If you’re thinking about selling your property or want to up its resale value down the road, renovating it can make a significant difference in its price.
But not all renovations can boost your Charlotte home’s sales price. Before you start buying supplies and contacting local contractors, step back and plan carefully. Some projects are more effective at increasing home value, while others are better left unadded.
Doing your due diligence and planning smartly can help you decide the best upgrades that will give a higher return on your investment.
Most affordable home improvements for your Charlotte NC property
Here are some home improvements that won't break the bank but can easily add thousands of dollars to your home's worth.
1. Update the kitchen
Homebuyers love a spacious and updated kitchen. Your budget may not allow you to replace all the kitchen appliances, but there are still some things you can do to upgrade the look of the kitchen, making it look nearly new.
- Repaint the cabinets
New kitchen cabinets are expensive. An average kitchen cabinet costs around $100 to more than a thousand per linear foot. If your cabinets are still in good condition, consider painting them instead. A couple of coats of new paint will make the cabinets look new and upgraded.
When it comes to colors for the cabinets, go for neutrals.
Update kitchen hardware
If you want an updated look, remember to also update your kitchen hardware. It may seem like a simple thing but swapping out a dated hardware design can make your kitchen look more updated! Be sure to measure your existing cabinets so you can pick out new hardware that fits.
Add some backsplash
Another simple project that can increase the value of your kitchen, and consequently your home, is adding a backsplash, but only if you will do it on your own. Though kitchen walls are okay, kitchens with backsplash stand out and look gorgeous. Just remember to use dark grout so that water stains don't show.
Update your lighting
Swapping out lighting instantly lifts the look and ambiance of the kitchen. Overhead pendant lighting gives the kitchen an elegant touch and won't break the bank.
Storage is one of the most sought-after features of many homeowners. If your kitchen lacks upper cabinets, installing wood shelves on metal brackets add instant storage and improve the kitchen's visual.
Install a double sink
Did you know that the number one feature many middle-income buyers look for in the kitchen is a side-by-side double sink? That's according to the National Association of Home Builders 2017 Home Buyer Preferences Survey. A double sink increases efficiency in the kitchen, which is something we all want.
Adding a kitchen island
If you have a large kitchen, consider adding a central island. Kitchen islands range from $3,000 to $5,000, so if this is something you think you want, consider buying an already assembled one. Kitchen islands add storage, additional eating space, and more counter space for food preparation.
2. Bathroom upgrades
Second to the kitchen, bathrooms are the next most visited place in the house by home buyers. If your bathrooms are outdated, you should consider updating them for a fresh and modern look.
Before doing any updates, check the entire bathroom to make sure that everything is working properly. Cosmetic changes should be done after you've ensured that there are no plumbing, structural, or electrical damages in the bathroom.
Here are some small things that will add value to the bathroom:
Update bathroom hardware
Replace stained doorknobs and cabinet handles. Bathroom hardware is often neglected because they are small and easy to overlook. If you haven't replaced your hardware since you started living in your home, it is time to do so. Modernize your fixtures to help create a modern appeal to the bathroom.
Update bathroom paint color
You may love the bright and cheerful appeal of yellow walls in the bathroom but buyers may not have the same preference. If you are selling the house, create a bathroom that the buyers can see themselves. Go for neutral colors that brighten the space and make the room look larger.
White, pale white, greige, soft tan, and light gray are some of the colors you can choose to improve your bathroom visual.
Upgrade the shower
If you already have a modern bathroom, a simple update that will increase your home value is switching to rainfall showerhead. This is a trend many homebuyers want.
Increase the size of your bathroom
While it is not impossible to increase the size of the bathroom, it can be difficult to do it in a limited budget. Instead, if you don't usually use the tub, opt to replace it with a glass shower. This will give the appearance of a bigger room.
Install new toilets
If your toilet is already yellow and stained from years of use, replacing it with an energy-efficient model can add value. Toilets range from $100 - $300, and installation cost around $300. For less than a thousand, you have a new toilet which buyers will surely appreciate.
Add a double sink
Homebuyers are constantly seeking ways to save time and minimize stress, and adding a double sink certainly does that, especially when everyone is in a hurry to go out of the house. It also improves bathroom aesthetics and adds more storage space.
More space means more value. Many buyers require storage spaces to keep things organized and clutter-free.
Does your bathroom suffer from little access to natural light? You're not alone. Bathrooms tend to have limited access to natural light, so improving the lighting is very important.
Adding mirror light gives you the best lighting possible so you can clearly see yourself when you are applying makeup, shaving, etc.
3. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows
Energy efficiency is a keyword these days. Not only is it good for the carbon footprint but it also increases the home's value.
Charlotte does not get a lot of snow, but if you notice your home does not stay warm long during the winter, nor retain the cool air in the summer, it is time to replace your windows.
Opt for energy-efficient windows as it can lower energy costs and retain the warm and cool air inside better.
