The most valuable home improvement is the one that delivers joy to your family right now and increases the value of your home when it comes time to sell. To identify high-value improvements that will benefit your family now – as well as potential buyers down the road – ask what causes you frustration. Does your house feel dated? It could use a fresh coat of paint, new flooring, or upgraded counters. Is your outdoor space not optimized for entertaining? A new deck or patio would be a big improvement. Is there not enough storage and organization? There are many quick and affordable solutions that will increase storage, access, and organization in your kitchen, closets, or garage. Why wait until you sell? Smart home improvement can make life less frustrating and more enjoyable for your family – right now.
My initial advice to homeowners who come to us seeking to make changes to their homes is to spend the largest percentage of their remodeling dollars for their enjoyment and use and not just to focus on how the improvement adds value to the property. That may seem counterintuitive in some instances and is certainly not true in every situation, but overall, if we’re talking about making changes to a personal home, I think people should spend the greatest percentage of their remodeling dollars on improvements they will use and enjoy on a daily basis. As for trends in improvements, we continue to see homeowners seeking connectivity in their indoor and outdoor living spaces. Kitchens are still the communal gathering spaces they have always been. Gracious keeping rooms or lounge spaces adjacent to cooking and prep areas are still popular, but we are also seeing an uptick in the desire for home offices or spaces that are more easily isolated to support working away from the hustle and bustle of daily family interaction. As for exterior improvements, composite decking leads all trends followed by the addition of screened-in rooms, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and other open-air gathering spaces.
Unless your interior is more than 25 years out of date, most experts will tell you that a renovation isn’t likely to add a great deal to the appraised value of your home. That said, a well-coordinated renovation will absolutely make your home more desirable, which will help it sell more quickly. As kitchens and bathrooms see the most activity, we recommend focusing your energy and resources on these spaces. If you’re renovating to sell, you won’t want to spend too much money. Paint, cabinet hardware, and lighting and plumbing fixtures can make a big difference without breaking the bank. You’ll also want to improve curb appeal. Pressure washing, trimming hedges, weeding beds, and planting a few fresh flowers are all low-cost, low-effort upgrades that can pack a big punch.