If you're looking to sell your home at some point down the line, it's worth the time, money and effort to tackle certain home renovations that provide high ROIs. This is especially true if it's a project you can do yourself, as your only costs will be any necessary materials.
Install Floating Laminate Flooring Over Worn Vinyl or Carpet
Tomas Satas, founder and CEO at Windy City HomeBuyer, recommends installing floating laminate flooring as a simple, cost-effective home improvement to make before flipping a home.
"Laminate is cost-effective, not only because it gives you the look of hardwood without the cost and maintenance, but because it saves the cost or trouble of demolition of the old vinyl, as long as the subfloor isn't damaged," he said. "It is the perfect DIY home improvement for anyone who needs to cover a worn vinyl floor and [provides] a great ROI."
He does recommend only making this improvement on lower-cost homes, as high-end buyers might see laminate floors as a dealbreaker. But if your home fits the bill, it can provide a great return on investment.
"The cost runs from about $2 to $4 per square foot without installation," Satas said. "Anyone who can use a chop saw and a tape measure can install this click-lock floating flooring."
Repaint the Interior and Exterior
"Painting has the incredible effect of making a house feel new while costing relatively little," said Donald Olhausen Jr., real estate agent and owner of We Buy Houses in San Diego. "It is also a project that most homeowners can complete on their own."
And the ROI can be very high with a well-done paint job.
"I have seen new paint jobs fetch home sellers $10,000 more than what they would have received without painting," Olhausen Jr. said. "This makes it a great project to do for homeowners looking for a high return on their investment and time."
Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
Davin Eberhardt, founder of the home improvement blog Nature of Home, recommends refinishing kitchen cabinets for homeowners looking for a DIY project with a high ROI.
"With only a couple hundred dollars in painting supplies, it could boost home value by $1,500, giving you an ROI of 650%," he said.
To do this project properly, you'll need to clean, sand and prime the cabinets before repainting them.
"It's important to use high-quality paint so that it holds up over time," Eberhardt said. "While you're at it, replace the hardware to complete the transformation."
Update Bathroom Hardware
"The bathroom is an important room in the house that can have a big impact on its value," said Tyler Forte, co-founder and CEO of freshbuilds, a resource for finding new construction homes. "A well-designed bathroom can make a small space feel luxurious, while a poorly designed one can be a turnoff for potential buyers."
While you may need a pro for a large-scale bathroom remodel, one simple upgrade you can do yourself is to update the bathroom hardware.
"Replace old hardware, like towel bars, faucets and cabinet pulls, to give the space a fresh look," Forte said.
Install Smart Door Locks
Installing smart door locks is an inexpensive upgrade that can pay off when it's time to sell, said Stephen Keighery, CEO and founder of Home Buyer Louisiana.
"Smart locks can detect whether you are at home and even lock themselves when you leave, enabled by Bluetooth and/or WiFi. This intelligent feature can be a selling point when marketing the property," he said.
Install Smart and LED Lights
Another "smart" upgrade that can add value is to replace the lights around your home.
"Changing the lights of the house every half a decade will instantly lead to a bump in the value," said Samantha Odo, real estate expert at Precondo. "You can replace the existing lights with some trendy smart lights and LEDs. These lights brighten up the whole mood of the house and give it a fresh look. The best part is that these lights are super easy to install, with their simpler designs and models."
Upgrade Your Landscaping
The outside of your home is its first impression, so spend some time making sure your lawn and landscaping are in good shape.
"Without the help of a professional interior designer or expensive budgets, the outdoors can be made more appealing," said Matt Ward, realtor and team lead of the Matt Ward Group with Keller Williams Realty. "Common tricks can be planting small bushes or hedges, creating gravel paths, removing weedy grasses or adding small lamps."
Update Your Backsplashes
"Homeowners can upgrade the look of their bathrooms and kitchen by adding backsplashes or vanity tile," said Andra DelMonico, home improvement and design expert at Trendey.
For a DIY approach, use peel and stick tile, which is made of vinyl and doesn't require all of the work that traditional tile requires.
"It's also affordable at $0.20 to $2 per square foot," DelMonico said. "It's hard to say what a backsplash ROI is; however, kitchen remodels have one of the highest ROIs at 86%."
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