Home renovations can be an expensive and time-consuming commitment, and whether you plan on staying put for the long haul or flipping the house right away, it's worth knowing which renovation projects will provide a return on your investment. If you are looking for affordable ways to add value and curb appeal to your home, consider some of the renovations below.
Replace the Front Door
Your front door is one of the first things that prospective buyers will see, and overlooking the importance of that first impression can mean leaving lots of money on the table when it comes to negotiating a sale. A replacement steel entry door is relatively inexpensive, energy-efficient, safe, and low-maintenance. Don't go overboard on ornate designs or loud colors - simple doors with clean, minimalist design are currently trendy, and you don't have to worry about them going out of style.
Apply New Paint
One of the best ways to boost your home's value is to freshen the exterior and interior paint, especially around the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room. As with most renovations, the key is to keep it subtle, with gentle, neutral tones. Unlike other renovations, paint is cheap enough that playing into current interior design trends can pay off - for instance, warm gray or sage accent walls are experiencing a surge in popularly, so if you're looking to sell right away, a few coats of paint might help clinch a sale.
Get Rid of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding has long since fallen out of favor, and while it's undeniably cost-effective, many of today's prospective home buyers think it looks cheap. An inexpensive alternative is manufactured stone veneer, which comes in a wide variety of textures and colors that do a good job of replicating the look of natural stone at a much lower cost and weight. Veneers are also more fire-resistant and require less maintenance, which can be leveraged as another selling point.
Develop a Green Thumb
When sprucing up your home for resale, don't neglect the lawn. Data suggests that simple lawn care, such as applying fertilizer and pulling weeds, can be one of the best returns on investment a seller can make. A green, well-trimmed lawn and backyard makes a great impression, but avoid the temptation to do too much - elaborate fountains, water features, and paver stones aren't necessary, and won't hold their value.
Swap Out the Carpets
If you're selling a home that you've lived in for more than a few years, it is likely that your carpets have some staining or thin patches. Instead of replacing them, consider making the switch to hardwood floors, which are almost universally preferred by buyers. Engineered wood flooring uses a veneer of real hardwood over structural plywood, making it attractive and sturdy at a fraction of the price.
Younger buyers are accounting for more and more of the home-buying market, and one relatively inexpensive way to boost your home's appeal among that age group is to install some high-tech hardware. Programmable thermostats, smart lighting, and electronic locks are all smart investments that will typically pay for themselves while attracting more attention from buyers.
Renovating a home is a serious commitment, and it's easy to go overboard on upgrades that don't improve your home's resale value--or, in some cases, even hurt your chances of making a sale. While no renovation is ever guaranteed to boost a home's sale price, the projects above provide the best returns on average.