What Projects Add the Most Value To Your Home?

On October 29, 2014

Categories: Home Improvement, Home/Real Estate

It’s a questions on all homeowners’ minds.

If you are spending money on home repairs or updates, what’s going to yield the best bang for your buck when you eventually sell?

In addition to my opinion, I suggest also reading the annual Cost vs. Value Report published by Remodeling Magazine. The site even allows you to specify your city and region, since buyer needs and homes differ depending on the location. Keep in mind, a $5,000 repair rarely translates into a $5,000 higher list or sale price. But it’s still good to know where to spend your money.

Here are the four projects that add the most value to your home:

Kitchen Remodel

I hesitate to put this on the list, because I often hear from buyers their frustration with a soulless kitchen remodel (i.e. what was on sale that week at Home Depot).  That being said, kitchen remodels can vary widely in terms of cost. So let me revise the title to “Moderate Kitchen Remodel.”

Most homes can’t bear a $75,000 update, so stick with new counter tops (avoid laminate or tile), re-painted cabinets with new pulls, stainless steel appliances and a new sink faucet.

kitchen remodel


A fresh coat of paint, both inside and out, can make a big difference. Regularly painting the exterior also has the added bonus of providing a seal against moisture and the elements. If painting the entire exterior of your home is too costly, consider just the trim, shutters and front door. It’s all about upping the curb appeal and making the best first impression.

Light Fixtures

Updating light fixtures provide a much needed face lift to a home. Replacement in the dining room and kitchen are a must (the rooms people often spend the most time in), but definitely consider all of the rooms if the fixtures are dated. Regardless, making sure there is enough light, so the home appears brighter and sometimes bigger, is crucial.

Adding a Bath

This more or less applies to a home that only has one bath. If there is space to add a half bath – under the stairs, converting a closet, adding a wall – it will open up the home to a new subset of buyers and drastically improve a home’s functionality. If space and budget allow, add a full bath. Consider ceramic tile floor, chrome faucet, low flow toilet and updated lighting.

PS: Keep receipts and a running list of work done on the home. When you sell, this is great information to share with prospective buyers and eventually the new home owner.