Top 5 Updates to Increase Home Value

If you’re planning to put your home on the market in the spring, now is the time to start prepping your home for sale. And if you’re like many of the home sellers that I work with in the Lake George and Bolton Landing region, you’re probably wondering which projects will yield the best return on investment.

While roofs, gutters, windows and furnaces aren’t exactly the sexy features on a house, if they’re leaky or not in good working order, buyers won’t even bother with your awesome kitchen remodel – so make sure you tackle any necessary home repairs first. However, once you’ve taken care of the basics, these 5 updates will get you the best bang for your buck.


Bathroom (and kitchen) remodels still tend to be the two best investments you can make in your house, often returning more than 100% of the cost. Minor remodels make more sense than major overhauls, and if you only have one bathroom, it’s much smarter to add another one, than to spend your money re-doing the one you’ve got. Consider re-grouting tile and replacing caulk, adding new mirrors and fixtures, installing a more modern and efficient toilet, and swapping out that plastic tub for a walk-in tile shower.


If you only have enough money to renovate one room, your kitchen is the smart choice. After all, most buyers are more willing to overlook a tired bath than they are an outdated kitchen. Once again, minor remodels have a better return on investment than a complete tear-out. Start by painting your cabinets or replacing the doors and handles for an instant face-lift, and, if it’s in the budget, stone countertops and stainless steel appliances really get buyers excited.


Interior paint is one of the cheapest updates you can make, and also one of the best returns on your investment, especially if you do it yourself. The walls of a home take a lot of abuse, but a fresh coat of paint can lighten the room, hide defects, and make the space feel fresh and clean. If you’ve chosen unusual colors to fit your personal taste, now is the time to switch to hues with a broader visual appeal.


When it comes to flooring, wall-to-wall carpeting is out and hardwood floors are in. If you’re lucky, you’ll find decent hardwood hiding underneath your carpet, which can be sanded down and refinished, but even if you have to install new floors, the cost is generally worth it. In fact, it’s estimated that hardwood floors can increase a home’s sale price by 2.5%. Tight on funds? Focus on the floors in public areas, such as kitchens and living rooms, and opt for less costly carpet in the bedrooms. 


First impressions matter, and that’s especially true of your home’s exterior. Simply power-washing the siding, front walk and driveway, and adding a new coat of paint to the front door doesn’t cost a lot, but it goes a long way to impress buyers. For sellers who can afford new siding and a new entry door, 90% of the costs are typically recouped, and you’ll generally see a 100% return on investment for landscaping, too. So make sure to trim the shrubs, refresh the mulch, and plant seasonal colorful plants.

Which Projects are Right for You?

It’s important to remember that what you get back on your investment depends on the value of your house, as well as others in your immediate neighborhood, the real estate market, how soon you sell after making the improvements, and the quality of the project itself. The right real estate agent can help you identify which updates make the most sense.

If you’re thinking about renovating your home to sell, give me a call at (518) 321-1870. As a home staging professional and real estate agent for the Lake George, Bolton Landing & Southern Adirondacks region, I’m happy to share my knowledge of the local real estate market with you, and offer professional advice on which projects will have the most impact on your resale value.