Even if you’re not planning to sell your house any time soon, you might be wondering if you’ll eventually get any financial return from all the work you’re having done. This depends pretty heavily on what projects you do and how you do them, but with some careful decision-making there are some good ways to improve your house and also get your money back.
Minor bathroom upgrades: Simple cosmetic changes, like refinishing cabinets, replacing shower doors, or reglazing tile can make a big difference, although you can often get a good return out of replacing fixtures or vanities.
Landscaping: Any curb-appeal improvements can help you make a better impression, and you don’t have to spend too much to make your house look more valuable. Perennials are often a good investment.
Minor kitchen upgrades: Refaced cabinets, recessed lights, a new floor, or just window treatments can make a big difference when you just need some cosmetic changes. On the other hand, outdated appliances or a layout that doesn’t work might justify a bigger project. You’ll probably only want more expensive granite counters in a high-value neighbourhood where buyers will expect certain finishes.
Paint/siding: A fresh exterior is a lower-cost way to get what can be quite a dramatic effect that helps your house stand out.
Doors/windows: These are another way to help the outside of your house look better, especially if they’ve been neglected in the past. Fixing windows will also help lower energy costs by increasing efficiency. Windows can especially pay off in big cities.
Finished basement: A dry basement will be reassuring to a buyer, and if you spend the money to use the same quality of materials as in the rest of your house, the investment will pay off in adding comfortable, useable space. Make sure to add a good subfloor.
Finished attic: Here again, adding to useable space can be important in a smaller house with fewer bedrooms. Proper insulation will help with utility bills.
Deck: An outdoor living space will be much appreciated in a lot of different markets, and wooden decks get a high return. This is a much more effective choice than a concrete patio or a sunroom.
Family room addition: With a good doorway, and design and material that integrate it well into the house, adding living space can give you over an 80 percent return, particularly in some markets. Make sure it’s properly heated and cooled for year-round use to get maximum value.
Roof: In this case, while a new roof might not increase the price you get, a substandard roof can really hurt you when trying to sell, so it’s still likely worth it if you’re dealing with leaks.
Heating/AC/plumbing: Like with roofs, a buyer will want to take for granted that they don’t have to worry about basic utilities, so they need to be up to par. A good central air system will definitely be worth it in an area with hot summers.
Any of these will help you improve your house for your own use, but will also help increase the sale price you’ll eventually get for it.