When making updates or improvements to a home, it’s important to keep in mind not just how much you’ll be spending on the renovation, but also how much you’ll be getting back when you sell. Certain home improvements can actually increase the value of your home quite substantially—which is great news if you’re planning to sell soon! Focusing on the home features buyers really want can help you make the most of your value-boosting updates.
Opt for the Home Features Buyers Really Want
What buyers are looking for in a home has changed a lot in the past handful of years, so if you’ve lived in your home for a while, it might not be as up-to-date as it was when you moved in. So, what are buyers really looking for these days? Here’s what buyers have to say.
A separate laundry room
It might seem like a small detail, but a separate laundry room was rated one of the top most desirable features amongst buyers in 2019. In fact, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 91% of buyers listed a laundry room as an essential feature!
Don’t have a laundry room? The easiest and most cost-effective place to put it is usually the basement, since utility lines are already there. Installing a closet or adding a room elsewhere can quickly add up.
Energy efficient features
Energy efficient features don’t just apply to environmentally concerned buyers—those looking to cut costs on monthly utility bills are also on the hunt for home features that will help them do it. The NAR notes that 89% of buyers listed energy efficiency among their most desired features.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to reduce monthly costs and improve your efficiency. It might be as simple as replacing your thermostats with programmable or smart thermostats, or as big as upgrading all your windows with Energy Star-certified windows. Individual appliances are also usually fairly inexpensive to replace.
More important than ever before now that people are spending more time at home, outdoor spaces can encompass patios, decks, balconies, and porches. Even buyers who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time outside in their current homes might be excited and inspired by a beautifully laid out backyard.
Focus on what you currently have; building a deck or patio can be quite expensive. Instead, consider adding a gravel patio or a DIY fire pit, if you don’t have a deck, or improving your landscaping or gardens.
Hardwood or vinyl plank flooring
Hardwood floors don’t just offer a cleaner, more polished look—they’re also easier to maintain and more durable than carpet. Engineered wood flooring is much cheaper to install than hardwood, if you’re starting from scratch.
Vinyl plank flooring is another great alternative to carpet, and it’s actually more resistant to moisture than hardwood—making it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
Open floorplans are definitely in style—86% of buyers want their kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms to be all or partially open. Ideally, buyers are looking for open spaces where they can congregate and entertain guests from the kitchen.
If your layout is a little more closed, you might be able to open it up a bit without major renovations. In fact, removing a non-load-bearing wall can cost as little as $1,000. However, this price increases as you add plumbing, duct work, or wiring.
Both a functionality feature (for spending more time outside) and a safety feature, exterior lighting is in demand by 85% of buyers. Adding exterior lighting is usually fairly inexpensive, too. Many types of solar lighting can even be installed cheaply and easily without the aid of a professional.