Skip to main content

Renovations That Move Homes

Last Updated on October 20, 2011

With a down market, recouping the money spent on a home can be difficult; however, knowing where to spend on renovations can give you the ability to not only move your home faster, but recoup any money spent on the home. For instance spending on a new roof won’t up the value of your home, since most buyers expect the roof to be in good shape. The key is focus on the things that are important to buyers without running up the price tag.

So what areas do you focus on?

Curb Appeal

Start with the outside; if most potential buyers don’t like how your home looks on the outside, it is highly unlikely they will take the time to venture indoors. According to, a good first impression can add anywhere from five to ten percent to the value of your home.

Prominent improvements can be:

  • Painting a faded home is a great start, but remember to match the colors with the home. Pea green may have been popular in the 1970s, but may have a negative effect on today’s homebuyers.
  • Cracked walkways and driveways should be repaired since they lead directly to your home and are seen by anyone walking up to it.
  • Landscaping can be a fun way of adding value. It gives you a chance to get out in your yard and create a beautiful arrangement of flowers, shrubbery, as well as outdoor furniture that can be taken to your new home.

Open Your Floor Plan

In the past decade, the trend has been large open spaces, as opposed to dark and cramped. Opening your floor plan is a huge value booster. Open floor plans usually are composed of combining your kitchen, living, and dining areas all in one. Removing a wall to provide an open area can causes even smaller houses to feel larger and open.

While this is a more costly renovation, it adds value to your home and entices younger families.


The national average of recouped cost is more than 100 percent for bathrooms, which means new floors, fixtures, and lights really pay off. When it comes to flooring, buyers still prefer ceramic tiles since they handle water better than wood and linoleum. Ceramics can be expensive, so if your current tiles are in good shape, a solid cleaning or hiring a floor refinisher to recolor your tiles is a great option.

Kitchen Renovation

Perhaps the most important area when preparing your home to be sold is the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home and is the number one way to add value to your home. Updating your kitchen can be a fun process as well. Many buyers are drawn toward granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and plenty of cabinet space. A shiny new sink and faucets can be a plus as well.

While updating the kitchen can be expensive, the Reliable Remodeler says the average home remodel returns 80 to 100 percent of renovations.

Updating your home can be a chore, but sitting on your home waiting for it to be sold is even worse. Many home upgrades can be done through buying a few DIY books, while larger renovations can be done through hiring subcontractors. When it’s all said and done, an updated home not only sells faster, but can fetch a higher price than a competing home.

Matt Polsky is the Senior Content Manager for VA Mortgage, the nation’s leading provider of VA home loans. Connect with Matt on Twitter @mattpolsky

Photo thanks to Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale under a creative commons license from Flickr.

Stay Connected!

Subscribe to our email newsletter

Sign up for our Newsletter
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.