First things first, if you are just in love with modern bathroom or kitchen features, they are worth it for you. It's always worth it to create a space that you love. Now, if you want that new kitchen or bathroom to add value to your property, increase its marketability or its future resale value, its time for the research because not all upgrades are made equal and there may be a better way to spend that renovation money.
Upgrades that Add Value
The most straightforward way to increase the value of your home is to add usable square footage. That means more living space to use. You can add this space by finishing out a basement or attic, and by adding another bedroom or bathroom to the home. Extra space goes a long way to increase your properties market value. As many buyers consider homes by bedroom and bathroom count, adding just one more can change the category in which your home resides. A three-bedroom, three-bathroom house sounds larger and sells for more than that same home when it was just three-bedroom, two-bathroom house.
You can also increase your home's value with small upgrades. You can get the best bang for your buck with—you'll never guess—a new front door. Nearly 100% of the cost of the door adds to your home's value. Now, that won't work with just any front door, talk to your contractor or real estate agent about the best style for your property. You need a door that will enhance your entryway and not look like an afterthought to get that instant dash of curb appeal.
You can also get substantial value from minor repair upgrades such as new windows or replacing discolored vinyl siding. These minor upgrades work like a new paint job and can increase the value of the home and the curb appeal at a much lower cost than a full kitchen or bath remodel.
Still, want that kitchen upgrade? Minor kitchen upgrades can have high returns of their own. You don't have to completely gut the entire thing; just new cabinet doors and fixtures make a huge difference. You can finalize it with classy new appliances and get yourself an 80% return on your new kitchen investment.
Upgrades That Aren’t Worth It
Pay attention to the cost of your remodel compared to the overall value of your home. Spending 50% or more of your equity on your kitchen remodel just isn't going to work well. A $100,000 remodel on a $250,000 property won't add nearly that in additional value to your home. So, if you want to sell your property for $350,000 instead, this isn't the plan for you. Nothing says you can't get plenty of enjoyment out of the kitchen upgrade, just don't plan on selling it for as much as you paid and focus on getting the kitchen you really want.
Similarly, while a pool sounds like a fabulous investment, they are usually much more expensive than they are worth and only really increase home value in specific locations, mostly those without colder winter weather. If your area has even a bit of winter, the pool will take a lot of extra care and can actually decrease the interest in your property.
Talk to your real estate professional about the best upgrades to increase your property’s value in the current market.