Update 2-15-2017: What’s the value of improvements when a home is sold?
It really depends on a few factors..
What is everyone else doing in your neighborhood? – What will a Buyer look for in your home compared with other homes in your neighborhood?
Start with smaller improvements and ladder upward – light fixtures, doors, windows, upgrade in flooring, fresh paint inside and windows/trim/exterior, adding heated/cooled square footage, etc.,.
Consult some remodeling resources – Click here and go to General Maintenance Tips for several links to remodeling suggestions and costs – http://www.abuyeragent.com/maintips.htm
What does an appraiser consider value? Mostly good condition of interior and exterior; additional functionality of structures or systems; and heated/cooled square footage are good starts. Appraisers don’t really care if the siding is press board or concrete siding, but value brick more than concrete siding. Also, appraisers assign single pane and thermal pane windows the same value; carpet v. vinyl, no difference but hardwood is better value than carpet. A new roof doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a higher price, but it helps. New v. old HVAC systems perform the same function and therefore, don’t add to appraisal value. Granite or Corian (not laminate) counters add value.
Think British – bland or earth tones, stay middle of the road with neutral colors if you are reselling – don’t over personalize unless you (a) want to stay there forever, or (b) intend to change it all back and make it all neutral before you put the house on the market. Think of it as a blank canvas against which a fresh brushstroke of living can be expressed by the next owner.
Bottom Line: Hey – it’s your house, do with it what you want but try not to listen to remodeling contractors or vendors of household improvement products. They tend to want to “sell” you on what “they” say has value, not what “really” has value in the real estate marketplace. I have an idea – ask your Realtor!