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Which Home Improvements Add Value?

Every homeowner wants to boost the value of their real estate. Knowing which home improvements add value can help you make targeted improvements to your home that improve your return on investment.

Not all home improvements are equal. While it can be tempting to pursue older methods of adding value to a home, such as building a pool in your backyard or patio, these methods may no longer be appropriate for current homebuyers. Instead, home improvements ideas that increase the efficiency of your home, boost your living space or increase the longevity of your appliances and fixtures are often prioritized by today’s homebuyers.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Today’s home buyers are acutely attuned to the energy efficiency of modern homes. The trend of going green has firmly extended into the home improvement sector, with potential homebuyers of both younger and older generations paying close attention to the energy efficiency of the homes they are looking at. If you are looking for which home improvements increase value, improving your home’s energy efficiency offers a strong starting place.

Effective ways to boost the efficiency of your home and add value are to install energy-efficient windows, replace existing light bulbs with LED lighting, and consider adding solar panels. These improvements are examples of home improvements that are tax deductible. The addition of Energy Star certified windows can reduce your monthly energy bills by up to 15%, which can offer substantial savings over the lifetime of your home. Keep in mind that transitioning to high-efficiency windows may not pay off in the short-term, but should be a strong investment if you plan on staying in your home for a few years before you sell.

Transitioning to LED lighting is a quick and easy way to both reduce your monthly energy bill and attract homebuyers who are energy efficiency-conscious consumers. LED lighting substantially reduces the energy cost for each bulb in your house, while also offering extended lifespans of over 20 years.

Homeowners can also consider boosting their home’s efficiency by replacing their water heater. Water heating represents a significant amount of your home’s energy consumption, by some estimates as much as 16%. Installing a new, more efficient water heater can attract energy efficiency-minded consumers. 

If you are considering installing a new water heater, you might want to also consider installing a water softening system for your house. A water heater can be particularly prone to the effects of hard water, or water that contains a high content of minerals. The minerals in hard water are left behind as deposits in water heaters, reducing their efficiency and lifespan over time. By installing a water softening system alongside a new water heater, you’ll get the benefits of soft water throughout your whole house and improve the lifespan and efficiency of your water heater.

Boost Curb Appeal

Making your house more attractive is a time-tested method of improving the value of your real estate. Curb appeal refers to making your house more attractive from the street, which will ultimately improve the first impression on a potential buyer. If you are searching for what home improvements add the most value without breaking the bank, you should consider focusing your efforts on your home’s curb appeal.

The key areas to focus on if you want to improve the curb appeal of your house are on your landscaping and outward appearance. Ensure that your landscaping is neat and maintained. If you live in a more arid area, consider transitioning to drought-tolerant plants. Drought-tolerant plants will reduce your monthly water cost and are generally easier to care for than plants that are more sensitive to hot and dry conditions.

If you are redoing your landscaping, don’t forget to update your irrigation systems. Modern irrigation systems are geared towards efficiency while still delivering adequate levels of water to your plants. Savvy homebuyers are keenly aware of where waste occurs, and many will request copies of your most recent utility bills. Adopting high energy-efficient irrigation systems can help you reduce your monthly bills, while also giving you greater control over what gets water and how long it is watered for. 

When you are updating your landscaping, don’t forget to refresh the look of your house. Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint can make a lasting first impression and give life to an otherwise drab exterior space. A fresh coat of paint on the outside of your house can protect your home against the elements while also providing a big boost to your curb appeal.

Keep in mind that while painting your house can boost your curb appeal, to see a return on your investment you will probably want to do most of the painting yourself. Paying a professional to paint your house can cost thousands of dollars, and while it might attract potential homebuyers, it probably won’t improve the value of your home enough to result in a sizable return. By doing the work yourself, your investment is minimized so you save money and you’ll still reap the benefits that a fresh coat of paint offers.

