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Homeside: Your Modern Mortgage Blog

What Types of Home Improvements/Renovations Will Impact My Appraisal Value?

Posted by Rachel Guthrie on November 14, 2015

If you’re looking for the best outcome from an appraisal, it might be time to take matters into your own hands. Some home improvements and renovations can help increase your home’s worth while others may be harmful or will not change the perceived value.

First, make sure you understand the difference between above grade and below grade additions and improvements. Some people may cherish a refinished basement, but that won’t add square footage to your home. In this instance it would be more beneficial to add an additional room to your home, above ground, if you wish to increase value.

Here are some areas where you can get more bang for your buck:

Kitchen:

The kitchen is a great place to start as families spend a great deal of time around the dinner table! Updating the finishes in your kitchen can be a simple way to add some appeal. Upgrade to stainless steel appliances, give the kitchen new life with some granite countertops and kitchen island, or update to a beautiful new sink. Also, creating more open space between the kitchen and other rooms in the home can have a big payoff – you might not want to knock down a wall but just imagine how much inviting a more spacious floorplan will feel.

Bathroom:

The top question to ask yourself about your bathroom is: does it look clean and sparkling? All the effort you put in for the bathroom should have one goal in mind -- make it shine. You can adjust and add lighting, upgrade to a new brightly lit vanity, update an old and unattractive toilet, or add a window to bring in natural light. You don’t even have to buy a brand new tub – just reglaze the old one!

Outside:

Take care of the exterior of your home and ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing. However, instead of planting a lot of trees, shrubbery, flowers, or bushes that may be challenging and expensive for the next potential owner to maintain, add something that makes their life easier – a sprinkler system!

Try to keep your updates tasteful and simplistically elegant. You may want to convert a bedroom into a wine cellar but that may not be a selling point for future buyers or appraisers.

Most importantly, document all of your efforts and improvements. You put immense time and money into your home, so make sure you can prove it. It is recommended to take before and after photos of your renovations along with keeping organized and clear documentation of all financials and expenses. Keep a spreadsheet as to what was spent on each project and it is definitely worth your time to keep and file receipts as well. It is most crucial to document your improvements to areas within your home that are not visible to the eye such as structural fixes, heating and cooling systems, plumbing systems, and electrical systems. 

Looking for additional renovation options? Check these out! 

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