What upgrades are worth adding to your new home?

When it comes to new home upgrades, some choices will add a lot of value. What I mean is that they may actually increase the value of your home, but will also likely make your home more sellable and attractive to new buyers. Some new home upgrades are worth every dollar because you’ll get that money back in the form of increased sale price when you go to sell it.

At the same time, not every upgrade is worth it, and not every homeowner agrees on what an “upgrade” is. As always, it’s your home and you’re the one living in it, so you should customize it to your liking. But if you are considering moving up to a bigger or different home in a few years, you’ll want to makes sure you choose wisely when it comes to upgrades.

new home upgrades

New home upgrades every buyer wants

I believe every new home buyer wants certain upgrades. You can probably guess what they are. Upgraded counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms, flooring throughout the home, and appliances are all good places to start.

How those items are upgraded makes a difference, though. Granite or quartz counter tops make a great choice for new home upgrades. So do hardwood or laminate wood flooring. Many buyers specifically look for these upgrades and will filter out homes that don’t have them, even before going to take a look at the home.

As for appliances, the primary desire in today’s real estate market continues to be stainless steel. It’s true that there are plenty of options out there for appliances that are more expensive than stainless steel. But the overwhelming majority of home buyers are looking for stainless steel appliances.

Will these upgrades always add value? They could, but it’s not a guarantee. Even if they don’t add financial value, they will make your home more attractive to buyers, which gives you an edge.

New home upgrades that potentially add value to your home

I want to premise this section by saying that no one can predict which way the market is going to go or that any upgrades you make to your home will automatically result in increased value. However, there are some upgrades that do tend to increase the value of homes.

In addition to flooring and counter top upgrades, structural upgrades, including something like attic insulation upgrades, window, and fencing upgrades can add value to a home. These upgrades are desirable and check one more thing off a new home buyer’s list. Expanded rooms or open floor plans in a home may also increase value. Additionally, separating the tub and shower into a spa with a separate shower may pay off.

In brand new homes, choosing nine foot ceilings can pay off in the long run, as well as choosing an upgraded underlay. Energy efficient upgrades, depending on what they are, may add value, too.

If you have the choice to go with higher end lighting that increases the light in a space – particularly in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or living room – go for it. Lighting upgrades increase the perception that your home is high value.

Closet space upgrades or even high end closet installations may increase value but beware of spending too much on shelving and organization. While the space itself is an asset, not everyone feels the same way about closet design.

New home upgrades I don’t recommend

Sometimes, an upgrade doesn’t end up adding value when it’s all said and done. Why? Because some upgrades are so custom that only the current homebuyer finds value in them. Other upgrades cost so much that they cannot possible be recouped when the house is sold. At the end of the day, the market still determines the value of the home. It’s not necessarily the sum of all of the money that was put into it.

Be careful about color choices and wallpaper. When it’s time to sell your home, you’ll need to create a neutral environment that appeals to all sorts of tastes. Buyers may not like your choice of wall color or paper, and if it’s used extensively, they may not buy the house because of it.

When considering appliances, beware of diminishing returns. A moderately priced stainless steel refrigerator and a very high end stainless steel refrigerator may end up yielding the same value on the market.

Even landscaping can reach a point where the value is maximized. Nicely manicured lawns will sell a home; adding a lot of very expensive additions to your landscaping may not yield the return that you think.

Conclusion

If you’re upgrading your home with the intent to sell it at maximum value, you should consult with someone who knows the market. Some upgrades are going to be great choices, regardless. Timeless, classic upgrades to flooring and counter tops, as well as stainless steel appliances will almost always pay off. But extremely custom homes and very vibrant decor are another story. When in doubt, ask!

Reference

  1. Buying a New Construction Home – Process, Upgrades, & New Construction Costs (http://www.moneycrashers.com/buying-new-construction-home-process-upgrades-costs/)

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