The Projects That Have the Biggest Impact on a Sale May Surprise You
You’ve probably heard how the supply of houses for sale is low, which is leading to high prices — with some sellers able to get more than their asking price. If you’re thinking about selling, this news might lead to you to avoid updating things in your house before putting it up for sale. And yes, if your home is in good shape you may not have to anything! But, for a lot of homeowners, it’s still a good idea to invest in a few updates here and there to help get the most out of the sale.
The question is, which projects can give the biggest bang for your buck? To find out, we took a look at the 2021 Cost vs Value Report, which offers a comprehensive breakdown of how much various home improvements cost in different areas of the country. We focused on the Twin Cities market.
So, here are the projects that give the most ROI to Twin Cities homeowners contemplating a sale.
1. Stone veneers
Average cost: $10,923
Resale value: $10,158
Cost recouped: 93%
Stone veneers have been super popular in new construction over the past few years, and they’ve also become one of the most effective ways to update an existing home. One of the most popular ways of doing this is by using stone veneer accents around the bottom third of the home on the street-facing side. This involves removing the bottom third of the siding and replacing it with stone veneer. You can also do amazing things like making a faux-stone archway around your front door. The visual impact of stone veneer is undeniable, and it delivers the best ROI of any home improvement today!
2. New garage door
Average cost: $3,930
Resale value: $3,537
Cost recouped: 90%
Never underestimate the visual impact of a new garage door. There are tons of different styles to choose from — carriage style, contemporary, traditional, farmhouse, etc. — many of which weren’t widely used decades ago. So if your house is older, you can easily modernize it with a new garage door. With some doors, you can choose different window styles too, allowing you to further differentiate the home. New doors are also available with high quality insultation, always a plus in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
You can even save some cost by using your existing door opener if it’s still in good working condition. So if your current door is dented or has other issues, replacing it before selling is a winning idea.
3. Steel entry door
Average cost: $2,107
Resale value: $1,500
Cost recouped: 71.2%
The entry doors on new homes are heavily trending toward steel, and that trend is trickling down to existing homes. If your current door is wood or another type of material, consider replacing it with a new steel door to impress buyers. The cost shown for this project is for a 20-gauge steel door with a dual-pane, half-glass panel. It also includes a color-matching door casing and new lockset to go with the new door. And if you want to paint the door to add another boost of visual interest, the answer is yes, steel doors can indeed be painted.
4. Insulated vinyl windows
Average cost: $19,516
Resale value: $13,615
Cost recouped: 69.8%
There’s no way around it: replacing windows costs a lot of money. But you do stand to recoup nearly 70 percent of the cost. The cost shown here includes custom-color exterior finish and exterior trim. Generally, interior trim can remain in place. And, you probably don’t have to replace every window, just the handful that really need it.
Of course, you could also replace with wood windows instead of vinyl, but the Cost v. Value Report shows that those are even more expensive, coming in at $23,324. Moreover, the report was put together before the surge in lumber prices, so there’s a good chance that wood windows cost even more now. No one can predict the future, but it seems likely that vinyl windows will be less costly for a while.
5. Mid-level kitchen remodel
Average cost: $26,839
Resale value: $18,345
Cost recouped: 68.4%
This remodel, as described in the Cost v. Value Report, contemplates replacement of the refrigerator and stove/over, but not necessarily the dishwasher (if you have one). It also includes replacing the fronts of cabinets with new wood panels, along with drawer fronts and drawer pulls. Upgrading the floors and countertops is also included, although the budget does not account for premium materials like granite. Finally, you’ll want to put on a fresh coat of paint to finish off the look. Keep in mind, this is for a “mid-grade” remodel; you can certainly spring for more expensive materials, but if you’re selling the home maybe you want to save that money for whatever you’re planning next in life.
What About Projects with the Lowest ROI?
Now that we’ve covered the projects with the best ROI, you might be wondering which have the lowest ROI. According to the Cost v. Value Report, you may want to avoid these home projects, because they offer the lowest ROI in the Twin Cities market:
- Upscale master suite addition (cost of $338,083, cost recouped is just 45%)
- Upscale bathroom addition (cost of $108,912, cost recouped is just 47.6%)
- Asphalt roofing replacement (cost of $35,946, cost recouped is just 48.8%)
- Mid-range bathroom addition (cost of $61,026, cost recouped is just 49.1%)
- Mid-range master suite addition (cost of $166,011, cost recouped is just 50.3%)
Get Expert Guidance on Selling
It may be smartest to tackle the higher-cost, lower-ROI projects only if you think you’ll be staying in the home for at least a few more years. But, if your main goal is to sell your house faster and/or get more money from the sale, then consider some of those reasonable-cost, high-ROI projects listed above.
And don’t forget, you can always reach out to a Servion Realty agent for advice on what kinds of updates might make the most sense for your house given its location, characteristics and market factors.