Contemplating a remodel with a focus on adding value to your home?

Whether you’re trying to compete in a hot real estate market or waiting out a tough economy, increasing your home’s value is a solid plan. But it’s important to understand which home remodels add real value to your home so you can invest in the right projects. 

Here are 7 expert tips to help you upgrade your home wisely and increase your property value in any market.

1. Give Your Kitchen An Upgrade

It’s no secret that a kitchen upgrade is one of the best ways to increase the resale value of your home. But the payoff only comes if you upgrade wisely. The key to a smart kitchen upgrade is to keep your kitchen remodel within 6-10% of your home’s value and select finishes with mass appeal, according to real estate experts.

It’s important to consider comparable properties in your neighborhood, too, and make sure your updated kitchen provides similar amenities. For the right home market, things like luxury appliances, marble countertops, and custom cabinetry not only add value to your home but are essential to prospective buyers.

If you’re working with a smaller budget though, you need to be a bit more calculated with your upgrades. There are lots of ways to improve your home value and get the most bang for your buck — without a complete renovation. 

Some inexpensive kitchen upgrades include:

  • Cabinet hardware — Swap outdated brass and builder-grade elements for something more striking and on-trend.
  • Lighting — Most older kitchens don’t have enough. Strategic under-cabinet and ceiling lights can make the space appear larger. Replace dated chandeliers and pendants for something more streamlined.
  • Countertops — While countertops aren’t cheap, they can provide a high-impact change when you can only afford a partial kitchen upgrade. 
  • Sink and faucet — Get rid of builder-grade stainless and invest in an under-mount sink and a statement faucet. It’s a small detail and price point that won’t go overlooked.

Basically, you want to communicate value to buyers, says Titus Contracting’s interior designer Stephanie Morris: “Do things that you need an expert to finish. People can paint their cabinets in a weekend — take something more substantial off their plate…If you can’t afford a full home remodel, I’d recommend starting with solid countertops and an under-mount sink.” 

When making decisions for updates, be mindful of your buyer. This just means steering away from ultra-personalized finishes and colors. You want to select materials with broad appeal.

2. Update The Bath

An updated bathroom is another important room to consider when trying to add value to your home. The thought process is similar to a kitchen upgrade: cross something substantial off a buyer’s to-do list. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton, though. “You can go buy a stone remnant and a $50 under-mount sink,” Stephanie advises. Cabinet hardware, lighting, and plumbing fixtures are other simple swaps that make a big difference.

If your home doesn’t have an adequate number of bathrooms, however, it’s better to prioritize adding an additional bathroom over upgrading an existing one. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, adding a bathroom can increase your total home value by more than 8.5 percent

3. Expand Your Outdoor Space

If there’s one thing Minnesotans can’t get enough of, it’s summer. So decks, patios, and sun porches — anything that extends or enhances those coveted summer days — brings serious value to your home.

“We have a ton of screen porch projects right now,” says Stephanie. It might feel like a big investment for only a few months’ use, but newer window technologies trap in heat. “It allows you to have a warmer space in Minnesota, for longer. Especially if your sunroom has a fireplace,” she explains. 

So if you’ve always longed for a sunroom addition, it might be a better investment than you think.

4. Freshen Up the Finishes

While it’s not technically a remodel, never underestimate a good coat of paint. Ceilings and walls get dingy and dated over time, and your home is likely to compete against some new construction properties. Choose fresh, neutral shades with broad appeal. Morris recommends warm grey for walls to give your rooms an inexpensive refresh. 

And don’t forget trim. Many Minnesota homes were built in the era of small-scale, honey oak trim; a telltale sign of an outdated space. Consider replacing the trim with something more substantial, or upgrading the finish with a gel stain or white lacquer for a more timeless appeal.

5. Increase Your Footprint

If you’ve got room to expand, an addition is a great option to boost your home value. The National Association of Realtors found that every 1,000 square feet added to a home increased the overall value by at least 30%. Whether you’re increasing the size of a small kitchen, expanding the master suite, or adding on a whole new family room, expanding your home’s square footage is a smart move.

6. Repurpose Underused Space

Most Minnesota homes have basements, but many are under-utilized. This is a huge waste of potential, considering a basement remodel typically recoups 70% of its costs at resale. 

So how could your basement be better used to add value to your home? Consider adding a theater room, a bar area with a pool table, or a playroom for kids. Don’t have extra room in the basement? Take a look at an attic space above the garage or an unused formal dining room. 

Any of these spaces could make a great office space, which is something more buyers are looking for these days. Even before the pandemic, over 5 million people were already working from home at least half of the time. And one study predicted that in the next decade, nearly 75% of departments will have remote workers. As more people work from home, any area that you can dedicate as a private office will increase your home’s value in the eyes of potential buyers.

7. Exterior Upgrades

Don’t forget about your home’s exterior! Siding, window, and roof upgrades can all add value to your home. These upgrades also communicate to buyers that the home has been well cared for. After all, no kitchen or bath remodel is going to make buyers overlook recurring water damage from a leaky roof.

In fact, exterior upgrades like siding and garage door replacements actually outperform most interior remodels when it comes to increasing resale value in Minnesota, according to a cost vs. value 2020 report. Again, this goes back to what buyers are excited to do and what they want to be done for them. 

So don’t overlook the power of curb appeal to add value to your home. Even something as simple as a small DIY landscaping refresh can give you an almost 400 percent rate of return on your investment.

Whether you’re considering a large addition, a kitchen remodel, or a smaller bathroom refresh, our design-build experts are here to help you increase your home value and upgrade your space.
Contact us today to get started! 952-746-7817