4. Create space.
Homebuyers love homes with open spaces, the seamless blend of living space from the living room to the kitchen.
Remove any non-structural walls that close in the room. This will open up the interior and create a large living space that’s more suited for modern living.
Another way you can create space is by rearranging the furniture. Put the heavy objects close to the walls and as far from the entrance as possible.
5. Clear the clutter.
Remove any unnecessary decorations or furniture. You may not add space to the square footage of your Charlotte NC home for sale, but you can make it appear larger. Store or throw away any unneeded furniture to open up space, making the home look bigger.
6. Paint, paint, paint
This is the oldest trick in the book of home improvements because it is effective. Giving your home a new coat of paint and sticking to neutral colors can do wonders for your home. It gives the impression that your Charlotte NC home for sale is properly kept and well-maintained.
Not sure what paint color to use? Interior designers, painters, and real estate agents suggest neutral tones. For interior colors, go for light gray, beige, oatmeal, soft taupe, and white. For exterior colors, choose greige, gray, and blue.
7. Enhance your home’s curb appeal
Never discount the effect of curb appeal to home buyers.
You have probably heard this a million times, but curb appeal does add value to the home. The first impression is important when you want to attract buyers to your home.
Here are five affordable ways you can add value to your curb appeal:
Spruce up the lawn.
Regular lawn maintenance like watering, mowing, and weeding help improve the quality of your lawn. Small details like edging the driveway and trimming overgrown shrubs create the appearance of a well-maintained lawn, which has a big impact on buyers.
Focus on the front door.
People's attention is naturally geared towards the front door. Paint it with a bright and bold color that will make the home stand out. You can also increase its visual appeal by adding a new lockset or address number.
Add some flowering plants
Professional landscaping can cost thousands of dollars. Instead, go for simple additions like potted flowers, shrubs, and ornamental grasses. They are a great way to add some color to your home and improve the overall appearance of your home.
Clean your home's exterior
Years and years of dust have accumulated in the brickwork, siding, and walkways of your home. Cleaning them or using a power wash will bring them back to their natural color.
Give the roof some love
Roof replacement is expensive and you won't get back the money you'll spend. But you don't need to replace the roof. Sometimes, all it needs is a good cleaning to remove the dirt and moss. This way, you can also see the specific area which needs your immediate attention.
8. Replace the garage door
According to the Home Remodeling Cost vs Value, replacing your garage door is a good investment because it adds value to the property and basically pays for itself. Garage door installation cost ranges from around $700 to around $1,400 according to the HomeAdvisor website. Even if you spend more than a thousand, don’t worry as it has a 97.5 percent ROI.
9. Update your home’s security system
One of the top features many homebuyers are looking for is a smart home, but turning your home into a smart home can be really expensive. Also, smart upgrades don’t necessarily add value to the home. However, they can make your home stand out, be more appealing to buyers, and sell faster.
These minimal home improvements will not cost you much but they can add value to your home’s worth. Remember, your home value is what the buyer thinks your home is worth. Clean, repair, upgrade, and stage for results that add value to your home.
What upgrades won’t increase your home value
Before diving into any home project, consult first with your real estate agent. Not all improvements are equal, and not all improvements add value to the home. Knowing what home updates are detrimental to your home value is important, so here’s a shortlist of home updates that won’t add anything to your home’s equity.
Having a swimming pool in the backyard is a dream for many homeowners. Sadly though, you cannot recoup the cost and expense of a pool. In addition to the building cost, you also have to maintain it. Many buyers consider the building and upkeep cost of a pool too much.
Also, families with small children will rule out any property with a swimming pool for safety reasons.
In your attempt to increase the value of your home, you may overbuild and create a luxury kitchen which may be outside the norm of the neighborhood. This will make your home more difficult to sell. In general, homebuyers don't want to pay $299,000 for a house in a neighborhood with an average sales price of $199,000.
Homebuyers love beautifully landscaped homes, and you can build it as elaborate as you want but don't expect your home's equity to increase because of it. Landscaping designs are subject to the buyers' preference, and homebuyers may not necessarily appreciate the maze, koi pond, and pergolas you added in the yard.
Wall to wall carpeting
You may love carpets, but not all homebuyers share that preference. There is an increasing number of homebuyers who are concerned about the safety of using carpets for health reasons and prefer tiles or wood. You also have to consider that, yes, the buyer may like carpets, but what if they don't like the color you chose?
A new roof or a new HVAC unit won’t really add value if the old ones were functional. Buyers expect the roof to be well-maintained, and the HVAC to be fully functional so they won’t really pay for those features.
When you plan to sell your home and would like to make some upgrades, don’t just add whatever you like. Consider what features buyers are looking for, for those are the ones that will add value to the home. Better yet, consult with a local real estate agent for they know the best features that increase your home equity.
Learn the best renovations for your home. Call me, Nancy Braun, at (704) 997-3794. Let’s discuss the best updates that will boost your home value.