Home Improvement for Better ROI
When considering where to invest your hard-earned dollars when it comes to home improvement projects, some projects are better for resale considerations than others. Knowing what trends are popular with today’s buyers will help you determine how to make your home more attractive to them.
The attitudes and demands of buyers have changed somewhat since the “great recession” of the late 2000’s. The “McMansions” of the last decade are less in demand and buyers are looking for smaller square footage. However, the square footage must work hard. There are three basic trends in home design that are moving to the top of many buyers’ wish list: a) low-maintenance features, b) better use of space and technology and c) energy efficiency.
Best Home Improvement Trends for Frederick Homeowners
1. According to Remodeling Magazine, fiber-cement siding is one of the products that is growing in demand. It’s a combination of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers that look like wood. It won’t rot, combust, or fall prey to termites and other damaging insects.
This fiber-cement siding is more expensive than wood, vinyl or aluminum siding, at $5 – $9 per square foot, installed. It returns 80% of the investment, the highest ROI of the upscale projects on Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report.
- Tim Johnson, on KayuConnection, has written an analysis to show that it is actually possible to beat the Cost vs Value Report and get a positive ROI on your home improvements (contrary to what the Cost vs Value report states). Read it here: Cost Vs. Value Report.
2. A Laundry Room that lives where the laundry lives. Sometime in the last few years, the laundry room was elevated in stature from the lowly basement to the second floor where dirty clothes actually are. If you’ve got the space, a dedicated laundry room is a great addition that will make your home so much more livable.
3. Smart Storage Solutions are more important in smaller homes. Supposedly, people today are accumulating less stuff, but we still want smart storage. Built-in storage remedies are popular, taking advantage of previously unused space like under the stairs and overhead. Smart storage in kitchen cabinets is a good investment towards a harder working kitchen.
4. Invest in the kitchen. According to American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey, while homes are getting smaller, kitchens are getting larger and more central to family living. The best kitchen remodels have open space, often incorporating the little-used formal dining room. Today’s kitchens feature recycling centers, large pantries and recharging stations. People are opting for mid-range appliances instead of the pricey commercial models that were seldom used. Prep space is important as well as storage solutions like cabinet organizers.
5. Invest in the Bathrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens are the most costly rooms to renovate…
but they are on the top of a buyer’s list of must-have’s. Having an outdated bathroom or kitchen, or worse, both, could cause a buyer to scratch your house off their list. There are many ways to update your bathrooms without spending a fortune. Any combination of new fixtures, new flooring, new countertops and sinks, and new lighting can make your tired bathroom look new again.
6. Home Offices are high in demand as more and more people are working at least part time from home. Telecommuting is accepted in more and more businesses as a viable perk for employees. We are seeing a surge in entrepreneurial ventures with a demand for work spaces in the home. Spare bedrooms and basement rooms can become a home office and a family room niche can make a great working space.
7. Energy savings is on everyone’s minds. We are thinking greener for the earth as well as our pockets. Energy monitors are appreciated by today’s buyers who want to know the dollars and cents of the home they might buy. An energy monitor will also help you, the homeowner know where you need to invest in more energy saving technology and products.
Beefing up your home’s insulation will help bring down energy costs, which make your home more attractive to buyers. Adding attic insulation has one of the highest returns on investment, according to Remodeling Magazine. If you are in need of new appliances, investing in energy star appliances is a wise move. If the age of your home warrants new windows, splurging for insulated windows will add to the energy savings.
Smart Home Technology
8. Smart home technologies are catching on...gradually. While it’s important to stay on top of today’s tech trends, just know that as of 2016, the expense of green and smart home technologies in new homes is a little bit more than traditional homes and the return on investment is still unknown for a lot of the improvements you can choose. However, as the marketplace gradually adopts green technologies, costs for today’s new innovations will drop just like we see in any new product or market. I remember paying $2000 for a “cell phone” in 1985! It was the newest-greatest-thing and we had to have it.
Make no mistake, home technology is a trend that will only grow. The top trends showing at the latest CES 2017 (Consumer Technology Association) show in Las Vegas are home technology trends, according to Architectural Digest. Some of the highlights:
- The Smart Shower Head, it changes color when you’ve used too much water.
- It Bed, by Sleep Number, it’s equipped with a network of sensors that track your biometrics (heart rate, breathing, movement) and offers recommendations to improve your sleep
- There are an entire new generation of smart thermostats available this year. Connectivity is the buzzword, along with the internet of things.
- Look for a plethora of voice controlled home products to come on the market in 2016. We already control our phones with Google Now and Siri; our homes won’t be far behind.
- Family Hub Refrigerator, by Samsung, it can track and order groceries thanks to its sleek 21-inch touch screen, which also syncs to your home’s other Samsung televisions. The built-in interior camera is accessible remotely so you can look inside when you’re at the grocery store.
Show Off Your Investments
When it comes time to sell, make sure your marketing shows the energy improvements you’ve made to your home; show off your smart renovations by publishing your monthly energy savings. Today’s buyers are increasingly interested in their future costs of owning a home.