Tuesday, February 26, 2019 / by Dennis Isip
If you’re going to spend significant time and money to do some home renovations, you want to avoid the single biggest mistake that home sellers regret. It can possibly cost you double or even triple the cost of the actual renovation itself.
But before we get to that, let’s have a quick rundown of seven of the best projects that will net you the most Return On Investment (ROI).
The actual costs will vary depending on the amount of work you do yourself, and the quality of materials that you use. In general, here is a prioritized list in the order of what is least expensive, relative to what is valued by most buyers.
1. Minor Bathroom Remodel
What Is Included: replacing the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures will give your outdated bathroom a welcome face lift!
2. Upgraded Landscaping
What Is Included: Many homeowners will hire a professional for help with landscaping if they don’t have a green thumb to add pops of color with flowering shrubs or trees, install a flagstone walkway, planters, fresh mulch and more!
3. Minor Kitchen Remodel
What Is Included: If your kitchen’s floor plan is good but requires a cosmetic update, refacing cabinets, adding a new countertop, and under cabinet lighting is a great start.
4. Exterior Improvements
What Is Included: Outdoor spaces add curb appeal and a place to enjoy all your new landscaping. You may need to repaint your home or invest in vinyl siding. A new front door can add a welcoming feel.
5. New Roof Install
Signs You May Need A New Roof: Shingles are missing, curling up, or covered in moss. The sun is shining through your attic. You notice stains on ceilings or walls. Your energy bill is sky high.
6. Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing them is a no-brainer. You won’t regret adding new hardwood floors to your home either.
7. Patio or Deck Install
Outdoor spaces add curb appeal and a place to enjoy all your new landscaping. Why not add a new patio or deck?
So after looking at the potential costs and establishing a budget, let’s look at the reasons why we’re renovating to begin with.
Usually, homeowners like to customize the space to accommodate their lifestyle. However, they have to be very careful against modifications that are exclusive to their personal tastes and needs. Homeowners have to make sure that any changes they make will also appeal to most other people: potential buyers of their home down the road.
One of my clients had a beautiful 1-acre property, impressively landscaped, including a spectacular water fountain. In addition, it had a view and access to the Spokane River.
Unfortunately, the interior of the house had a weird layout. My client was a middle aged couple with no children, other than pet dogs.
To open up the master bedroom to the beautiful view of the river, they tore down one of the bedroom walls that leads into the sunroom. The sunroom itself has picturesque floor to ceiling windows, and it was directly accessible from the hallway connecting to the kitchen.
In other words, the master bedroom had no privacy, because it was openly accessible from the main living area. Of course, it was perfect for my sellers; but not very appealing to potential buyers who walked through for the showings.
There were a lot of very interested buyers, but most did not bother to make an offer because of the unusual floor plan. Eventually, we found a buyer who was willing to overlook the layout, because the waterfront access was more important to them.
Unfortunately for my sellers, the cost of this mistake was not getting multiple offers, which resulted in settling for an offer that was $40,000 less than the asking price.
The biggest cost of a home renovation, is not necessarily the cost of the construction itself. If the remodeling turns out to be extremely unusual, and it doesn’t appeal to many buyers, the cost could be accepting a reduced price in the sale of the house.