We recently passed the 4 year mark of living in our home and we have renovated almost every space in our house (see all the before and afters in one place, here). This winter, we have plans to finally renovate the master bath and give our own bedroom the same attention the other rooms have received.
Although we have no desire to sell our house, we were curious–what has all the work we’ve done added to the value?
(see more of our entry makeover here.)
We bought our house 4 years ago for $235,000. It was the cheapest house on our block and needed the most work, too, although it was generally in great shape. Hiring a professional appraiser will cost around $500, but most real estate agents will give you a CMA (competitive market analysis) for FREE. It’s less detailed than an appraisal, but at times, it can be more accurate due to the knowledge a real estate agent has about what the market is currently doing and where your house is located.
(see more of the girls’ bathroom renovation here)
We called our realtor, Caleb Fullmer (for all you locals, he’s the best!), to give us an analysis of our home’s value and tell us what our home would be worth in today’s market. We didn’t tell him what we bought it for 4 years ago. He walked around, like a realtor would if they were going to help you list it (again! we’re not selling!), and he said our home would sell easily for mid-to-upper $300Ks! Chris jokingly said, “Time to sell!”
We picked his brain a little more on what helps a home value appraise for more or sell quicker. He said:
• Updating kitchen and bathrooms are definitely going to give you the most bang for your buck. (Can’t wait to get our bathroom updated!) Our kitchen, with the addition of a walk-in pantry, added the most value to our home than any other project.
(See more of our kitchen reno here)
• Lots of people have multiple rooms if not whole basements that are unfinished, finishing those will add serious value.
• Staging a home won’t necessarily help your home value but it will make your home sell for top market value and a lot quicker.
(see more of our basement family room renovation here)
• Home buyers like an updated master and master bathroom because that’s where the buyer will spend their time so if you have to pick and chose rooms due to budget update the master suite when selling. (So wait, don’t wait to do that very last? Haha). We have updated our bedroom a little bit, with new flooring, paint and fixtures.
• Paint and lighting are two inexpensive, easy ways to update and add value. (When we bought our house the whole main floor was nearly black and I wonder if they had just painted it, if it would have brought the value up?) Updating lighting is one of my favorite things to do!
• The windows we added not only added value to our home (people love lots of light!) but because they are energy-efficient–they’re attractive to buyers for the cost savings, too.
• Central air-conditioning units are also reviewed by the appraiser, so if you own such a unit, change the filters and clear any debris. We added AC to our home last year, which definitely helped with the value.
• Pet and smoke odors negatively impact an evaluation, so take steps to eliminate these smells in order to raise the appraisal value.
• Landscaping adds to the overall appearance of your home, but overdone landscaping can diminish the value. Our outdoor areas we did, including the deck and playground area actually did help our value because the areas previously were cluttered and without a usable direction and now they are rejuvenated. He also mentioned that siding on a home adds to the property’s worth, so consider this improvement if your house is currently painted. If your house is already sided, make sure the siding is clean and in excellent condition.
• Where we were docked a little is turning one of the bedrooms downstairs into an office. It’s a necessity for us right now, but obviously, if we were trying to sell our home, we would make that a bedroom again.
All in all, over the past 4 years, we’ve added around $150K of value onto our home (Update: Chris and I just did a quick add-up of everything permanent to the house and we’ve put in right under $75K. So if we did sell, we’d get that back, plus at least $75K profit.) It was so enlightening to talk to a realtor about what actually goes into a home value. And now, we’re more motivated than ever to tackle our master bathroom this winter.
Curious where something is from? Check out our Shop Our House page, right here, where we have nearly every source listed by room.