Home updates with the best resale value



We are considering selling our house in a few months and have done some research online about what home updates will get you the best return when selling. There are mixed opinions in the articles we’ve read. We don’t want to pour money into updating a part of our house that will not increase our home’s value—especially since we won’t live here any longer to enjoy it.

What home updates do you suggest to your clients when they are getting ready to sell their house? Do we need to consider big projects or will small things—like painting—make a difference?

Becky, Fruita


Super great question! It is one of the most frequent questions I get and the reason I spend at least one column per year addressing which home improvements provide the biggest bang for the buck. After all, who wants to do upgrades that don’t pay off? NOBODY, but you must remember that not all upgrades or home improvements are created equal! Listen, if you spend big money on a cigar room, wine tasting enclave, commercial kitchen or home dance studio you can’t blame anyone but yourself when your return on investment is non-existent. Spending too much on over personalized upgrades will never pay off a big return, if any at all. However there are home improvements that do provide a great return on investment.

The two home improvements that will generally create the largest bang for the buck return and are always the first two I discuss with people are flooring and paint!

The two home improvements that will generally create the largest bang for the buck return and are always the first two I discuss with people are flooring and paint! In my experience, over 15 years and literally thousands of homes, buyers have the most positive reactions over flooring and paint and the reaction is universal to price range. It does not matter what price point you are talking about, buyers love the smell of new carpet and new paint and remember buying a home involves all the senses and smell is a very influential one. For example, and heaven forbid, you have blue, sage or mauve carpet your return on investment will be over 100%! If you have 4 bedrooms and each one has been painted a different color of the rainbow, your return on investment will be over 100%. These are easy improvements to make a decision on. Do not procrastinate that kind of improvement, just do it and you will be glad you did. 


There are also other easy and cost effective home improvements. Next to flooring and paint, new light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, doors, door knobs and hinges also provide a great return on investment. In the grand scheme of things all these improvements are also quite cost effective and will not break the bank, however they will provide great return on investment. If you have a 70/80’s vintage home and have the old dark stained wood doors, replace them with white 6 panel doors (around $100 each at Home Depot) and behold the transformation! Give that dark dingy hallway a bright and light feel! While you are at it, remove the brass door knobs and brass hinges and take it a step further. Same goes with light and plumbing fixtures, costs are not huge and the rewards are awesome.  Lastly, don’t neglect the outside of your home. Outside home improvements are also cost effective and provide a great return on investment.

If you want all the latest and greatest on home remodels and improvements go to Remodeling.com and their cost vs. value report for 2016 and get the skinny on all things home remodel and how much you can expect to get back on your investment. This is a great resource that also breaks things down regionally so you can see what is most important in our neck of the woods. Hope this helps and best of luck on your home's facelift.

Dave Kimbrough
The Kimbrough Team