Renovations: What leads to the most ROI?


Karen Scopetski
Karen Scopetski
“Your Hometown Realtor”
Cell: (508) 380-0112
[email protected]

I recently had this conversation with my daughter who just purchased her first home a few months ago. It is a beautiful place, but it definitely needs some work. She asked me, “Mom, what renovations can we do that will get us the most return on investment (ROI) if we want to sell the house in the future?”

Here are a few of my tips to her that have held true throughout my 30 years’ experience in the real estate business:


Landscaping/curb appeal

This is always number one on my list and it is so easy and inexpensive to update. Even if you don’t have the green thumb, I urge anyone to give it a try! For most renovations you are going to want to hire a professional contractor. However, landscaping is a way you can put your own sweat equity into a house. For example, you will want to weed garden beds, add pops of color with annuals/perennials, trim overgrown bushes, add mulch, and maybe ever create a small flagstone walkway. I promise, you might even enjoy doing it!


Minor bathroom remodel

This is the first project that my daughter and her husband tackled in their new home. With minor bathroom remodels, you are almost always guaranteed 100 percent ROI. Now, this doesn’t mean knocking down walls and changing the plumbing or layout. A minor remodel can consist of adding a new floor, vanity, lighting, toilet and a fresh paint color. A facelift in the bathroom is always a welcome surprise to potential homebuyers. However, when remolding the bathroom, I urge people to always think about resale. That means keeping it clean and simple – nothing that is going to end up chasing buyers away.


Exterior improvements

This is an if-necessary. These projects will get you a good return on investment. If your roof has seen better days, I would strongly suggest looking into replacing it ASAP. Not only can an old roof lead to leaks and other structural issues, but it is one of the first things potential homebuyers look at. Also, adding an outdoor space like a patio or deck can have good ROI.

People love being able to spend time outside in the summer months, and a special place outside could be exactly what homebuyers are looking for. It also becomes an extension on your living space!


Minor kitchen remodel

This is a remodel that I tend to tread lightly around. You really need to consult a real estate professional before any kitchen remodel. This is to make sure the money you put into a kitchen will not exceed what you will be able to get in return.  Most homeowners spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so it is a space they want to make their own. I would recommend looking into painting existing cabinets, adding a new countertop, and maybe replacing the floor.

Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home, or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most return on investment. If you are unsure that the renovation you are considering is a smart investment, consult an experienced real estate professional.



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