4 min read

ellipse icon

May 2016

6 Home Renovations That Will Actually Pay Off

There are a few reasons why you may be thinking about renovating your home. Usually the first reason has something to do with disliking the home in its current state. The next reason for renovating is typically because you’re thinking of selling at some point, near or far. Updating your home can increase its value and marketability to give it a better chance of selling, or sometimes repairs are needed because the property won’t sell without fixing. Regardless of which reason leads you to make some changes in your home, you probably want to make the best investment decisions when it comes to renovations. It should not only help your home value and marketability, but also help the value of your lifestyle while you’re living in the home.

Renovations that increase home values

Renovations that increase home values are the sort of renovations that provide a return on your investment by increasing the price of the home.


Kitchen remodeling is at the top of the list for increasing home values. The reason is that kitchens can easily look outdated when previous homeowners strictly follow trending designs or customize it to their tastes too much. They tend to be the priciest fixes too. When someone comes to check out your house and they walk into a dated kitchen, they’ll instantly start thinking about renovation costs. In their mind, the house just went up by $30,000 or more.

The tip is to renovate in a way that makes your kitchen look updated but still have timeless style.

For example, a marble or granite countertop will always be appealing, while an intricate backsplash or very modern design may not be stylish in 10 or more years, especially since “modern” is always changing. You may be surprised to know that you can easily upgrade an average kitchen for around $18,000 with new appliances, countertops, and some paint. You can do it for less than that too. The key is to make minor, timeless kitchen renovations. Because at the end of the day, you want kitchen renovations that help your kitchen look up-to-date, while increasing your home’s value for the long run.


Bathrooms are a runner up. First, get your kitchen squared away, then focus on your bathrooms. And similar to kitchens, also think timeless style but with modern bathroom fixtures. Obviously you need to update things like a shower-head if the one you currently have is small, dingy, or broken. Those are easy and inexpensive fixes. A new tub, on the other hand, is much pricier but can really transform the space. Aside from the tub, other things to focus on would be updating the sink and counter space. The cabinets can easily be updated with some paint and new hardware.

Renovations that increase marketability

Renovations that increase the marketability of the home are the type of renovations that may not exactly increase the price of the home, but will certainly increase the chances of it getting sold. This is especially true if another home in your neighborhood in the same price range is missing these updates.

Front door and garage door

A new front door is surprisingly a popular fix to have for increasing your home’s marketability. You can either get a new door which could cost more than $2,000, or you can update yours with fresh paint and new hardware for a fraction of the price of a new door. Along with front doors, garage doors are also at the top of the list for renovations that increase the chances of your home being sold.

General curb appeal

A little landscaping can go a long way. You may be surprised by how some plants can change the look of your home and make it feel more inviting to homebuyers. It’s the first impression of a house, therefore it sets the tone for the rest of the potential homebuyer’s visit. It’s also a generally inexpensive fix.

Decks and patios

Then there’s the back of the house. Adding or updating a deck or patio is a runner up for outdoor renovations. And although building decks and patios can be hefty projects, it’s possible to cut down on costs by doing the work yourself. While it’s a great asset to have for selling a home, it’s not a must. Plus if you’re living in the home for a while, a great outdoor space just makes spending time with family and friends in the warmer months that much better. So the return isn’t just marketability, but a fulfilling life at home.


Okay so, the look of the house on the outside and inside is incredibly important, but the things that homebuyers don’t necessarily see matter too. Save money by first making maintenance updates depending on the severity and necessity of them, over cosmetic changes. A homebuyer is reluctant to buy a home knowing it needs some serious work, like a new HVAC system, mold problems, water damage, electrical wiring issues, possible broken or rusted pipes, leaky roof, etc.

With that being said, if you’re planning on selling your home, consider having an inspector take a look at it to make sure there aren’t deeper issues that need to be fixed over cosmetic renovations. A homebuyer will be glad to hear that there are no actual issues with the home. Any cosmetic renovations on top of that will only help increase the home’s value or marketability if they’re done right. Make sure to be accurate with your updates to prevent a sloppy job done. Otherwise, you could possibly waste money and receive no return.

Buying a house that needs remodeling?

If you’re buying a home and considering remodeling, be sure you make room in your budget for possible non-cosmetic renovations. Get an inspector you trust, and ask them to be honest with you about a house. Let them know you want to hear the bad news if there is any. If a house needs work, it could possibly bring the sale price down for you. And if you’re still interested in purchasing the house that needs repairs (or you would like to do some upgrades), you could be eligible for a renovation loan that rolls into these costs. Take the advice of your inspector, real estate agent, and a mortgage banker before making your final decision.