Small Investments with Big Returns

New home buyers can all agree that the temptation to jump in and start making home renovations is hard to resist. But as any good realtor will tell you, it’s important to think about the resale value of each project before you begin, as well as understand which projects will get you the most bang for your buck. It’s easy to think that future buyers will fall in love with your newly remodeled kitchen or admire the underground pool you plan to install, but chances are, their tastes may highly differ from yours.
On average, you can expect to get back about 60 percent of every dollar spent on home improvements, with replacement projects boasting even greater returns. Let’s look at the top five projects with the greatest ROI:

Insulation
The one and only project that regularly pays back more than you invest, is installing loose-fill fiberglass insulation in the attic. With average returns of more than 100%, suddenly insulation sounds a lot more exciting. Many U.S. homes are insufficiently insulated, so adding insulation will not only save energy, but also add value to your home.

Curb Appeal
Replacing your entry door with an attractive, steel replacement can also boast large returns. Not only do steel doors tend to hold paint well, they are well-insulated, fire resistant and relatively inexpensive. In addition, installing a manufactured stone veneer or replacing old siding will also provide great value at resale.

Hardwood Floors
Whether you’re replacing carpet with hardwood floors or refinishing existing floors, the consensus is the same – it’s always a great investment. Most buyers nowadays expect hardwood, especially in common living areas, although hardwoods in bedrooms can still be a personal preference.

New Garage Doors
Year after year, garage door replacements rank as one of the wisest upgrades for homeowners – they provide a big boost to your home’s curb appeal at a relatively modest cost. Both mid-range and upscale garage door replacements continue to top the charts in terms of resale value.

Minor Kitchen Remodels
Minor kitchen improvements like resurfacing cabinets and replacing one or two appliances are still sound investments when thinking about ROI. But minor upgrades shouldn’t be confused with major renovations, which can include upgrading to marble countertops, adding an island, replacing the sink and all major appliances. While an entire kitchen remodel will likely increase the value of your home, it won’t offer the kind of returns seen with smaller kitchen enhancements.
As realtors, it’s our job to help you make sound investments and determine what home improvements are worthwhile for your budget. If you’re looking to sell within the next five years, or are thinking long-term, talk to your realtor about which home projects make the most sense for increasing your home’s value.

Lawrence M. Lipman is the owner and president of The Lipman Group / Sotheby’s International Realty in Nash- ville. Real estate is Larry’s career, but also his passion. He can be reached by calling 615-364-3333.