It is always an option for you to invest more than you hope to recoup in a sale because you love your house and don't plan to sell it for a long time, but keep in mind some guidelines when making renovation decisions so you can avoid high-cost surprises when it comes time to put the house on the market, because not all remodeling projects are equal. There are four things that make a project have a higher ROI: low maintenance, good or high quality materials and work, energy efficiency and a low cost.
Get a new front door.
The first thing a person notices when standing on your front porch waiting to come inside is likely your front door, which is why it makes such a great ROI home improvement project. It typically costs a bit over a thousand dollars, but the upgrade gives high curb appeal and needs almost no maintenance except for the occasional wipe down. The upgrade will help to save energy if the previous door was old, too, so you're spending a small amount of money to buy the door but saving money long-term and growing your home's curb appeal.
Get a new garage door, too.
While a front door can improve the home's curb appeal, it isn't nearly as noticeable as a garage door. Replacing an old garage door can have a huge ROI based on the convenience it can create, the upgrade in curb appeal and the marketability of an easy to use garage.
Replacing an older door that possibly even manual to an electric garage door that is steel rather than wood can make it easier to operate, it will need less maintenance like painting or sanding and it will be more durable during storms. When an owner wants to buy a house, if the house is still older but has an upgraded garage door, it will bring the house much more appeal than the if the potential owner is imagining having to get out of the car and manually open the garage door every day.
Replace your old siding.
The siding on a house can easily be one of the largest curb appeals when it comes to a house. When a buyer pulls up to a potential home and sees siding that has had water infiltration, cracked caulk or discoloration, that home already is making them rethink their decision to peak inside - even before the buyer has left their car!
According to Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report for Colorado Springs, a report that compares the cost of construction for the most common remodeling projects with the added value that they bring at the time of resale, replacing the old siding, or more specifically replacing the siding with fiber cement siding, can increase the sale value by almost $8,000.
That means you'll recoup almost 60 percent of your costs. Although fiber cement siding is slightly more expensive than vinyl, there is value in choosing fiber cement siding. One of the best brands to use is James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding and it can help to generate the highest ROI when a home is sold. Hardie® boards are engineered for Climate® to resist UV levels, wind, rain, pests and heat.
This is super important because old, worn siding can contribute to a loss of up to 10% of your home's value. That is a huge loss. Heart House is a Colorado Springs Hardie Board contractor and can help to answer questions about the advantages of using James Hardie® Fiber Cement Siding, or if you'd be OK with a typical, lower cost vinyl.
Remodel the kitchen - but only a little.
A full kitchen renovation can cost big bucks, and if you remodel it to your taste rather than just making updates, it could potential be harder to sell the house rather than make it more appealing to sellers.
A minor kitchen remodel has continued to be a great ROI when you consider new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, updated appliances, new countertops and flooring. In fact, in Remodeling Magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value report, minor kitchen remodels beat out high-end kitchen remodels, and has for many years. The kitchen is the hub of the home, so it's an area that an investment can improve life for you, and life for homeowners to come.
Get a wood deck.
Adding a deck or patio can be a great ROI and in a beautiful area like Colorado Springs, there's no question why. During the summer the weather is perfect to relax outside and even in the winter, it can still be a wonderful area to step outside and take in the views of the Rocky Mountains.
A big reason to live in Colorado is outdoor living, so homeowners are looking for ways to spend as much time as possible outside, and a deck fulfills that need. Decks are low in cost, and can immensely improve the ROI of a house as long as you stay within a reasonable budget.
Take advantage of your attic.
Converting attic space into a bedroom or living area is a huge ROI because it increases the living space of the house while keeping remodeling costs under control. Because the attic already exists you don't have to pay for an addition to the house but you are still adding square feet to the area future homeowners can actually use in the future. Especially as families have begun to have multiple generations in one house, enough space and privacy can be super important.
Keep in mind...
When remodeling a house that you'll continue to live in but hope to sell in the future, remember to keep in mind that not everyone will have your style, so it's important to be as neutral as possible when it comes to the home improvement projects you choose. Remodeling can add only a little value when it's done to your taste, so remember that resale value, or even the ability to sell the house, can be affected based on unique decisions you make.
Choosing a home improvement project that will create a big return on investment but won't initially cost an arm and a leg doesn't have to be hard. If you're unsure what improvements could up the value of your house talk with a Colorado Springs home professional to get an opinion on possible improvements needed.