Home Improvements That Help Sell Your Boise Home


When you are getting ready to sell your Boise, Idaho home, there’s a fair amount that you need to do. You are going to have to get your house ready, spruce up the curb appeal, stage your home, and find the best real estate agent in the Boise area. Fortunately, you have the real estate agent part covered with The Sellers Edge when you are ready to list. But you have some work to do first.

If you are planning on doing some work on your house, like some major, or even minor, renovations, it doesn’t hurt to ask for you real estate agent’s opinions. They know what adds value to a home and what doesn’t. If you are planning on getting rid of that bathtub in your bathroom for a shower, you might want to find out if that’s going to hurt your resale value.

First impressions are everything, especially when you are selling your home. And you don’t get a second chance on a first impression. If you watch a lot of home improvement television, you probably already know that your home’s first impression is its curb appeal. If your house doesn’t look good on the outside, people won’t even want to step inside and take a look. So sprucing up your yard and the exterior of your house is incredibly important. Just don’t forget about the inside of your home.

You might get a potential buyer to fall in love with the outside of your house. But what happens when they step through the front door and are met with decades old décor and a kitchen from the forties? There goes that first impression. And you lost your chance at being able to win them over, because they will always see that outdated design inside your home. While using a professional home staging service can solve some of those issues, it might be time to do some renovations.

Smart Renovations

Curb appeal gets the buyers in the door, but the whole house has to make the sale. This doesn’t mean that you need to renovate your entire house from top to bottom. You shouldn’t. That is a lot of money and a lot of time. And most of it will be completely wasted. Remember, you are selling your house. This isn’t the time to do the remodeling that you wish you had done. You aren’t going to be living here anymore, so don’t waste the money. Instead, you need to take a close look at what needs renovating in order for the house to sell.

When you hear friends and families talk, and watch certain home improvement television shows, it is pretty clear that the kitchen is always a safe place to renovate. Not only that, but you should renovate your kitchen. You’ll get your money back, and then some. This seems true enough; after all, you have always heard that kitchens sell homes. But you aren’t getting the whole truth here.

The Kitchen

Yes, kitchens are important. Selling a home can turn into “you are selling the kitchen, not the house.” But this does not mean that you need a brand new, fully updated kitchen. It depends entirely on the market, and what is selling in your area. Take a look at homes that are currently listed for sale. Your real estate agent can help, especially if they are already performing a CMA, or comparative market analysis. Do these homes have new kitchens or older kitchens? Are the homes with newer kitchens selling for more than the homes with older kitchens? You might be surprised.

Certainly, sometimes homes with newer kitchens will sell for more. And if that’s the case, it is a wise investment to update your home’s older kitchen. However, sometimes the kitchen doesn’t change or affect the price in any way at all. Spending the money to remodel your kitchen in this instance would be a large waste of your money and time. This is all going to depend on the state of the market.

Are You Making Money?

Your real estate agent is going to be your best guide and source of information when looking at a remodel. It would be no question if comparable homes with updated kitchens were selling for $50,000 more than the homes with older kitchens. In that case, you would gladly spend $25,000 to update your kitchen and double your money. Those numbers answer the remodeling question for you. It’s a resounding yes. Talk to your real estate agent first. The likelihood of being able to double your money from a remodel is not nearly as high as home improvement television would have you believe.

In reality, the average return that you get back from a home renovation project is not actually much of a return. In a 2014 report from Remodeling Magazine, the average was 66 cents per dollar spent. There are some home renovation projects that do net a higher return, but they probably aren’t the ones that you’re thinking of. Scratch kitchen off of the high return list. If your kitchen renovation is a major overhaul, you’ll be looking at right around a 75 percent return of what you spent. That’s not exactly doubling your money.

Is this always the case? Of course not. But is the average, and it’s much closer to what you can actually expect. What you can get back out of a renovation is also going to depend on where you live. In a bigger city, like San Francisco, you would potentially get a much larger return; even as high as 175 percent. But that type of return is dependent on a lot of factors. And television would have you believe you will get a large return, every time, and especially if you remodel your kitchen. The best thing you can do? Talk to you real estate agent. The team at The Sellers Edge is equipped with the latest information and technology, and they will help you determine what renovations are worthwhile, and which ones aren’t.

