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Before you sell or rent out your home, it’s smart to make improvements or updates to boost your profits. The only catch is that you need to make the right changes because some improvements don’t have as high a rate of return on investment. You may even decide to stay! So, let’s get to our Home Improvements Tips for Moving and Staying Put.



Key Factors:

While the general economy didn’t surge too much in the last couple years, the DIY and improvement market did.

The total U.S. home improvement expenditure amounted to 457 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.

Home Improvement Stores in the US accounted for $235.3bn

Home Depot  is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with approximately 2,300 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.



What If I Decide I’m Not Ready to Move?

So, what if you start looking for a new home and then decide you already have the best situation for you? If the best ‘move’ for you is to improve your current home and stay put then you aren’t alone. That’s a huge trend right now.


If you’re like lots of folks who never completely finish your home until you’re ready to sell, how about this time you enjoy all the fruits of your labor? Pretend (to yourselves) that you’re selling and finish your home but then stay and enjoy it for a while.


What Improvements Are Smart to Make Even If I’m Not Selling Yet?

If you’re looking to stay another 3-5 years then making changes that have a little more personal flair can be OK. But if you think you’ll be moving sooner then consider more neutral look that are less ‘out there’. If you’re spending money to upgrade/update kitchens and bathrooms which have high rate of returns (Read: 9 Best Home Improvements With Great Returns on Investment)  make changes that appeal to a broader audience. Potential renters and buyers usually want to put their own stamp on things with their furnishings and if you’ve chosen bright red kitchen cabinets the sell can be more difficult.



Buyers can get hung up on the smallest things and all they can see is what they’ll need to spend money on once they buy the house. The fewer ‘money-costing’ blockages, the easier the sale.


What Home Improvement Trends are Popular in My Area?

This is where a seasoned real estate agent can be a big help. Ask them to come have a look and give a valuation of your property. Be honest and say you’re thinking of making upgrades but aren’t selling just yet. They’ll be happy to do this as they have the potential of getting the listing when you do sell but you are not required to list it with them.

Ask for their opinion on upgrades that would make the difference that increases your profit and selling potential and those that would not pay for themselves. Of course, if you decide to stay your choices may be slightly different with an eye to re-sale in the future.


New Flooring

If you’re selling vs staying, think about which new flooring would be best. While lots of buyers love hardwood floors not all do. If your current carpet is in great shape then paying to replace it with hardwoods might not be worth the money spent. Having said that, if your carpet needs to be replaced, do some research to find out what’s most popular right now.


Update the Exterior for Excellent Home Improvement

Updating your exterior could mean a new coat of paint or changing out window and adding new siding. Does your home’s exterior look a bit rag tag? Is energy efficiency a problem? If so, new siding might be the answer. Choose windows and siding that need no maintenance but looks fantastic and will get buyers excited.

You may want to consider a manufactured stone veneer exterior. This man-made composite looks very real and is installed with the same process as real stone. It can give an very cool updated look and increase curb appeal if it’s a good fit for your home. Perhaps use it in a limited area like a new front door surround. Done right adding this veneer can give you over a 96% ROI.


Improve that Garage Door

Depending on your home, the garage door can be a large percentage of the front view of your home. Make sure it looks as great as the rest of your exterior. A garage door shouldn’t be a feature painted in a bright color. Pick one that’s in keeping with your home’s style and doesn’t overpower. Look for energy-efficient ones. If you’re going for a wood look, consider composite ones that have great insulating properties. Believe it or not, depending on the door you choose it can give a 98% return on investment.


Make Your Home More Accessibility Friendly

If you live in an area that caters to an aging population then making your home as accessibility friendly as possible could be a real asset. Look at bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and hallways for easy changes that improve accessibility. Even something as simple as choosing a shower tray that’s level with your bathroom floor can be big for owners who have mobility issues.


Enhance Your Backyard – A Worthwhile Improvement

Everyone benefits from easy access to the outdoors. It’s great for your health and mental state so make it as pleasant an experience as possible for all with an attractive new deck or terrace. Not only does this addition or upgrade have a ROI from 50% – 82% (depending on materials, size and deck v terrace) it enhances the view from inside the home so adds to interior home value as well.

Smart Home Systems Are a Smart Home Improvement 

Using a smart thermostat and other smart appliances can reduce energy bills and reduce waste. Look for easy to use systems. Buyers don’t want overcomplicated systems that may confuse and overwhelm them.

Reducing Dependence on Oil and Gas

Solar Panels, Heat Exchange these can be great non-oil and gas choices but can also be costly. Consider how much they are and how long it would take to re-coup the costs. If your gas boiler is about to go out consider other environmentally-friendly options. Check for government programs that may help with the cost.



Staging Your Home to Increase the Value

If you’ve never heard of staging your home or are not sure how to do it, a good real estate agent can give great tips.

De-clutter to Improve Your Home

Piles of your things scattered about can be a real turn off and make a space look smaller

Neutralize colors

You may love color and that’s great but your bright blue bedroom may be a potential buyer’s color. They may be thinking ‘I’d have to pay a painter to change that ASAP’.

De-personlize Your Home to Sell

No one wants to see your dandruff shampoo etc. Put away all personal hygiene products and replace with spotless fluffy towels and expensive soaps

Natural smells

A smell you love may give others headaches. Lots of people are allergic to scents in air fresheners or don’t like their artificial smell. Instead, have cookie batter handy and bake just a couple cookies before a showing so the house has that homey fresh baked smell

Keep it clean

A spotless home is inviting and gives the appearance that it’s been well cared for and maintained.


How Will I Pay for My Home Improvements?

If you’ve been thinking about home improvements for a while, perhaps you have savings in the bank earmarked for your potential upgrades. If not, look at all borrowing options like borrowing from family and friends, taking out a loan from your credit union or bank. If your improvements are small then using credit cards to temporarily fund your upgrades could be an option. If those options don’t pan out or you need additional funds then a personal loan or payday loan could help get the funds you need.



Bottom Line:

Whether you’re selling, renting or you decide to stay to enjoy your home upgrades choose wisely. Get the opinion of a seasoned real estate agent. Always consider the going for the best ROI’s for the changes you plan to make. If you stay but think you’ll be moving in under 3 years, definitely choose upgrades that are less personalized, ones that are more neutral with broader appeal.



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