What Upgrades Increase Home Value? 19 High-ROI Improvements Buyers Love

What you do with your home has a direct impact on its value. Damage something and the value decreases, but improve something and the value can skyrocket, depending on the improvements you made. Especially in today’s day and age, renovation projects are in demand and everyone is looking to revamp their homes to achieve their desired aesthetic and functions.


With that, it’s also an opportunity for sellers to make upgrades and improvements on their properties to increase their value and get more interested buyers. The key is in knowing what improvements to make. Here are 19 upgrades and improvements that home buyers will love and help your property’s value skyrocket. 

1. Add Energy-Efficient Appliances 

The appliances that come with the property matter just as much as how the house looks in its entirety. You’ll want to include modern appliances like dishwashers, dryers, washing machines, and refrigerators with the sale. More so, make sure that they are energy-efficient, as this is a primary factor homebuyers consider. 

2. Choose a Neutral Paint Color 

Bold and striking wallpapers are out, and minimalist, neutral paint colors are in. Having a neutral exterior is like giving your potential buyers a blank slate to work with. It allows them to better imagine how to fit their belongings in the space and determine what improvements they want to make in their future home. Repaint your interiors with subtle colors like white, beige, hints of blue, or brown undertones. 

3. Choose Steel for the Entry Door 

You want to impress your potential buyers before they even walk into the house. And right now, buyers want to see steel on the entry doors. Statistics show that steel doors help recover 61% to 91% at resale. This can be owing to the benefits of steel, which include being low maintenance, energy-efficient, and has the capacity to block the outdoor cold. 

4. Create a Walk-In Shower

77% of home buyers consider both a shower and tub as essential in a master bathroom. However, a substantial number of them also want to have a separate walk-in shower with the tub located in another area. Walk-in showers are the norm, and although it can cost you between $800 to $2,500, the value it can bring to your property makes the expense worth it.

5. Decorate the Exterior With Stone Veneer

Stone veneer exteriors are luxurious-looking additions that will make the house look inviting from the outside, hence attracting potential buyers. While installing stone veneers can be expensive, 96% of the cost can be recovered after the sale. 

6. Install a Smart Thermostat

Home technologies have changed the game for homebuyers, and one of the smart home appliances they want to see is a programmable thermostat. This is owing to its ability to help homeowners save more energy and reduce the cost of electricity bills. 

7. Open Up the Space

Open spaces are the trend. Knocking out the walls that separate the kitchen, dining, and living room is bound to make the house look more appealing to potential buyers. It helps them imagine how they want to decorate the room and envision their life in the house. Plus, it also allows natural light to enter, adding visual appeal to your interiors. 

8. Opt for Minor Remodeling Instead of Upscale Remodeling 

You might be tempted to conduct a full-blown renovation in order to raise the value of your property as much as possible. But if you crunch the numbers, you’ll realize that minor remodeling efforts pay off more than upscale ones. Take a look at these findings: 

  • Kitchen remodeling: minor remodeling recoups 77.6% of the spend at resale while upscale remodeling only recovers 58.6% of costs. 
  • Bathroom remodeling: minor changes recoup 64% of the costs at resale while upscale overhauls only recover 56%. 

Learn to limit your efforts to small changes, like replacing cabinet fronts, upgrading small fixtures, refinishing the flooring, etc. 

9. Refinish Hardwood Flooring 

More and more homeowners are having their floorings replaced with hardwood. The 2019 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors revealed that refinished hardwood flooring can recoup 100% of the cost after the sale. New wood flooring, on the other hand, can recover 106% of the spend. 

10. Renovate the Basement 

More and more people, especially high-income owners, are becoming more particular about the basement. Renovating the basement as you would the entire house adds a few extra square footage to your finished property. While an unfinished basement can add value up to $15,000 to $20,000, that value more than doubles with a renovated and finished basement. 

11. Replace Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures 

Even the smallest improvements can make a world of difference. Handles, knobs, faucets, and other small fixtures can contribute a lot to the look of the kitchen and bathroom. Upgrading these to trending materials like stainless steel, brushed nickel, or bronze can make the house look modern and leave a big impact on potential buyers. 

