found that most buyers aren’t leaning towards honey oak flooring, but rather prefer a grey wash or hickory color.
Only invest in certain upgrades like a home theater or a hot tub if they really matter to you, because not everyone wants one. However, certain improvements like outdoor entertainment spaces are a great investment as they appeal to the masses.
“A fire pit or any kind of outdoor experience where people sit around and cook out – everybody loves that,” Perkins says.
Speaking of the outside, when it comes to home resale, you must pay attention to curb appeal.
“Keep everything neat, bushes trimmed, and put in slow-growing plants that won’t overtake your lawn in a couple of years,” Perkins says.
Don’t forget to power wash the siding and the sidewalk to remove mold, mildew and algae. This is key given that many buyers make up their mind about a house as they are walking up to it.
“If the yard or outside of the house is a mess, they assume that the inside will be a mess too,” Perkins says.
Keep windows sparkling, clean the baseboards and take care of minor repairs. Perkins recalls a house that had adorable pictures online, but when she and her clients went to see it in person, it was a disaster.
“There were holes in the walls from door handles, a ring around the top of the room that had not been painted, and broken doorknobs,” Perkins says. “Believe me, if a potential homebuyer opens a door and the doorknob falls off, they’re ready to leave.”
Accent walls were once super popular and many people still like them, but again, they are taste-specific. Perkins notes that when it comes to ROI, a shiplap wall is safe because it’s white and timeless.
“Wood-toned shiplaps are fine too, if it goes with the overall look of the home,” Perkins says. “If the home is modern-contemporary, would a wood shiplap go in there? Probably not.”
In today’s market, even outdated houses sell as long as they’ve been properly maintained.
Homes from say the “70’s”, which I lovingly refer to as “little ‘ol lady” homes, have been maintained well and are in good overall condition, are easier for buyers to update.
Custom Moves Real Estate Services is located at 1428 South Main Street, Suite 2 in Kokomo. For more information, call 765-271-9088 or visit custom-moves.com.