Best upgrade ideas for raising the value of your home

When it comes to improvement projects for your home, there are good ones, and there are not-so-good ones. Difficulty, cost, and the ability to add to the value of your home are all important considerations. As an experienced Realtor in Arlington, Virginia, I’ve helped a lot of clients decide on the best upgrades for improving the value of their homes. If you’re about to sell your home, or just thinking about doing something to improve it, here is a short list of ideas that work, and others you should take a pass on.

Best upgrades to help sell your house

LAUNDRY ROOM: Laundry rooms can be blah, so having that that’s nicely outfitted combining function with some nice décor and good use of space is a low-budget way to please potential home buyers. A dedicated laundry room with a door to close out the noise from running machines is nice because you can hide dirty clothes and stack clean ones until they are ready to put away. If you have space and the laundry room is directly adjacent to the garage or entry doors, adding more function with space for benches, hooks and cubbies to store everything from backpacks to sporting goods to shopping bags is a bonus.

OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE LIGHTING: You know that curb appeal is a must. One thing that adds to curb appeal is proper illumination of your hard work after the sun sets. Savvy home buyers will often check out your home at all hours, day and evening, before they make up their mind. In fact, exterior lighting is the most-wanted outdoor feature (patio was second), according to a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders. (If you’re actively selling your home, don’t forget that staging your outdoor space is important too.)

ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS: If you have an older home, installing new windows will improve much more than just the curb appeal of your house. As energy efficient windows help to decrease utility bills while increasing comfort in the home, it’s a win whether you’re staying in your home for now, or listing for sale soon. In a place like Arlington, Virginia, where we have four distinct seasons and temperatures that go up and down throughout the year, energy efficient windows are a very good idea.

GARAGE ORGANIZATION AND STORAGE: Buyers with growing families or active lifestyles need lots of storage space. Adding organization and space-saving features to your garage is another improvement project that doesn’t take much money or time but can really help your bottom line when selling your home. Hooks, benches, high storage shelves, clever craft or tool benches, and more are always attractive to potential buyers.

Home upgrades that just aren’t worth it

OVERLY FINISHED BASEMENT: While extra living space can add value to your home, a finished basement that’s a little too personalized might not help in the sale. If you decide to finish the basement before listing the property, do it simply. You want the home buyer to be able to see the potential of the space and imagine how they would tailor it for their needs.

SWIMMING POOL: Adding a swimming pool should only be done if you want to use it as the homeowner, not as a way to help boost your home’s potential sales value. It might make it looks splashy in the listings, but the return on investment is usually quite low as pools are expensive to install and many home buyers aren’t interested in the added care, utilities and responsibility that come with swimming pools.

SINGLE-PURPOSE ROOM: Just like we discussed with overly customized basements, a room that’s been customized to fit only one single purpose can also be a turn off. To get the best return on your investment, you should focus on rooms and upgrades that have broad appeal, like the living room, master bath, or kitchen.

Here’s the best advice for home improvement upgrades to improve home value and future home-selling potential: Consult with a local experience Realtor in your area. Consumer tastes vary by region, and your local real estate agent can give you the best advice for projects that will give you the most bang for your buck. Here in the greater Arlington, Virginia area, residents have specific tastes and as an agent who has worked with thousands of clients over 30+ years here locally, I can help you focus on the right project to get you the results you want. Give me a call at 703.593.6320 or email I’m here to help!