At the time of this writing, the real estate market in the U.S. is still red-hot, sizzling with demand as the inventory of available homes remains pretty low. Combine this market dynamic with affordable mortgage rates, and you have an excellent recipe for rising home prices in a healthy, stable market.
But who has the advantage in the residential housing market today? Is it the buyers or the sellers who have the upper hand and the most leverage during negotiations?
To find the answer, look no further than rising home prices over the last year.
At this time in 2020, the median home price in the U.S. was about $257,000. Today, the median price for the same home is about $299,000, a 16 percent year-over-year growth rate, according to data from Zillow.
That’s a significant increase no one can ignore because if you wait too long to buy the perfect property, you’ll most likely pay more for it, especially if a bidding war breaks out between you and several determined buyers.
A bustling market doesn’t necessarily mean that buyers will take any property on the market. So, how can you differentiate your property from the rest? One way is to remodel to sell and make the best home improvement investments that add real value.
Kitchen Makeovers That Add Value
The benefits of renovating to sell are many, but you must remodel a property the right way. Kitchen makeovers are a prime example because it’s easy to go overboard and over budget with too many nice-to-have upgrades that don’t increase the value of the property.
Investing in new kitchen appliances is one of the most secure ways to add value to your home. Installing appliances such as double ovens and a four-burner gas range will help improve the likelihood that potential buyers will pay more for the home you are selling.
Be careful about how you go about kitchen renovations because renovating a kitchen can be expensive. If you have a limited budget, you’ll want to rely on lower-cost updates that add value but don’t break the bank. Some of these updates include:
- Refinishing your cabinets
- Investing in new hardware
- Replacing old light fixtures
- Updating your countertops
- Purchasing a new sink and faucet
The trick is to perform the home investments to make your kitchen look as beautiful as ever and even more functional than before you altered the design. Another home improvement that typically comes with a better return is adding a new bathroom.
Add a Bathroom to Increase Value
Outside of the kitchen, you could also add a bathroom that wasn’t in your original floor plan. Extra bathrooms are considered a “must-have” by some families. Anyone who has lived in a busy, bustling home with a large family will tell you how valuable it is to have a spare bathroom when you need it most.
Some homeowners have had success adding a new half-bath under a staircase. The caveat is that the home’s structure needs to be able to accommodate this type of improvement. So, if there’s plumbing in the way, the staircase idea isn’t a viable option.
Another popular option to increase value is to convert part of a large bedroom into a separate bathroom or another half-bath as an add-on. An en suite bathroom can boost your selling price because it affords convenience and added privacy.
Either way, the objective is to make the home more functional and appealing to buyers.
Give Your Garden a Makeover
Many homeowners choose to invest in a landscape upgrade because it can add value and curb appeal to their home. Similar to kitchen renovations, updating a garden can go overboard if the improvements chosen won’t appeal to the buyers you want to attract, or if they add unnecessary maintenance to the property.
A low-risk home addition that adds value is a deck. It’s one of the best outdoor home improvements you can make because it provides a nice space for entertaining as well as an area where the homeowner can relax with friends and family. A deck that is in good and safe condition is a smart addition because it:
- Increases the square footage of your property
- Is normally less expensive to add to your home
- Provides an aesthetic appeal to the home
- Creates functional options for outdoor living
Simple home garden improvements include sprucing up your landscaping with vibrant plants and a freshly mowed lawn. You can also consider adding lights to a path or incorporating water features as small but impactful remodels to help sell your home.
Exterior Home Improvements
The most effective home improvements that increase the value of your home will usually be interior renovations. Still, exterior renovations help boost curb appeal to an already attractive property.
Adding new fencing, windows, or exterior paint are popular outside improvements that can improve your home’s value. Your budget and the condition of the house will determine the type of exterior renovations you choose. If you have a tight budget, updating a coat of exterior paint for an extra couple hundred dollars could make a big impact on potential buyers.
A new roof, on the other hand, can add thousands of dollars to your home’s value. High-quality roofing materials like slate or metal are long-lasting and appealing. You’ll want to avoid flashy materials that may turn off potential buyers or clash with the exterior of your home.
If there are repairs needed for the exterior of your home, it’s best to prioritize them before listing your property on the market.
Install Closet Systems
A new trend you might want to consider is installing a closet system in your home’s bedrooms. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a motorized wardrobe carousel but even straightforward improvements can influence homebuyers.
For example, you could install a shelf and cabinet system that wasn’t in your original floor plan, and customize it to fit the space. You could buy closet systems out-of-the-box with no customization, or you could choose a semi-customizable setup.
Installing a “his-and-hers” style closet may appeal to couples, or you could go the other direction and customize closets for children. The general idea is to put genuine effort into making the home more comfortable and more versatile than before.
Optional upgrades like this often indicate good home maintenance. When buyers are looking at pre-owned homes, they want to know that the owners have kept up with regular maintenance. Without a full home inspection (which typically occurs after an offer is made), homebuyers will rely on their instincts.
Highlight Original Features
Highlighting your property’s original features is another top tip to add value in a seller’s market. Especially if the home is an older model that was already renovated when you bought the property. For instance, you could have inherited a house, and you’re looking to sell as fast as possible.
The good news is that a particular segment of buyers has a genuine affinity for nostalgic, older homes with original features. For example, if your home includes a wrap-around porch that you’ve let fall into disrepair over the years, a few simple upgrades can do wonders for curb appeal.
Update Old-Fashioned Plumbing Fixtures
Lastly, another excellent investment is to update any old-fashioned plumbing fixtures that make the home look and feel older than it actually is. An updated sink or faucet combined with new pipes in the bathrooms throughout the house not only improves the look of your home but also increases its value and appeal to buyers.
Choosing high-quality materials for the pipes in your home will add a lot of value to your property. Copper pipes are considered the best option as they resist rust, corrosion, and leaks.
Some homeowners choose to update their entire bathroom in order to have a considerable impact on their home’s value. It is one of the most expensive but effective ways to achieve a higher selling price.
Secure a Home Renovation Loan with A and N Mortgage
Ultimately, when you remodel a house before putting it on the market, you increase your chances of selling your home faster. Whether you’re looking to invest a sizeable amount of money in long-term remodels or simply give your home a strategic “face-lift” with smart and manageable upgrades, we recommend considering the tips discussed here.
For quality financing options that will put you on the right path for maximizing your investment, contact A and N Mortgage today at (773) 305-LOAN. Our mortgage experts will be happy to assist you with your goal of selling your home in a thriving real estate market.
A and N Mortgage Services Inc, a mortgage banker in Chicago, IL provides you with high-quality home loan programs, including FHA home loans, tailored to fit your unique situation with some of the most competitive rates in the nation. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, relocating to a new job, or buying an investment property, our expert team will help you use your new mortgage as a smart financial tool.
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