4 Ways to Make Your Home Renovations Pay Off in the Long Run

Charlotte Miller

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         The housing market is livelier than ever this year, making it the perfect time to invest in renovations and updates that could boost your home’s value. Loving the house you live in is important, but you likely don’t plan to stay in your current space forever.

As you work on your home’s appearance and functionality, keep your future plans—like resale and rental opportunities—in mind and prioritize cost-effective projects that will contribute directly to your property’s marketability. Keep reading for four ways to make the home improvement projects you start now pay off later.

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Update Fixtures

         One of the best ways to start a home update is to focus on the small components and fixtures—like window treatments, light fixtures, curtain rods, and decorative trim—that make your home look polished. Upon first glance, outdated or unfinished fixtures can make your home less appealing even if it has plenty of other great features.

         To remedy this, you can do a couple of simple and inexpensive fixes. Painting window trim and molding, replacing ceiling fans with newer models, and ensuring that your hardware tones match throughout your space are small ways to make a big impact. If you stay up to date on current decorating trends and make these changes, your house can look just as fresh as the new construction options in your area when you list it for sale.

Be Strategic

         When choosing larger and more expensive home renovation projects to start, be strategic and play up your space’s existing strengths. For example, maybe your home has a large, open kitchen but no patio or deck. You may be tempted to amp up the outdoor space with a fresh hardscape to cover more bases, but that might not be the wisest option. 

Future buyers will likely be attracted to the features of your home that are harder to change—like room size and layout—and adding lots of extras could be a wasted effort. In this instance, it might be more beneficial to emphasize your spacious kitchen by painting cabinets, replacing backsplash, or adding an island and present it later as a highlight of the entire home. 

Buyers will be able to tell where you invested your energy (and your money) and if their desired features are represented well in your space, your home could be a hard option to resist. 

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Be Forward-Thinking

         On that note, it is really important to keep your end goal in mind when you are making changes to your home. Your intentions—whether they be to sell your property or rent it out—should also determine which updates you make and when.

If you are selling your home, you may want to be more conservative with your renovative work. While you want to keep your home looking nice and solve any problems that might impede sale, new buyers are likely hoping to make changes to fit their own tastes.

Structure and potential are the qualities to prioritize as you consider resale value. If you spend a lot of time and money making changes that you think are improvements, especially big projects and remodels, you could turn away buyers who don’t like those new features and aren’t willing to undo your work.

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Consider Function

If the space you are working with is a vacation home or secondary property and you are considering short-term rental, convenience and efficiency are top priorities. In addition to style and location, function is what short-term renters are looking for.

As you consider which renovations to make, you can estimate how much money you might make with an Airbnb revenue calculator and make changes that boost your property’s appeal and, potentially, your earnings. This might help you determine what projects you want to focus on and when.

If you do choose to update your property’s look, prioritize the shared spaces—like the living room and any outdoor seating—where your renters can spend time together. For the benefit of working renters, you may even want to convert a spare room or open space into an office area. No matter the size or layout of your space, you can find ways to make it serve your renters well.       

Whether you’re looking forward to resale or rental, keeping your home fresh and functional will help you get the most out of your investments.