Buying a home is exciting. Once you purchase a property, you want to make it your own. Whether it's a 100-year-old beauty or a fresh new build, there are improvements you can make that not only personalize the space, but add instant value to your real estate investment.
Project 1: Update the garage door
Garage doors take up a lot of visual real estate on the exterior of a home, meaning they dramatically boost curb appeal. Because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, bland designs, old styles and damaged doors detract from a home's appearance and overall value.
Updating a garage door has a midrange cost but an impressive ROI. According to Remodeling Magazine's 2020 Cost vs. Value report, the average national job cost of a garage door replacement is $3,695, with an impressive 94.5% cost recouped at resale.
When choosing a garage door, select one you like that matches the home's design. For example, carriage-house garage doors have a rustic look that work well with American Craftsman style homes. Contemporary garage doors with clean lines work well with mid-century modern homes. Raised panel garage doors are popular and work with many types of homes.
Project 2: Add a bathroom
Wish you could add a bathroom where no conventional plumbing exists in your home? Basements, attics, garages and unfinished spaces are tricky, but there is one way to add a bathroom without busting through concrete or sacrificing the structural integrity of a home: above-floor plumbing such as macerating toilets and drain pumps.
This was the case for David of NextHome PPM Realty, who wanted to add a half bath to a home he was flipping in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The primary challenge: Sewage access was above grade and 40 feet away from the basement, which is situated about six feet below the sewer line. Installing conventional plumbing was impossible without installing a large sewage ejector system that would require breaking concrete to dig a pit to hold the system, which he estimated would cost $9,000. He decided above-floor plumbing options would be an effective alternative at a much lower cost. He spent $1,100 and now estimates that adding a basement bathroom increased the value of the home by $20,000.
Project 3: Revitalize ceilings
Dingy, cracked ceilings are eyesores that date a property and can make it look older than it is. By updating your ceiling, you not only improve the appearance, but you also increase the home's overall value. If there are chips and cracks, it's important to repair these issues before applying any paint. Once repaired, vacuum cobwebs and remove dust to ensure that fresh coat of ceiling paint adheres properly.
Don't like the style of ceiling you have? Many homeowners are opting to replace popcorn texture ceilings with flat or knock-down styles. While a ceiling is a personal preference, updating it to a more modern option may command a higher price at resale. If the ceiling has never been painted, you may be able to remove the popcorn texture yourself; otherwise, hiring a professional should get the job done quickly. Keep in mind, popcorn textures and other ceilings applied before 1979 may have asbestos, so you'll want to get it tested before removal.
Enhance the value and enjoy the results
As you look at different properties, you imagine yourself in each house, enjoying the space and making memories. Even when you find "the one," there are things you want to update. By making these improvements, you will personalize the space, instantly enhance the value and have a property you enjoy.