As any avid watcher of home improvement shows knows, not all renovation projects are created equal, or at least are not equally likely to recoup their cost at resale time. Remodeling Magazine, for instance, states that homeowners may not expect to get a significant return on their investment for a major (upwards of $50,000) kitchen or bath remodel. A minor kitchen or bath remodel, however – installing upgraded countertops, new tile, or contemporary fixtures – may return as much as 92 percent at resale.
Buyers want an attractive home, but they also value low maintenance. Installing a pool, the epitome of upkeep, is rarely worth it. Improvements truly appreciated by buyers include upgrades to basic household systems like heating/cooling, energy efficiency, and projects affecting routine maintenance. New siding, replacement windows, and upgraded HVAC systems are almost always value investments.
Beyond considerations of value, there are other factors to consider when remodeling and updating a home. We all want to live in homes that make us feel at ease. We want to feel proud of our homes, and we want our homes’ aesthetics to match our preferences. Sometimes outdated kitchen appliances, torn linoleum flooring, and shag-carpeted bathrooms just don’t cut it. That said, when considering a remodeling project, it is important to keep in mind the potential downside of choosing trendy features over timeless ones.
Kitchen trends that are here to stay include stainless steel appliances, high-end cooking appliances, neutral colors, wood or tile flooring, and eco-friendly materials. Some trends that are surprisingly “on the way out” include granite countertops and farmhouse sinks. That’s not to say that you can’t opt for a farmhouse sink if you really love it. Homeowners need to find the right balance between what makes them happy in their homes, and potential effects on resale value. If you plan to stay in your home for a number of years, feel free to personalize your space as you wish. More than 70 percent of purchasers of existing homes have plans to remodel from the time they sign on the dotted line at closing anyway. If selling your home is likely to be a reality in the short term, however, prioritizing timeless and neutral renovations over personalized, quirky, and trendy ones will likely get you more bang for your buck.