Infographic: How to Boost Your Home’s Value Through Smart Home Improvements

Infographic: How to Boost Your Home’s Value Through Smart Home Improvements


Not all home improvements are made equal.

While anything you do to make your home feel cozier, more welcoming and more pleasant is a net positive, not every improvement represents a good investment.

This is important for homeowners who are thinking of selling in the next 12 or 18 months.

In some housing markets, a $15,000 bathroom remodel might only bring back 50% of its value when you sell your home. Is it worth $7,500 to have a remodeled bathroom for that year before you move? Upgrading your garage on a budget can be another way to add that value!

You could go room-by-room in your house doing this kind of math (and Home Advisor's True Cost Guide is perfect for that), but that's excruciating stuff for most people.

Instead, have a look at our guide below. It covers the most surefire home improvements for recouping their value in just about any housing market. For garage specific value increases, check out this article for 12 garage upgrades that will increase the value of your home!


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Because the cost of a specific renovation differs from market to market (and from contractor to contractor), we looked at several datasets to find the best ballpark values for a given project. A 1,000-square-foot basement remodel in San Jose, for example, will command a different price than a similar remodel in Des Moines.

Hanley Wood's 2015 Cost vs. Value Report was especially helpful in nailing down precise figures and for spotting trends across the country.

As you see above, even across very diverse housing markets, home buyers are ready to pay a premium for new front doors.

Speaking with TheStreet, Massachusetts real estate agent Judy Moore advised homeowners to consider upgrading their homes' front doors to a brand-new steel one because it's an inexpensive improvement that ups energy efficiency and turns house hunters' heads.

That's the power of curb appeal.

The data also found a few rules of thumb to keep in mind when considering home improvement projects:

  • Mid-range projects tend to have better resale value. A tasteful upgrade has wide appeal among homebuyers, but an extravagant upgrade will only raise your home's market value so much.
  • Context is important when assessing the value of an upgrade. A $50,000 bathroom remodel in a $100,000 home just wouldn't make sense if you're thinking of selling. (But if you're going to stay put and feel like splurging on an idea you saw on Houzz, then by all means go for it.)
  • Calculate the value of any project's resale value with local figures. An attic remodel is one of the three best projects you can undertake in the Denver market, but there are higher-value improvements to be made in San Francisco, where that attic bedroom remodel would recover 133% of its cost.