A typical single-family investor looks at both interior finishes and final step category upgrades to increase the value of a home. Let us look at the categories that should be reviewed:
- Upgrades are easier now than ever with blown-in, thermos-shields and spray foam insulation. Drywall and wall coverings no longer have to be removed in order to implement upgrades. Lower utility bills are a great repayment.
- Texture over drywall does a great job of hiding imperfections; however, when drywall replacement occurs matching the texture is an art. Anyone who has had to remove wallpaper has an affinity to not add new wallpaper. Latex based paints make up a majority of the market demand, as new paints feature mildew resistance, low odor emissions, and ease of maintenance. A little bit of paint can go a long way on baseboards and crown molding, improving rooms with “pop” will capture renters and home buyers attention.
- Both exterior and interior lighting enhancements can be very inexpensive and provide architectural features that can make your home more attractive than the neighbors. Adding a chandelier to a room can be eye-catching.
- Cabinets, countertops, and freshly painted cabinets goes a long way in changing the look of a kitchen. While total cabinet replacement is not something for a novice, replacing cabinet doors can be done on a weekend. Countertop functionality and durability, as well as look, should be considered.
- The cost and installation of a microwave is the easiest. Matching finishes and colors between the refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher will show renters and buyers you place importance on aesthetics, and imply an increased level of management ability.
- Any property manager of beachfront condominiums knows “carpet is bad!” Rental properties with tile and wood floors have less maintenance than those with carpet. Porcelain is harder and less scratch resistant than ceramic or wood. The selection of flooring material is one of the most important decisions in a remodel.
- New faucets and toilet seats are fairly inexpensive and go a long way to impress renters and buyers.
- This is a tough maintenance item and could require the buyer to bring out a specialized inspector to review. However, most fireplaces provide an excellent frame for floral, candles or other decorative features. Consider adding propane or natural gas with decorative logs to minimize maintenance.
- The first impression that renters and buyers have is from the street. Dead grass and shrubs is a sign of mismanagement. Xeriscaping is landscaping that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation and should be implemented in all areas. Tree and bushes on the western side of a building can reduced utility bills.
Patios, Decks, Porches
- Many new home builders do not add patios, decks, or porches. However, outdoor living space enhances the social aspects of a home and front porches can enliven a neighborhood as well as encourage homeowners to interact with their neighbors. Stamped concrete is a great aesthetic enhancement to the look and feel, while pavers or tile certainly bring up the quality of the entire home.
- Although most homes have wood dividers separating the concrete, wood tends to have a limited economic life. Self-leveling materials are available in varying colors and providing for a superior look and longer economic life. Pressure washing is a low cost and excellent method to enhance the look of older driveways.
- Trash, discolored paint, stains and other items of deferred maintenance can distress renters and buyers. Keep clean!
Before undertaking any of these upgrades, look at the upper-end home sales in a market to attempt to isolate which upgrades bring a cost-value enhancement.