Which home improvements will add the most value to your home?

Asked by BATH AND KITCHEN TOWN, San Diego County, CA Sat Jan 26, 2013

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Sarah Wilkey’s answer
Sarah Wilkey, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Feb 7, 2013
The obvious answers are kitchens and baths, but a more subtle, less expensive and highly desirable change is taking out carpeting in common living areas (OK to leave in the bedrooms) and replacing it with a wood floor, or wood laminate. Dark floors are very popular right now. Finish it off with a nice 4-5" tall white base molding and you get a polished look that feels like new construction.

Don't go too cheap on the laminate - it will sound cheap when you walk on it and easily gouge. Depending on the price-point of your home, I'd opt for a real wood product fused to a compressed base. Pre-stained will be cheapest/easiest. Some of the real wood toppers can even be sanded and re-stained down the road. If you have big dogs with sharp claws - maybe not a great idea.

Also, large 2'x2' square travertine or ceramic tiles can offer a similar new look and feeling to a home. Just be warned tile can be cold to the feet and harder on little kids and their falls.

Just be sure to pick a nice neutral color that buyers will like, and blend it nicely with bedroom and bathroom flooring.

Have fun!

Sarah Wilkey
Century 21 Award
The Ruth Pugh Group
0 votes
Wesley Guest, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jan 30, 2013
Every property can be different but I would say generally speaking:

New Kitchen is absolutely number one, followed by updated or new bathrooms. Then the pack gets a little more crowded but some of the value additions would be new paint, tile, laminate, and wood floors help. Even new carpet. Building out the backyard, great landscaping, a usable outdoor kitchen, new HVAC, new or updated roof, new windows if the home is a bit older, I could go on and on.

Kitchens I think I are tops. A great kitchen can make other missing elements seem like not such a huge deal.
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1 vote
Danato Andri…, Agent, Springboro, OH
Sat Jan 26, 2013
It's ALWAYS the kitchen and bath (especially master) remodels that add the most value. However, make sure you don't over do it. If you put a $50k kitchen in a $75k house you'll never see the return on your investment.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Actually, a study that included every region of the US and all types of improvements indicated owners receive the greatest return on their investment when they replace the front door of a home.

Wondering what you had in mind?

0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Upgraded kitchens and baths on the side, curb appeal on the outside. My response however would be slightly modified if I knew whether you were planning to put it on the market.

Paint offers a low cost way to freshen up the look of your home. On the expensive end, new windows, and appliances and also go a long way towards adding curb appeal.
0 votes
Hector Gaste…, Agent, Coronado, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Depends on your home, the market and the comparables in the market.

Hector R. Gastelum
Republican Candidate for California State Senate District 40
& Realty Executives Dillon
REALTOR #01382940
2240 Otay Lakes Rd. #306
Chula Vista, Ca 91915
efax 619-270-2516
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Don't discount your yards and curb appeal. I've seen plenty of super clean but really dated homes with new carpet and paint get near to top dollar because they had great yards. But an $80K pool doesn't mean you'll see an $80K value hike, it could be LOT less.

For the interior, kitchen first, bathrooms second, unless they're really dated. A great kitchen can sell a home that's just OK. But, know what the values are in your neighborhood and choose the finishes wisely. High end finishes can be a bad investment in many cases if house values aren't there.

But I can't stress enough how much value you can add by just getting rid of all the unnecessary "stuff" and cleaning the place so it's immaculate.
0 votes
Jack Campbell, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Lots of this is very house specific but I'll take a stab at. In Scripps Ranch I often find buyers can fit in 1 of 3 categories. 1- the polish 2-just get in 3-redo-ers.

1-The polish. These are typically those paying top dollar and they know it. But in return the expect everything to be polished, and if it's not they intend to redo anything outdated prior to moving in. If it's not turn key, these people typically see improvements as an interferance to their already busy lives. If this is your property target, polish, primp, repace carpet, change countertops and definately have a professional stager (interior designer) go through the property and de-clutter. Greatest value is paid by these people when it is all done already. Generally if you can't do it all, many of these people will pass on your property.
2-Just get in. These are the people who intend to do renovation, but getting into their neighborhood of choice at a reasonable price is more important. They will take the next 5-7 years to make their desired improvements and are able to look past some unpolised things. In this case, generally a liviable home with the needed square footage is typically best. Best improvements here often are adding a bedroom, or just replacing carpet for the sale. Fressh coat of paint in and out and again stage it professionally.
3-re-doers. These people largely want to do their own work. No improvements are necessary as they will likely re-do anything you chose to have done to the property anyhow.

So, in summary, if you are planning too sell your home real soon...carpet, professional staging, fresh paint. If your home is close to being completely polished already, finish the job and you will get top dollar. Have someone honest walk through your home for you. don't be the judge yourself. You are biased and like your taste.

If you are not close to selling your home, improve things you will enjoy while you are there, then move onto those other items when it is time to sell. Likely your improvements may need cleanup or renovation again at the time of sale anyhow. Do it for you, enjoy your home...worry about the sale, when you sell.

Or, lastly I'm happy to swing by and give a more personlized assessment whether you intend to sell or not. Never any obligation. And, I am happy to share some well credentialled contractors.
0 votes
The answer to this question is very dependent on when you intend to sell your home. If you are making general upgrades at the time of sale, curb appeal is also very important. If on the north side of scripps most of this is was done years ago, so paint and some flowers will generally do. If on the South of Spring Canyon, these homes were not necessarily landscaped and could use more work. Contrary to what I see in some of these posts, rarely do you get dramatic value increases for improvements to the property. Usually the most you can hope for is to get your money back unless like I mentioned you go for the group 1 looking for a polished home, but be prepared to go all out to get top dollar. Quality is huge in this category, but careful to not over improve and be aware of the comps in your neighborhood. My may be limited by the other homes which have sold in your immediate community.
Flag Sat Jan 26, 2013
Daniel Lehman, , San Diego County, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2013
I have always seen kitchen as number one, followed by master bath a close second... Things like turning patios into sunrooms don't add any value typically... Well, so they say...

0 votes
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