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Update Your Kitchen and Bathroom

The kitchen and bathroom are the two areas that new homeowners will focus on. If you want to improve the value of your home, it’s a good idea to focus your efforts on updating a dated kitchen or bathroom. Updates to these two areas have a strong appeal, particularly to younger homeowners who are well aware that they may need to update kitchens and bathrooms in any older home that they purchase.

For your kitchen, you’ll want to start by making improvements that are both functional and improve the visual appeal of the space. Consider updating your appliances with new, more energy-efficient models. Installing matching appliances is an added bonus, with stainless steel appliances still carrying a high appeal.

When renovating your kitchen, your countertops are one of the most visually striking upgrades you can make. Installing new quartz countertops can make your kitchen pop, while also offering durability and longevity that will appeal to potential homebuyers.

If your home is older, it will be a good idea to upgrade your bathroom fixtures as well. Fixtures such as your showerheads, sink, and toilet are all easy upgrades that can boost the value of your home. As the baby-boomer generation ages, features that improve accessibility like a walk-in shower can be appealing.

The fixtures and surfaces in your bathroom are particularly prone to the impact of hard water, so in order to keep your new bathroom looking clean, you may want to consider transitioning to soft water. Soft water will reduce mineral deposits and scaling on the fixtures and surfaces in your bathroom, minimizing the work required to keep it looking good and boosting the value that your renovations offer.

Updated Systems

One area of particular concern for first-time homebuyers is ensuring that the fundamental systems and structural components of the home are updated and livable. Most first-time homebuyers will have used the majority of their savings on their downpayment, so ensuring that core mechanical features of your home such as your plumbing, heating, and electrical are updated can have a high appeal and be a major selling point.

Alongside core mechanical systems in your house, it may be worthwhile to replace your roof if you are experiencing leaking or damage. Roof replacement can be an expensive proposition, but it can also be a deciding factor between selling a home and having a buyer walk away from a deal. 

If you are considering making major structural upgrades to your house like renovating electrical or plumbing systems, be sure to prioritize systems that offer reliability. You’ll want to be able to point not only to a new system but a new system that has a reputation for reliability and long-term functionality.

Additionally, making targeted updates to your home that improve longevity can offer a boost to your selling power. Foremost among these is changing out aging carpet and installing longer-lasting hardwood flooring, which has a substantial appeal to many homebuyers today.

If you do plan on updating your plumbing and electrical, it can be a great time to install a water softening system for your whole house. If you live in an area with hard water, then you are intimately familiar with the effects of hard water. One area that hard water has a large impact on is your plumbing. Hard water leaves behind mineral deposits which can reduce the flow of water throughout your house over time. Installing a water softening system for your home while you are updating your plumbing will improve the longevity of the improvements you are making and increase the value of your home.

Closing Thoughts

Today’s homebuyers are likely to be more interested in seeing improvements that boost the efficiency or functionality of your home. First-time homebuyers will be attracted to improvements like updated plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. Additionally, focusing your improvements on your kitchen and bathroom first can boost the appeal of your entire home for potential homebuyers, and represent an area where your home improvements are more likely to raise the value of your home. 

If you are looking to improve the value of your home, don’t forget to address your curb appeal. Clean, environmentally conscious landscaping signals reduced maintenance and ongoing costs to potential buyers, while also improving the visual appeal of your home. If you are doing the labor yourself, it can also be a good idea to put a new coat of paint on or around your house. Not only will this make your home more visually appealing, but it will also protect against the elements and reduce potential costs down the road.

It is important to also protect the improvements you are making. Renovating your bathroom or updating your appliances can be a big investment. In order to make the most of that investment, consider protecting your new appliances and fixtures from the damage of hard water by installing a water softening system. Water softening systems address the impacts of hard water, improving the efficiency of your water heater and other appliances over time while also reducing unsightly mineral deposits and scaling.

To learn more about how a water softening system can improve the value of your home, please contact Rayne Water today to speak with a knowledgeable water expert.