Home Selling in Arlington>Question Details

Tim Cahill, Real Estate Pro in Arlington, MA

What home improvement projects provide the best payback when you sell your home?

Asked by Tim Cahill, Arlington, MA Thu Jul 15, 2010

Have you recently sold your home after completing a home improvement project? If so, what was your project and how much do you think it improved the value of your home?

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Unfortunately the projects that provide the greatest payback on your investment are those that are likely the most costly.

With kitchens being the most popular room in the home and one that routinely captures the buyer's attention upon entering the home, this is without a doubt the best money spent when it comes to home improvement projects. Upgraded or remodeled kitchens are always popular with todays buyers.

Best regards,

Bill
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
Dollar for dollar the best return for your money is deep cleaning and orgainzing and new paint...BY FAR..

Then Kitchens and bathrooms..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
Any thoughts on the 'hidden' improvement of converting from oil to gas heat? I'm guessing the COST would exceed the payback; however, oil could be a detrement, yes?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
Definitely kitchen & baths!

Of course, there are always small things that make a big difference... when "big" things are in good condition and fully functional! I always caution my Sellers about using their improvement budgets smartly.

That means: put your money where the water is first! Big ticket items, like Kitchen and Bath, must be functional, clean and attractive in order to be liked and sell well. If there is now instant money available for it it is best to plan ahead, refinance/borrow if you have to for the necessary improvements, otherwise no amount of small things will give you a real good payback. Houses tin need of kitchen and baths updates are harder to sell and so there is a natural loss of value caused by limiting your prospective buyers pool, increasing time on market, carrying costs, etc.

so... once your big ticket items are taken care of you can clean up the landscape, fix up the driveway, clean up the house, de-clutter, paint, lightly decorate, reconfigure if you have to - in that priority - to get the most for your improvements.

Good luck! And don't forget to be sensible about the products you use. The "greener" they are, the better you are on the environment, home value, your health and, eventually, your pocket :)
Web Reference: http://www.boc-re.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 13, 2010
Crack fill and seal the driveway. For 200 bucks it gets the drive-by buyers in the door.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
Lilia - there might be different ways to interpret Tim's question. He asked what's the best payback which I am assuming means the best return on the dollar for a particular project. I saw a smiley face next to your comment that paint and landscaping can't add value. I hope you were kidding. Depending on what a potential buyers likes and dislikes are these items can add tremedous value to a piece of property. A freshly painted house inside and out vs. one that is worn will certainly add value to any home. The return on the investment is well worth it. Adding "living space" is a way to add value, i don't dispute that. But the question is will it add more COST than value? If so then it's not worth the effort. Hey let's face it, putting in a brand new kitchen will probably ADD the the most value to any home but it will also add the most COST. So if one's definition of value is cost vs. return then deep cleaning and painting still reign supreme. Just my humble opinion of course
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 16, 2010
Hi Tim,

I would agree with Jason, you'd be surprise how much a good old fashion coat of fresh paint and carpet cleaning adds value to your home. People always want the "turnkey" homes and they always fetch a higher price.

Besides that, Kitchens and baths are always the most popular areas that buyers take notice. Of course these areas will also cost you the most to upgrade.

Hope this helps :)

Chris Blasic
Realty World & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
Bathroom and Kitchen turn heads - always have always will.

Unless your view in breathtaking them invest in the view.

Less is usually more - try not to waste money if you don't have to.

J.Jones
978-335-9092
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
If you meant what will add value to the property - paint and landscaping cannot do that :). Adding room (living space) or Bathroom or garage or ever fireplace will do. Pool most likely will not (in MA not everybody wants it - more headache then use). Well there is few things that will keep (not add) current value on the market and help it to sale for top market value in shorter time - good upkeep of the house (paint, floor, roof - all included), but you have to understand - if you bough your house 10 years ago and before put in on the market you did all those updates you cannot add 30K (or whatever you spend) to listing price. Those things just keep house in market conditions 8 to 10 which will help you to get your price but not increase it dramatically in general. Think this way - if you didn't do those things - your house will be not in move-in conditions and you cannot sale it for average market price, so you doing those for upkeep. If you add living space though - different story, you add value.
Usually if you trying to do something right before put house on the market - best thing to do to just clean it well and get rid of clutter (maybe some cosmetic paint), everything else will cost you more then you will get back in sales price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
I think kitchens and landscaping
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 15, 2010
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