February 15, 2020
3 MINUTE READ
When it’s time to move, many homeowners are actually hesitant to upgrade their homes, which, in some ways, actually makes sense. After all, they won’t be living in that home much longer, so why should they invest money into the house — only for someone else to be the one who gets to enjoy it? Additionally, research has shown that most home remodeling projects and efforts only increase the overall home value by 50 to 80 percent of the project’s cost… so why should you make the investment to update your home?
The answer is simple. While you’ll obviously incur costs for these updates, the cost of inaction can actually be much more than any loss you’ll see from renovations or upgrades. In fact, it may actually cause your home to sit on the market longer, waiting to sell. As a result, you’ll likely end up having to pay more in ongoing costs, such as a mortgage, maintenance, and staging costs.
Of course, it’s still beneficial to be smart in your efforts to maximize your remodeling budget, by focusing on the home features that today’s buyers are really looking for in their new home. To help with this, we’ve put together a list of the top five home features new buyers want most. Here’s what we found.
It comes as no surprise that new home buyers want a laundry room, but you may be surprised to find out that it ranks highest among the features they’re looking for. Fortunately, a small scale project can be extremely cost-efficient, only requiring an investment of $1,000 to $5,000. Potential home buyers are looking for a dedicated space to store and fold laundry — and it can be the feature that pushes one home ahead of another.
Potential homebuyers are not only looking at your home, but they’re also thinking of what their bills would be once they moved in. As a result, buyers are often drawn to homes with energy-efficient features, such as Energy Star qualified appliances and windows. Energy-efficient windows can save more than 10 percent on utility bills, and new appliances can knock off as much as $50 each year on energy costs.
When prepping your home for sale, make sure not to neglect your backyard. Buyers are not only looking at the living space inside your home but the outside of your home, as well. In today’s market, outdoor living spaces have become one of the most desired selling features. Fortunately, this can be an easy and inexpensive project — stage some outdoor furniture in your patio space, and you’ve instantly created more living space without the cost of a large scale project or addition.
Exterior lighting, designed to play up the features of your home or the well-manicured lawn, can be a great way to draw the attention of potential buyers before they even step foot into your home. What’s more, exterior lighting is the second most requested outdoor feature from home buyers, falling only behind patio space, according to the NAHB. Options for exterior lighting include spotlights, pendant lights, and walkway lights.
Hardwood floors not only offer a cleaner look in your home, but they are also easier to keep clean and maintain than carpet. Unlike carpet, which needs to be replaced every 5-10 years, hardwood floors can last a lifetime through periodic refinishing. If you’re on a budget, consider engineered wood flooring, which is a hardwood veneer that is wrapped around a thick layer of plywood, fiberboard, and hardwood.