Choosing options today for possible resale tomorrow is one perk of buying new. These forward-thinking selections can mean years of enjoyment and accommodating your family and its changes, while making it easier to sell in the future. Adding a well thought-out family/great room or other functional space can be a smart investment and one that does add to the value of your home. Other upgrades and renovations allow little opportunity to recover the costs when it’s time to sell. “Homeowners, be careful how you choose to spend your money, if you are expecting the investment to pay off when reselling you home.”
1. KITCHEN: Put your upgrade money in higher-end kitchen cabinets here and you’ll never regret it. You’ll want your kitchen to be functional, durable, and a joy to be in… since it is where you spend a lot of time.
Semi-custom 42-inch wall cabinets offer a wide range of colors and styles, longer-lasting finishes, lots of storage options, and long-lasting details such as dovetailed drawer joinery and cool hardware. Extra-tall upper cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling and you’ll nab extra storage space, plus you won’t have to dust the cabinet tops. Add a planning desk and roll out trays in the base cabinets, I can already see “resell wow factor.”
As for kitchen colors, most find lighter colors for counters, floors and cabinets because these make the space appear to be larger.
2. FOORING: A hard surface such as hardwood, tile or stone wears better than carpet, looks better, and it will delineate the entry in a very open plan house. Carrying the hardwood flooring through to the kitchen and breakfast area and even through family room is the smart choice, and buyers will pay more for it.
You can’t go wrong with wood. It has warmth and blends with any décor. It’s one of the few materials that just refuse to go out of style. Put it where everyone can appreciate it — living room, dining room, great room, and even, your kitchen. Oak is a failsafe option that’ll always look good but costs less than the more exotic woods.
Though all builders offer many carpet choices, expensive upgrades are not cost effective. The general consensus is that within four to five years, the next buyer won’t keep the carpet, no matter what it is.
While real estate listings still mention “new carpeting throughout” as a sales point, potential buyers can cringe at having wall-to-wall carpeting, due to the growing concern over the healthfulness of carpeting due to the amount of chemicals used in its processing and the potential for allergens. Wall-to-wall carpet is something on which it’s difficult to recoup the costs. Add to that the probability that the carpet’s style and color that you thought “perfect,” might not be someone else’ perfect.
3. BATHROOMS: Even a minor bathroom remodel can help sell a house. Consider replacing a small, damaged, or outdated bathtub with something more modern. Modern claw feet tubs are deeper and more styled than the traditional ones. A large walk-in tiled shower is popular with Baby Boomers. If your house is over 10 years old, you probably have outdated faucets in your bathroom. Look for modern style fixtures with clean lines in colors like antiqued bronze and brushed metal. Update your cabinets and countertops to more neutral, modern colors like a neutral white porcelain or even stainless steel. You can save dollars and help humanity by buying from resellers like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, in Georgetown.
4. PAINT COLORS: Wall treatments are something anyone can do themselves, regardless of skill level. If you have wallpaper in the bathroom, it’s time to upgrade. Most homebuyers are looking for simple paint colors.
For a more styled look, consider painting the ceilings in a complimentary color. Many recent model homes feature painted ceilings in small areas like the bathroom. Choose current paint colors. A fresh, crisp paint job in modern neutrals and tranquil colors like tan, sage green, or charcoal grey shows off your home to best advantage. Hit up the Benjamin Moore color of the year guide and don’t feel you have to avoid all color; just be aware that the bolder your choice, the more likely it is that it won’t agree with someone who may be looking to buy your house.
Remember, don’t stop with the indoors, an overly bright or badly chipped exterior paint may need fluffing, too. So when listing for resale you may have to consider softening your home’s color palate for the best sales advantage.
5. NO UPGRADES VS TOO MANY UPGRADES: Once past the foyer, kitchen, and master bath, the next thing buyers focus on is space, and most will chose square footage over other options.
Some homeowners make improvements/upgrades to the property that unintentionally make the home fall outside of the norm for the neighborhood. While an expensive renovation, such as adding a second story with two bedrooms and a full bath, might make your home more appealing while raising your family, it will not add significantly to the resale value if the house is in the midst of a neighborhood of small, one-story homes.
Upgrades should be consistent to maintain a similar style and quality throughout the home. High-quality upgrades generally increase the value of high-end homes, but not necessarily mid-range houses where the upgrade may be inconsistent with the rest of the home. Being a coastal and beach state, Delaware residents spend as much time outside as possible, and buyers may expect a rear deck or patio and perhaps a built-in barbecue; these are upgrades that will pay off in a resale scenario. Consider building a bonus room over a garage that could be a fourth bedroom.
Don’t overlook ceiling fans. They are a smart, low-cost upgrade that add lots of energy-saving comfort. Install Skylights, they’re also “feel good” features that work quietly in the background of daily life, bathing interior space with a soft, natural light. A skylight adds about 30% more light than a window of comparable size.
New Construction Buyers should also invest in a landscaping upgrade. A beautiful yard does encourage potential buyers to take a closer look at the property, but will probably not add to the selling price.
6. DON’T CHANGE THE FLOORPLAN: Consider the resale consequences when deciding to change the builder’s floorplan. If your idea is to make your three bedroom into a two bedroom, consider that most buyers are looking for three bedroom versus two bedroom homes. You home may not fetch the best price with the most popular home amenities.
There is no simple equation for determining which projects will garner the highest return, or the most bang for your buck. Do a bit of research, or consult the advice of a qualified real estate professional, to avoid costly projects that don’t really add value to a home.