Everyone has heard that curb appeal, kitchens, bathrooms, and maintenance are the key areas to focus on when making renovations that will provide the highest return on your investment.

But did you know that minor renovations, rather than major remodeling projects, will fare better in the long run? Large renovations, such as replacing kitchen cabinets or expensive flooring, will generally not add enough equity value to pay for their costs.

Where to spend your money:


Though it may not be sexy like a master bathroom or a kitchen, maintenance takes top consideration, as a homeowner’s biggest priority should be in keeping the existing structure sound. This may mean repairing or replacing a roof, fixing foundation problems in a leaky basement, upgrading siding, or adding insulation to an attic.

In fact, according to Realtor.com, attic insulation is the number one return on investment at 107.7%.

Other smaller maintenance issues might include water damage, fixing leaky faucets, re-grouting and re-caulking in bathrooms and kitchens, replacing cracked floor or counter tiles, and patching holes in walls.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the kitchen is if basic maintenance is needed in the home.

Limit Hard Costs in Favor of DIY Costs

Paying to have a new hardwood floor installed is a hard cost while borrowing a floor sander and sanding floors yourself is a soft cost. Refurbish rather than replace when possible.

Stay Neutral

Repaint walls and trim utilizing neutral colors. This does not have to mean just off-white and beige. These days, neutral can include warm tan, gray, and soft blues, greens and yellows. Stay away from bold wall colors as they have a way of reducing offers.

Replacing or refinishing your flooring is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to give a house a new life, however, you must be careful as you won’t always recover your expenses. Though most buyers prefer hardwood floors, they’re pricey to install. A sturdy, builder-grade carpet in a neutral color might be the way to go.

Curb Appeal

It’s important that your home makes a great first impression and curb appeal ranks number-one in regaining costs. Add new shrubs, mulch, colorful flowers, a flagstone walkway, refurbish or replace your front door, replace hardware and outdoor light fixtures.

Kitchen and Bathroom

These two rooms are the most important to potential buyers and should be the priority in spending your money. Improvements here are most likely to recoup their costs and create actual equity if you don’t go overboard.

Again, think refurbish rather than replace in most cases. Rather than installing new cabinets, think about refacing door and drawer fronts. If they just need freshening up, then paint them. For wood cabinets that appear dry, orange oil will renew their original luster. Changing your cabinet hardware is one of the easiest projects to update the space.

If kitchen counters are damaged or really dated, this is one place to spend your money, as it can make a big difference. If there is no backsplash consider installing a modern tile.

Simple upgrades, such as faucets, lighting, a new sink, or cabinet pulls don’t cost a lot and can really give a room a new look. Having tile professionally painted can make it look brand new.

When in doubt, consult a real estate professional regarding upgrades. Over-improving for your neighborhood or house type can really set you back at sale time.

Happy house selling. Don’t forget to give Solarity a call for all your home loan needs.