Worthwhile Improvements for Boise Homes

Interestingly enough, you will find that the renovations with the best returns are the ones that aren’t seen as glamorous. For instance, one of the best upgrades you can do for your home is replacing the front door with a steel door with dual-pane glass and new locks. That’s right, a door. On average, you will get a better return by replacing your front door than you would from remodeling your bathroom or kitchen.

Of course, averages can be a tricky thing, especially when they are applied across the country. And you likely don’t really care about the cost and return of home upgrades in California. So what about Boise, Idaho? What are the best home improvements that you can perform to get the most money back? Living in Idaho, you might not be surprised. Although, there will still be a least a couple of surprises for you.

Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 report lists the averages for a number of midrange and upscale home improvements that have been made on Boise homes. And if you want a really solid return, you will want to avoid the upscale renovations. Not only do they take a lot of money, but the returns are mediocre at best. For instance, you’ll be lucky to get 50 percent of your cost of a master suite addition back. But, if you replace the siding of your house with fiber-cement siding, you’ll get a return of 84 percent. It’s not terrific, but that is the highest return of any upscale improvement you could make.

When you look at midrange improvements, however, the story starts to change. Replacing your front door with a steel one is still a solid investment (and it really spruces up your curb appeal). The first positive return you can get? It’s actually from vinyl siding, and you’ll see a return of 156 percent. That’s pretty good. And once again, it adds to the curb appeal of your home. Are you noticing a trend yet? Good.

Other excellent home improvements with positive returns include replacing your windows with wood frames at 145 percent (compared to vinyl at 78 percent), the vinyl siding, and replacing the roof at 141 percent. The next highest is the steel door at 93 percent. These home improvements all have one thing in common. They are external improvements, and they add to the overall appearance and insulation of your home. In Idaho, insulation is important, just like curb appeal is always important.

But here’s the surprise. A minor kitchen remodel in Boise actually gives you a positive return. Now, this isn’t a full kitchen renovation. A major remodel actually sees a negative return, where it only returns about half of your initial cost and investment. But a cosmetic update, refacing cabinets, replacing countertops and flooring, and installing energy efficient appliances provides a return of just over 150 percent. This means if you spend $10,000, you would see a return of $5,000. So, it’s final value is $15,000.

This is why it’s so important to talk to your real estate agent about what home improvements you should make. For comparison, the same kitchen remodel at the national level is an average return of 79 percent. Nationally, homeowners don’t recoup the entire cost of their kitchen model. But the majority of Boise homeowners are.

Save Money on Smart Improvements

Now you can see what the best returns are for improving your Boise home. And a minor kitchen remodel isn’t actually out of the question. But you should be noticing something. The home improvements that provide the best returns aren’t super glamorous. You aren’t fully renovating your kitchen. You aren’t adding on another bathroom or a master suite. You are fixing up the outside of your home. New windows, a front door, and siding not only make your home look nicer, but they help keep it cool in the hot Idaho summers and warm in the cold Idaho winters.

With the exception of the kitchen, these home improvements are all about making your house look nicer, will adding some functionality. It all comes back to that first impression and curb appeal. When you stage your home, you’ll likely end up repainting anyway, so that’s not so much an improvement as it is a selling strategy.

When it comes down to it, curb appeal is what sells your house. So it makes sense to do the renovations that add to your home’s appearance. Other great areas to spend some money include: improving your landscaping by putting down fresh sod, sprucing up your entryway with a new steel door, and doing partial renovations, like the minor kitchen upgrade, or replacing the vanity in your bathroom.

Remember, you are selling your house. Don’t do the renovations and upgrades that you’ve always dreamed of doing. You’ll only end up losing money. And the longer you are working on your house, the longer it will take to sell. Instead, focus on the areas that need it the most, and focus on the improvements that provide the best returns. When in doubt, talk to you real estate agent. They know what the market is doing and what improvements are in. So what are you waiting for? Get a hold of the listing agents at TheSellersEdge.com today, and sell your house fast, guaranteed.