Your home is one of your most valuable assets and greatest investments. As a homeowner, you rightfully take great pride in owning it, taking care of it, and making it your own to match your lifestyle.

Your home sweet home is just that; the special place that you’ve chosen to live, grow, and create memories. Regardless of what year it was built or how long you’ve lived in it, the age of the home will inevitably increase, and its age will get harder to hide as years pass by.

Over time, you’ll begin to notice normal wear and tear on your home, and you’ll be responsible for making necessary updates, repairs, or renovations to keep it feeling fresh and in tip-top shape. Showing your home some love by putting extra money into it—whether by choice or obligation—isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can work to your advantage, especially if you’re planning to sell in the future.  

Home improvements are intended to give your home a fresh, updated look, while simultaneously maximizing its value. And, with any luck when it comes time to sell, you’ll be able to list it at a higher price point and line your wallet with more cash at closing. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the updates that were completed and appreciate the hard work that went into them as long as you continue living there.

You’ll want to choose your home improvement projects wisely, though, because not all projects will boost your home’s value. Follow along to learn about what projects can increase your home’s value.

Cook up a Kitchen Renovation

Let’s talk indoor upgrades starting with the heart of the home: the kitchen. Kitchens are usually the most beloved room of the house because it’s the one location where friends and family come together (plus, it’s got all the grub!).   

Kitchens are a major selling point when it comes to what buyers are looking for in a home. If you’ve ever watched one of those homebuying shows on TV, you’ll almost always hear the buyers say something along the lines of, “I’m looking for an updated, open-concept, spacious kitchen with an appealing design.” And let me tell you, that’s not just for show—it’s reality; it’s what people want! Outdated kitchens may scare buyers away because of the upgrades that may be needed and the price tag that’s associated with it. Buyers would prefer having a fully renovated kitchen with the work already done for them.

Take time to evaluate your kitchen and consider things that buyers may be paying close attention to like the layout, lighting, appliances, flooring, cabinets, countertops, islands, and backsplash. Then, determine whether or not you can afford to make one (or more) of those upgrades to make your kitchen more attractive to buyers. You don’t even need to go all out—think of what refinishing and repainting your cabinets or adding new hardware or light fixtures could do to give the room a whole new look.

Give Your Bathroom a Makeover

Like kitchens, if you’ve got an outdated bathroom (think pink and blue tiled bathrooms) or not enough bathrooms, it can deter buyers from purchasing your home.

Think about your home as it is now. Could it benefit from the addition of a half-bath? Could your master bath use a facelift? Think about upgrading the flooring, adding double-sink vanities, or getting a brand-new shower or deep soaking tub. Or, consider making smaller changes like adding a rain shower head, changing cabinet hardware, and upgrading light fixtures. You can also take it a step further and create the illusion of a more spacious bathroom by simply adding mirrors!

Finish Your Basement

If you’ve got room in your budget to finish your basement, do it! A finished basement instantly increases the value and square footage of your home. The additional livable space allows buyers to use their imaginations for whatever they envision it to be—a movie room, home gym, or “man cave.”

Transform Extra Rooms

Got an extra room in your home that’s being used as a catch-all or storage space? Give it a whole new meaning by turning it into a bonus room of your choosing instead. You could make it more “homey” by transforming the room into a dedicated guest room/extra bedroom/nursery, an office, or a kids’ playroom.

The Magic of Curb Appeal

Now let’s talk outdoor upgrades. The outside of your home is the very first thing people see. Curb appeal leaves an impression on buyers and sets the tone for what to expect inside before ever stepping foot inside.

Outdoor projects that give off good curb appeal can be as simple as cleaning up the outside so that it’s free from weeds and overgrown trees/bushes. Resealing your driveway or replacing your garage door are other affordable options, and, once complete, they’ll give off a crisp, clean look.

You can also go bigger and bolder by adding a front porch, deck, or patio to serve as a nice outdoor entertainment space.

Not All Projects Deliver the Same Result

It’s important to concentrate on projects that’ll give your home the most bang for your buck. Here are some home improvement projects to be aware of that won’t add value to your home:

  • Swimming pools and hot tubs

  • Garage conversions

  • Solar panels

  • Roofs

  • Luxury upgrades (marble or heated floors, saunas, etc.)

  • Extensive landscaping

While some of these projects may personally appeal to you and your style, they won’t give you a return on your investment. And some, like swimming pools, can actually be off-putting to buyers worried about the additional expense and upkeep.

Bring Your Upgrades to Life

You may be seeing a lot of dollar signs for these projects, which can be a little overwhelming, but the return should be greater in the long run. If you’re still unsure, though, that’s okay! You can always consider more cost-effective projects like interior and exterior painting. Painting is a simpler project (you can do it yourself or hire professionals) that’ll transform the entire look and feel of your home for a more affordable price. Pro tip: stick to colors that are lighter and more neutral to help make the space feel open, bright, and appealing.

Whatever projects you decide to move forward with, just be sure they are comparable to your home’s value and right for you, your budget, and your wallet.

If you’re ready to bring your upgrades to life, look no further than GOLD to lend a helping hand. We’ve got home equity and personal loans that could help you fund your renovation project(s). Not sure which is the better fit for you? Check out this helpful blog post that talks through the differences of each. 

Darian Phillips

Darian Phillips

Darian is the Vice President of Lending at GOLD. She is responsible for directing and coordinating lending operations within the credit union. She implements and manages changes and improvements that improve our Members' overall experience. Darian loves being able to help our Members achieve their financial goals, whatever they may be. 

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