Returns on Investment When Updating Your Home

For years, any HGTV fan knows that one of the best ways to add value to your home is to do some updates for a return on investment. But what’s the sweet spot between needlessly spending money versus maximizing the value? Further, as the owner, we’re sure you’d like to get some benefit of the remodels as well!

An interesting note about upgrading your home is regarding how hot the market is. In a “cold” market, where homes aren’t selling quickly, you may be worried about the home selling at any price. In a market such as Chicago’s, where multi-offer situations are frequent and homes are practically flying off the streets, renovating to sell can be a big factor.

Here are some Chicago experts weighing in on what are the best things to update.

Best Return on Investment

Topping this list was actually a surprising one. Over and over, it’s been recommended that the best return on investment for increasing your value is insulating your attic. Alex Burki of @properties says, “There are some things about owning a home that are not sexy or fun. But they are so important. Things like insulation and maintenance of mechanicals are so important for the life of your home. Not only will proper insulation make your home more comfortable, it will save you a ton of money in heating and cooling costs.” Elizabeth Avila of Baird & Warner also educates us that this process, “also prolongs the longevity of your roof.” The average cost for this project is about $750, making this a great return on investment!

Easiest DIY Return on Investment

The easiest DIY return on investment that’s been recommended is landscaping. Avila explains, “Simple landscaping is relatively cheap & easy, and can really make a difference on the curb appeal of your home in just one afternoon.” Burki agrees, suggesting to “hang photos, artwork, or do some landscaping.” By stopping at your local Menard’s or Home Depot, this project is simple to take care of over a weekend.

Return on Investment to Avoid

Not every update or project is a good idea, especially if a seller is on their way out. Burki explains, “I often don’t recommend that sellers do any major repairs as they’re on the way out. Things like drain tile, roof, furnace, etc are not [usually] a consideration when pricing, or [you can] offer a credit to buyers.”

Most Disruptive Return on Investment

Probably no surprise here, but updating your kitchen is the most disruptive activity. Burki confirms, “kitchen remodels are the hardest projects to complete.” Avila corroborates, “You’ll be without any use of your kitchen for 3 weeks, and even longer to have it completely finished.”

Return on Investment in Kitchens

However, just because it’s disruptive doesn’t mean it’s not an important upgrade to do. Avila explains, “kitchens and bathrooms sell homes! Prior to investing a lot of money into your bathrooms/kitchen, you’d want to consider home values in your neighborhood to ensure you’d be able to recoup the money when you sell.” A great way of doing this is to consult your real estate agent, who will have some advice on taking this project on.

As a final piece of advice, Burki says “If the home needs a lot of work and the owner is looking to sell now, it’s advisable to price it right given the condition. There are plenty of buyers looking for a fixer-upper that will allow them to put their own touch on it.”

Updating your home to enjoy or to sell can bring great returns on your investment. As all things, however, do your research and maybe consult an expert! Need help finding one? Use our tool to find the perfect one for you.

Katie Beutler

Katie is the Communications & Operations Associate at Truepad

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