Investing In Your Home Which Updates Return Best

Investing In Your Home Which Updates Return Best



Maximizing your Money and Effort

This is a topic that is very near and dear to me. 

How do you increase your home's value and what projects should you tackle that will bring you the best ROI (return on investment)? 

Many of you know that I invest in real estate and renovate properties.  I have been renovating homes for about 5 years (approximately 90 homes) and have some ideas of what works and what doesn't.  The Renovation Magazine just released its findings for renovations that provide the best ROI.  I always find it interesting to read but I don't agree with their findings.  I know they have access to a large amount of data but I am not sure exactly how they can say a deck or a garage door replacement will recoup 98% of the cost to install.  If you ask me that is a pretty granular detail that is hard to isolate.  If you would like you can check that article out here our you can continue ready my thoughts on the subject below. 

Click here for the Renovation Magazine Story

Granted I don't have the fancy data to back me up in my observations yet but here is the order of operations I use to make decisions on what to spend money on.     

So if you are thinking about selling or just wanting to make your palace prettier here are my suggestions to maximize your ROI.  

1.  Get a Pest Inspection

So often people go to great lengths and costs to remodel and redecorate their home but if you haven't taken care of the dry rot or termites all your efforts could be in vain.  Buyers typically get a pest inspection and will typically want to repairs completed or a credit for those repairs prior to the close of escrow.  In fact these types are repairs are often the reason sales are cancelled.  So I recommend that before you do any remodeling make sure you have a good foundation to work from.  

2.  Take Care of any Health and Safety Items

I know these aren't the exciting things you want to take care of but they will protect your family and will make the home inspection process and the appraisal process much easier and less stressful on you.  Again, most buyers typically expect these types of repairs to be taken care of prior to purchasing the property.  Health and safety items that should be taken care of include water heater bracing/strapping, operational smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, functioning GFCIs, appliances in working order, plumbing leaks, exposed wiring and anything else that may cause someone to be injured by the condition.  This is also a good time to handle those minor deferred maintenance issues like a screen door that keeps falling off the track, caulking around the shower and tub, making sure doors open and close smoothly.   

3.  Curb Appeal

Now that we have all our health and safety items and a clear pest report we have a solid foundation on which we can take care of our more cosmetic items.  Really curb appeal and interior remodeling are on same level in terms of what to focus on but I can't have two numbers twos... 

If your home looks horrible on the outside but beautiful on the inside chances are you won't get people past the driveway to take a peek inside.  Conversely if your home is beautiful on the outside but tired and dated on the inside people will make it in the door but turn around and head back to the car.  I suggest you spend a little time in the front yard improving your curb appeal.  You don't need to spend a ton here either.  Just make sure your lawn is nice and green, add some flowers or shrubs for some color, add some potted plants on the front porch, mulch with bark as needed.  Paint the front door and exterior trim if necessary and repair any loose or damaged fence posts.  Focus on any deferred maintenance and making the front of your home inviting to prospective buyers.  

4.  Interior Paint

Alright!  Now we are on to the interior of the home.  In my opinion the absolute best ROI is interior paint especially if you have non-neutral colors, wall paper or just haven't painted for a while.  Repainting the interior with a neutral color scheme will make your home much more appealing to buyers or perhaps just for your own enjoyment.  An interior paint job should run you about $1.5-$2 per square foot depending on what all needs to be done.  

5.  Flooring

Similar to paint flooring can really make or break the visual appeal and sometimes the smell of a home.  If you have the money and the time focus your efforts on replacing that old worn out flooring.  Generally I like to use laminate in the main living areas, carpet in the bedrooms and tile or even vinyl in the bathrooms.  New flooring and interior paint can dramatically change the way your home looks and smells!  

6.  Kitchen and Bathrooms

Of course we all want an updated kitchen and bathroom but these items can definitely break your bank.  In all reality I wouldn't suggest a typical home owner take on the task of remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms just to sell the home in most cases it just doesn't make economic sense.  You can do some minor updates to your kitchen that won't cost you an arm and a leg that will really make it pop such as  painting those old oak cabinets, adding granite or solid surface counters and updating the hardware.  However, if you really want to remodel your kitchen and bathrooms then do it for yourself.  You know you want to... 

Of course my order of operations won't work for everyone.  Make sure you use your common sense.  If your roof is caving in updating your kitchen and interior paint may not be the best use of your time or money...  Make sure you reach out to a real estate professional prior to remodeling or updating your home if you plan on selling your home.  The market is always changing, styles and trends are never static.  If you need some help or a recommendation of who I use for my renovations just give me a call! 


Justin Cooper - CAL Dre #01911357 Headshot
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Phone: 916-768-6990
Dated: March 1st 2018
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