5 Renovations to Help You Sell Your Home and Recoup Costs

Jeff SeehorschSeptember 13, 2018

There are plenty of ways to make your home more attractive to potential buyers when you decide to sell. But when it comes to remodeling, the money you put in cannot always be recouped. Ultimately, you want to improve your home with upgrades that pay for themselves, or at least come close. Check out the following renovations for some of the safest bets to get a solid return on investment.

1. Update your Exterior

The first thing buyers typically see will be your home’s exterior, so consider making a strong first impression with some cost-effective projects. Replacing your garage door and entry door are both great ways to help your home stand out and recoup costs when you sell your home. The same goes for new vinyl siding, which can help make your home look good as new.

2. Sculpt Your Landscape

There’s more to curb appeal than a sharp home exterior. A well-kept lawn and a variety of flowers showcasing different colors and textures have the power to transform the way a home looks. If you’re short on greenery, you can also buy a sapling or two without breaking the bank. So long as you don’t get too carried away creating a resort-style paradise in your back yard, you should be able to get back much of what you spend.

3. Replace Your Windows

Many home buyers are on the lookout for energy efficiency and long-term cost savings. Why not give them what they want without breaking the bank? Swap out old, single-pane windows with Energy-Star rated replacement windows. Not only are you likely to recoup much of the cost – especially if you live in a big city – you should also save in energy costs each year and potentially qualify for a energy tax credit.

4. Update Bathrooms

Outdated bathrooms can be a big turnoff for potential home buyers, but you don’t have to launch a major overhaul to turn a weakness into a strength. Updating fixtures like door handles and drawer knobs costs little but can make a big difference in how modern your bathroom feels. Rather than pouring thousands into a new tub, consider reglazing for a fraction of the cost. And if you’re dealing with grimy grout and caulk, you can buy both for cheap to help freshen things up.

5. Refresh Your Kitchen

A minor kitchen remodel generally includes improving the sink and fixtures, countertops, cabinets, cooktop and flooring. You should be able to get back most of what you spend as long as you carefully consider the materials you use. Based on the overall cost of your home, if you choose to install granite or marble counter tops, will you be able to recoup that money? If you’re thinking about resale value, the goal should be to improve outdated or damaged features with sensibly priced upgrades.

When in Doubt, Go Small

Many factors affect the return on investment you’ll get from a remodeling project – from where you live to which materials you use. But in general, less is more. Pouring $50,000 into a brand-new patio or additional bathroom can put you $25,000 in the red. Instead, consider adding an entry door for $1,500, which can positively impact how potential buyers view your home and get you back a large chunk of the cost. Return on investment shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when you think about renovating. After all, you want to enjoy living in a home of your own design. Just keep the cost in mind, so your savings account doesn’t take a huge hit.

Jeff Seehorsch

The Rocket Homes blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.