Home Upgrades Offer Wide Range of Return on Investment

Eric Stewart May 4, 2018

Return on investment (ROI) is often top-of-mind when people make home improvements. What is “worth doing” and what isn’t?


If you’re not expecting to sell soon, first evaluate whether you will use and enjoy the upgrades you’re contemplating. If you love home-cooked meals and spend considerable time in the kitchen, go ahead and invest in that Viking stove and top-of-the-line double oven. If cooking isn’t your passion, a better investment might be a new roof or an upgraded furnace. Replacing roofs and windows can provide an ROI of 80% or more at resale.

If you live in an older home with only one bathroom, is your money better spent updating that bathroom or building an additional bathroom? It depends on your market.

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Do your research or – better yet – talk to a realtor who knows your local market. Some markets favor large, walk-in showers, while others favor jetted soaking tubs. Often, you are more likely to recoup your money on fundamental aspects of a house, such as new siding, than on major remodels of kitchens or bathrooms.

Here are helpful guidelines to follow:


The average cost for cleaning and decluttering is approximately $1,000-$2,000, but the ROI can be nearly $6,000-$7,000. This is mostly an investment of your time, but let the numbers above keep you motivated! The objective is to allow potential buyers to envision their own families and furniture in your home, which is hindered when every corner is filled with your belongings.

Multi-generation family taking a selfie on digital tablet in living room at homeWe have excellent tips for downsizing, including how to preserve the memories of the items you purge. Every possession has only five possibilities: keep, donate, give to family, sell, throw away. To help you decide whether to keep something, ask yourself: Do you love it? Do you need it? Do you use it? If you answer yes to at least two of those, allow yourself to keep it. Otherwise, consider passing it on.

If you have an item you know needs to go, but it has sentimental value, pull out your cell phone and take a photo or video of it before you get rid of it. This is an effective way to preserve the memory without the item taking up space in your home for years to come.

Focus on horizontal and vertical spaces

happy young couple relax after painting white wall in green and blue color in their new homeFloors, carpets, walls, and windows are extremely important to the overall appearance of your home. If you need to sell soon, we suggest painting walls, cleaning windows, repairing holes in drywall, and removing carpet stains. Repair damaged hardwood floors and cracked tiles in bathrooms and kitchens.

According to HomeGain, repairing damaged flooring can cost $1,500-$1,700, while carpet cleaning costs around $400. Painting the interior may cost $4,500, depending on your square footage. But keep in mind that tending to vertical and horizontal surfaces can provide a 200 percent return on investment.

Ultimately, the value of your home will be determined by multiple factors, including style, size, location, market history, condition, and lot, so a buyer’s decision won’t be based on one major remodel. If your home is valued around $200,000, and you invest in a $50,000 remodel, it may not increase the value of your home, and that’s a huge risk to take if you don’t spend many years enjoying the upgrade before selling.

Our team of real estate experts has the experience and training to advise you on upgrading, preparing to sell, and setting the right price for your property. Our daily exposure to the local market means we know what buyers are looking for and how to market your home to appeal to them.

We are offering classes next week in Maryland and Virginia to teach you how to put in $1 and get $2 back, the importance of market timing, and more.

Get started by downloading our Market Ready Guide by clicking the link below!

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