How to Avoid Renovations That Don’t Add Enough Value

The house is seriously outdated. The kitchen looks like it came from another era and the bathroom is just plain old. The shag carpet is worn and obviously from the 1970s. You know work needs to be done.

Perhaps your home isn’t so obviously out of date. Maybe the bathroom is rather sparse or the kitchen is dark with insufficient lighting and dark wood cabinets. Regardless of how much your home needs an update, you must do it correctly if you want to get the money back you put into the renovation.

Don’t Do More Than Enough

The first rule in renovating any part of your home is don’t do more than what is enough. This is one case where bigger is definitely not always better. A large refrigerator may be too much in a small kitchen or granite countertops may be over the top on a tight budget.

How do you know what is enough for your remodel? Here are some tips to follow before you start your project.

  •         Visit open houses in your neighborhood. Get a feel for the style of the area as well as the price point. You don’t need a commercial-grade kitchen in an area of moderate incomes.
  •         Know your budget and spread it across the room. Sometimes, it’s okay to have a big feature in a room, but generally you want to use the money all over the space. For example, you might focus your budget on a new fireplace for a “wow” feature, but you wouldn’t put in a fancy bath vanity and have a tiny shower.
  •         Know what buyers want. You’ve probably heard that most of your renovations should focus on the kitchen and bath because that’s what appeals to buyers. But what exactly does that mean? What kind of kitchen or bathroom are buyers in your area looking for? You can talk to a real estate agent who can tell you what their buyers have been requesting.

Think About Cost in Time and Money

Before you begin a project, you should sit down with a real estate agent who knows your area and discuss your plans. Find out the home’s worth now and what it will be worth after renovations. Make sure you know how much money to spend before your remodel stops adding value.

Time is just as important as money. Consider how long a renovation will take. Remember that you are paying on the mortgage all that time or you’re losing out on a sale. The housing market can change at any time, and you don’t know if prices will be better or worse after your remodel is finished.

Renovating a home is a big challenge, and it can end up costing more than it’s worth. If you’re ready to sell your home now, consider looking at a cash offer that allows you to walk away without the stress of a major renovation.