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Homeownership10 min read

What Home Renovations Have the Highest Return Value in 2020

By Noah - September 9, 2020

Sometimes, the toughest question about home renovations is where to start. Our two cents? Choose a project that makes you happy and comes with a strong chance of increasing your home’s value. You don’t need to be a home flipper to find ways to improve your home’s appearance, functionality, and value on any budget.

What Are the Best ROI Home Improvements to Increase Value? 

According to Zillow, 79% of homeowners make at least one improvement to their home before selling it. The question is which home renovations offer you the best bang for your buck. 

First, an important reality check. TV shows for home-lovers often feature professionals who know how to remodel and flip a house for an impressive profit. In reality, it’s extremely rare to break even, never mind add more value to your home than you spend. Generally, the best home improvements to increase value are the ones that offer around a 75% ROI or higher. 

Some of the best ROI home improvements you can add to your list are:

  1. Upscale garage door: The humble garage door can net you a nearly 98% ROI. Swap a humdrum door for attractive antique styling and energy-efficient sealing for around $3,600.
  2. Stone veneer: Continuing with curb appeal, adding a touch of stone to your exterior can get you a 95% ROI. The trick is to use manufactured stone veneer and concentrating on the lower third of your home to save costs. The project can come in just under $9,000.
  3. Minor Kitchen remodel: Setting reasonable limits is your best strategy for high ROI. An upscale kitchen remodel with lots of custom embellishments may only give you a 53% return on investment. A minor renovation nets around 81%. You still get new cabinet fronts, appliances, countertops, and flooring, but you save a lot of money by keeping the essential layout the same.
  4. Add a wooden deck: A deck extends your entertaining space without costing nearly as much as building an interior addition. A wood deck may run around $13,000 and give you a 76% ROI when you sell the home.
  5. New siding: First impressions count. That may explain why giving your home a facelift with fresh siding can score you a 76% ROI. Expect to spend around $16,000 for roughly 1,250 square feet of vinyl siding.
  6. Window replacement: Swap drafty windows for energy-efficient vinyl models for a 73% ROI. Not to mention that you may see an improvement on energy use in your home, which is especially important if you’re spending more days working from home.

Best Low-Cost Home Improvements to Increase Value

It’s fun to daydream about splashy home renovations, but not every homeowner is in a position to put $10,000 or more into a big remodel. Here are some of the best home renovations for resale that are budget-friendly to boot:

  1. Paint job: Dramatic paint colors may attract some buyers, but others will get turned off by an eggplant-purple dining room. Stick to light, neutral colors for an elegant, airy look.
  2. Minor landscaping: Planting a flowerbed and keeping the lawn neatly mowed enhance curb appeal for the cost of a few trays of chrysanthemums.
  3. Lighting: Dimmer switches, under-cabinet lighting, and LED recessed lighting add brightness and customization without breaking the bank.
  4. Smart technology: You don’t need to trick your house out to a futuristic extreme. Adding a tweak like a smart thermostat can add some advanced functionality to your home for $100-250.
  5. Bathroom updates: Ripping out tiling and cabinetry can turn into a major project. A light touch can still freshen up a bathroom. Think reglazing the tub, installing better lighting, or improving ventilation.

What Home Improvements Add the Most Value in 2020?

It can be tricky to predict exactly which home renovation will have the best return on investment at the time you sell your home. Markets and trends shift all the time. Remember when the soft, dusty shade of “Millennial pink” was everywhere? 

Still, despite drastic differences between past years and 2020 (we certainly didn’t predict a global pandemic and murder hornets), a lot of the best home improvements for resale stay near the top of the list year after year. Investing in curb appeal and an updated kitchen is unlikely to steer you wrong.

Although it’s more art than science to predict the trends that will boom in the next few years, there’s reason to think these home improvements will get more popular in 2020 and beyond.

Anti-open floor plan

For a while, the open-plan rage made it seem like everyone wanted to live in one giant room. If living in 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the value of privacy. When you’re balancing work calls, kids playing, and background noise from the dishwasher, walls start to seem like a fantastic idea.

Expect to see people re-embrace rooms. It’s still smart to keep color and pattern in harmony from room to room — it can be jarring to open a door to a wildly different palette — but separate spaces may have increased appeal.

Home office

Widespread remote working in 2020 has helped a lot of workers and companies see the value of working from home. Google has already announced plans to continue remote work into summer 2021. Making work from home a more permanent and socially accepted option can be a positive outcome for the disability community, which has fought for remote work accommodations. But there’s also a learning curve, especially for workers who struggle to draw clear boundaries between work and non-work hours.

A home office can be the best renovation to maintain boundaries while working at home. Professionals working in close quarters (including parents who may also need to balance childcare and work) can be more productive with a dedicated space for completing work assignments. Take the time to research how to make a home office with partition walls, noise insulation, and more.

Home wellness

One aspect of home life that doesn’t always get as much attention as a cosmetic makeover is purification systems. When you’re spending a lot of time at home, you want to feel secure that your environment is clean. Considering the importance of ventilation in helping limit COVID-19 spread, air purification is even more important in 2020.

Start by checking out the major air systems in your home. How old is your HVAC system? Most systems last about 15-25 years. When was the last time you had air ducts professionally inspected and cleaned? Handling maintenance work, installing a home air purification system, and even adding a few plants to living spaces can result in cleaner air indoors.

Check on your flooring, too. Some vinyl, laminate, or even wood flooring materials can release potentially harmful chemicals into the air through off-gassing. New flooring can be an attractive home renovation and a way to introduce more environmentally friendly materials into your home.

The Best Home Renovation for You

The best home renovation for you is the one that strikes the right balance between affordability, resale ROI, and customer satisfaction. You’re the one living in your home right now, so it makes sense to prioritize the home improvements that make the biggest impact on your happiness.

If you’re ready to jump into financing for your next home improvement project, Noah might be able to help. Noah allows you to use your home equity to fund improvements through a home value investment. You won’t pay monthly payments or interest on Noah’s investment in your home, and you may be able to use the funding to make changes that increase your home’s resale value later. Learn more and get an estimate for your home value investment today.

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