5 Home Improvements That Will Increase Your ROI

Tips & Advice Fleur Howgill September 26, 2023

Most homeowners have a home improvement project or two on their wish list. But for a variety of reasons – cost, time – they have not tackled those projects. 

However, home improvement projects take on a greater sense of urgency when owners consider selling the house. That's when they really want to know what renovations will raise house value and which projects to prioritize when putting their home on the market. 

The ROI of Home Improvement Projects

While no home improvement or repair guarantees a higher sell price, the goal of a pre-sale home improvement project is to get the home sold without spending more than the net value of the investment. 

Home improvement projects can be time-consuming and costly but the projects are well worth the temporary inconvenience, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), with insights from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

The NAR/NARI 2022 Remodeling Impact Report looked at 20 projects to determine what raises house value as well as overall homeowner satisfaction. Here are the projects they’ve determined are most likely to lead to a return on investment when selling your home.

  • Installing or refinishing hardwood flooring -- On the interior side, new or refinished hardwood floors ranked as the top projects for recovering costs. NARI Remodelers estimates that new wood floors cost $5,500 while refinishing them costs around $3,400. In both projects, sellers were able to recover more than 100% of their money upon resale (118% in the case of new hardwood floors and 147% for refinished floors).
  • Insulation upgrade – It might not be glamorous, or even visible, but new, updated, energy-efficient insulation sparked joy for homeowners and a return on investment. NARI remodelers estimated the cost at $2,500 and the ROI at 100%. Realtors are much less enthusiastic, with only 3% of those polled saying they recommended homeowners undertake an insulation project before selling.
  • A new roof – When it comes to the exterior of the home, the top project for recovering cost was new roofing. NARI Remodelers estimate that new roofing costs $12,000, and NAR estimates that new roofing helps sellers recover 100% of their costs. In addition, 33% of realtors recommended homeowners put on a new roof before selling.
  • Painting a home’s interior – Painting the entire interior or even just one room is one of the simplest, most cost-effective upgrades a homeowner can make and it’s the most popular suggestion from realtors. According to the report, 48% of realtors recommend sellers paint the entire interior before listing and 38% suggest adding a fresh coat of paint to just one room.
  • Updating a kitchen – Whether it’s a complete kitchen renovation or kitchen upgrade, both projects come with a large price tag and some ROI – but not a 100% return. NARI Remodelers estimate that a complete kitchen renovation costs $80,000 and a seller will recoup $6,000, or 75% of the project’s costs. A kitchen upgrade – replacing worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials – costs around $45,000, according to NARI Remodelers, and homeowners only recover about 67% or $30,000 of those costs on sale.

Projects that Can Increase Your Home’s Value

As you can see, there are a number of home improvement projects that homeowners can consider making if they want to sell their home for the best price and recover their investment. Some of the smallest projects – like new paint, landscaping the front yard, a closet renovation or refinishing hardwoods – can make a big impact on your home’s overall value with today's buyers.

If you are unsure which projects to undertake, talk to an experienced real estate professional. Fleur and Veronique know exactly what upgrades and amenities buyers in the Washington D.C. metro area are looking for. Contact Fleur or Veronique to get started.

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