12. Replace the HVAC

Installed technologies like HVACs are of primary concern to homebuyers. Most buyers ask about the HVAC systems, the brand, when it was installed, and any repairs made on it. Having a newly bought and installed HVAC is a good USP to boast about and allows you to recover 85% of its cost at resale. 

13. Replace Old Toilets 

New toilets have technologies and features that old toilets lack. And in these modern times, those matter to home buyers. Upgrade your toilets to low-flow fixtures that use up less water but have a more powerful flush.

14. Replace the Roof 

The roof is often neglected when it comes to home improvement efforts. And frankly, not a lot of homebuyers are up for the challenge of redoing the roof themselves. Replacing your roof can recover 107% of the costs at resale, not to mention that a brand-new roof is going to attract more potential buyers. 

15. Replace the Siding

No corner must be left unchecked! Inspect the house’s siding and make sure that it’s in good shape. More particular home buyers will want to know the brand of siding used on the house to determine how durable it is. Having brand-new sidings installed can recover 63% to 76% upon resale. 

16. Replace the Windows with Energy-Efficient Options 

People are leaning toward saving energy in their homes, which is why replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones can boost your house’s value. Insulated vinyl windows, for example, recover 74% of their costs upon resale. 

17. Take the Laundry Room Out of the Basement

In most houses, the laundry room is located in the basement. But new survey results show that 69% of high-income buyers and 68% of moderate-income buyers want their laundry rooms to be located on the main floor. The new trend has a laundry room that connects to both the master bedroom and the hallway. 

18. Touch Up the Paint 

A fresh coat of paint can transform how a piece of property looks. Simply touching up your exterior paint can make the house look brand new and therefore attractive to potential buyers. You’ll want to get rid of any water stains, mold, dirt, etc. through pressure washing and then top it off with a fresh coat of paint. 

19. Upgrade the Garage Door 

This one may seem like a minor change, but replacing and upgrading your garage door can pay off. Statistics show that getting a new garage door before selling a house can help recover your costs by 95% after the sale. You might also want to consider automated garage doors to further increase the home’s resale value. 

Improve Your Home, Improve Your ROI

These upgrades will make your property look more appealing to homebuyers, increasing the chance of you getting more high-value offers. While you can simply sell your house without spending on improvements, taking on the challenge of remodeling and renovating can boost your ROI and earn you a higher price than what you initially expected.


Cash Buyers
Jake Knight

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Jake Knight

Jake Knight has been a residential real estate investor since 2016. He specializes in acquiring and renovating houses in the Bay Area, Sacramento, eventually expanding to over 15+ states. Jake’s prior experience in lending, going back to 2003, laid the foundation for solving complex real estate issues.

Drawing upon his background in assisting sellers with the task of transitioning from a home they have lived in for decades, Jake launched a “senior move management” business in 2021. This company provides valuable support to seniors during the process of packing, coordinating their moves, and downsizing as they transition into senior living communities.

In 2022, Jake expanded his services by becoming a licensed real estate agent in California, providing comprehensive solutions to his seller clients.

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On the other hand, there are some sellers who need a custom solution due to either the property’s condition or the seller’s personal situation, or a combination of the two.

When the property is in really bad shape, they’re likely going to sell to an investor, so it may make sense to save money on commissions and find their own investor.

Some examples of personal situations that we can help with are: hoarding, pre-foreclosure or other financial issues that require a fast home sale, house with non-paying tenants or squatters, severely delinquent property taxes, homeowners who want to rent back the home longer than normal, or sellers who value privacy and/or are embarrassed by their home.

If your seller lead meets these criteria, you should propose the idea of making an introduction to me. You can simply suggest to them that your partner or colleague buys houses and ask if they are interested in speaking with me. Remember, you are not performing real estate agent duties. See our disclaimer below. The main thing to keep in mind at this point is to qualify them as a good fit or not. I can help you with the documentation and process things.