It’s the biggest investment you’re likely to ever make – your house – and if you’re putting it on the market soon, you’ll want to get the most bang for your buck in home improvements.
The Home Improvement Calculator is the brainchild of real estate company Opendoor, and suggests the top five upgrades for a $300,000 house to increase overall value:
1. A swimming pool can add $21,350 in value
2. An additional 150 square feet in interior living space adds $14,850
3. A second or third bedroom tacks on another $14,750
4. Hardwood flooring can contribute another $13,550.
5. Converting existing space to another bedroom $8,600
But KTRH Home Improvement specialist Jim Dutton has different priorities, and it starts with the home exterior. “Typically the biggest boost is going to be siding,” he tells KTRH News. “If you’ve got the old Masonite siding upgrade it to something like Hardie siding. He says it’s been the biggest boost in the last several years and increases curb appeal.
Dutton’s number two is bathrooms and kitchen upgrades. He says you’ll never recoup 100% of the cost of home improvements when you sell, but the biggest band for the buck can be found in those two rooms. He says the idea of getting a little over $20,000 in resale value for sinking a pool in the backyard doesn’t make sense when you consider an average cost of $50,000 to install one.
What really gets his craw is a lime green wall. “Paint colors to me is the top offender, and it’s so simple to change a paint color. People paint for their own taste. If you’re selling the home, keep it neutral.” Beige rules in resale values!
So does pulling up carpet and replacing it with hardwood flooring. “Wood floors are top notch. That’s the best way to go. Your laminates come in after that, and of course tiles. Now there are a lot of tiles that look like hardwood floors.” People just don’t care for carpeting anymore.
Houston homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 dollar range increased 16.9 percent in value in the past year, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.
Jim Dutton is the host of "Texas Home Improvement" Saturdays 2 to 4 and Sundays 2 to 3.