5 Home Improvements Home Buyers Actually Want

Written by Posted On Thursday, 27 March 2014 08:08

When it’s time to put your house on the market home sellers are faced with a dilemma – renovate and increase your home’s value or sell as is. There can be a fine line between improvements and renovations that are necessary and add value and those that are wasting your time and money.

We’ve compiled all the most important data from the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and CAR (California Association of Realtors) and come up with a top 5 list of home improvements that buyers are looking for while they’re shopping for homes and give you money back for your investment.

Even if you’re not ready to move, these are improvements you can enjoy now and rest easy that future buyers will love as well.


Kitchen updates

85% of home buyers want a walk-in kitchen pantry and according to CAR you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel as long as you keep it modest and to the point. Restructuring the lay out and adding a built in cappuccino maker won’t get you the returns you’re looking for but a new countertop and a great paint job should do the trick.

A cost effective and stylish kitchen upgrade for faded, stained or worn out counter tops is laminate. For example granite styled laminate mirrors the look of granite but for a fraction of the cost. The laminate is also the perfect material for your kitchen because it’s scratch resistant. Changing the look of your countertops will give the whole room a facelift and it won’t cost you a fortune.


Great Outdoors

There are tons of reasons to give your backyard more love including the fact that it adds value to your home. A deck addition will make your backyard and home more appealing to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. You can expect to recoup 65%-90% of your investment and in the mean time you get to enjoy a bit of fresh air and relaxation as well.

Not only is a deck a good improvement, also consider adding things like a fire pit or barbeque. These additions are ideal if you’re not quite ready to move – that means you can enjoy it now and it will be a selling point later. Steer clear however of spending too much on intricate landscaping and exotic plants. You might love your perfectly manicured rose garden but a home buyer might be turned off by costly upkeep. Stick to full and easy to maintain bushes.



90% of home buyers want an exhaust fan as well as a linen closet in the bathroom. Also, home buyers want more bathrooms. You can expect to recoup 80%-130% of your investment if you decide to expand and add another bathroom.

There are lots of reasons to consider home improvements in your bathroom including the fact that bathrooms simply show wear and tear over time. Even if you keep your bathroom clean hard water deposits build up, cabinets start looking dingy and paint peels from the constant moisture. Giving your bathroom a quick face lift will up your resale value and make your bathroom a relaxing sanctuary once again.


Energy Efficiency

94% of home buyers want Energy-Star rated appliances and 91% want an Energy-star rating for the whole house.  Why do home buyers want energy efficient appliances and homes? The most common reason is because energy efficient means cost effective.

Appliances labeled “Energy Star” can save home owners 10-15% on energy and water bills compared to old standard models. By upgrading your appliances, you can save money on your monthly bills and set your house up so it is desirable for the next owners as well. There are also several other ways of going green and cutting costs in your home as well to consider when adding home improvements.


Garage Storage

86% of home buyers want storage space in their garage. And let’s be honest, we all could use more storage space in our lives for the stuff we accumulate in our lives. Installing shelving, investing in cabinets and getting extra garage storage is a great way to make your life easier and add value to your home.

If you’re interested in listing and selling your home soon then contact a

First Team Agent to help you decide what home improvements are worth your time and money. With intimate market knowledge and years of experience, First Team Agents are your greatest resource for knowing what buyers in your area want and what home improvements they’re looking for in a new home. Call 888-870-1142 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll connect you with an experienced agent in your area today.

Sellers - How do you feel about home improvements before you sell your home?

Agents - Are there any home improvements every seller should complete before listing their home?

Originally posted at: http://www.firstteam.com/blog/?p=7868

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First Team Real Estate® is the largest independent brokerage in Southern California and voted the #1 Real Estate Company by the OC Register's Best of Orange County in 2011, 2012, and 2013


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