Home Renovations that Will Help You Sell Your Boise Home


In all homes, there are things the owners wish they could change. Things that they think, if improved, will make the home more valuable. So, when it comes time to sell the home, they start working on renovations that they hope will give them a bigger payday when the papers are all signed. However, there is a problem with this way of thinking. Now, don't get us wrong, doing renovations will do great things for your home, but you will most likely not make that much more money on the sale of the home. It is estimated that most remodels only pay you back half of what you put into them. So if you spent $3,000 on a closet renovation, you will be lucky to earn $1500 more than usual at the time of sale. In some rare cases, a renovation project will break even, but that is very, very rare.

The bright side of this, renovations are great for accelerating the timeline of a home sale. If a home looks and feels nice, and is priced right, it will most likely sell faster than it would have had the renovations not been undertaken. Now, the question that must be asked: what renovations will be best for a home? And the answer is: ones that increase the functionality of the home.

Renovations to do:

Like we said above, renovations that increase the functionality of a home will be more valuable to the owner trying to sell it. So, what are those renovations?

1. Plumbing

Number one is plumbing. Why? Because the plumbing of the house (along with the electrical) is the heart of a home. Without working plumbing, a house is not worth living in. So, making sure the plumbing is up-to-date, and if not out-of-date, at least to the best it can be. This will give the home the best "functionality" per dollar in our estimates.

These kinds of renovations will not only make the home more comfortable to live in, but it will also prevent from sewage or plumbing problems in the future. These problems being prevented will also protect the home from water damage later down the road.

2. Electrical

Electrical, after the plumbing is the next most important thing a person can renovate. If an electrical systems are not up to code, or are damaged in some way, it can cause a house fire. So, it would really behoove a homeowner to make sure that their electrical system is at least running well.

After the main electrical system has checked out, a homeowner might want to consider replacing wall sockets with ones with USB terminals installed as well. This will make the home much more capable of serving the needs of this age of technology.

3. Kitchen

For almost every homeowner, the kitchen is key. Kitchens are the most complex rooms in a house and are also the most frequented by occupants. There are also many problems that can happen in a kitchen, so keeping it up-to-date and renovating it is not only satisfying for the occupant, but it is also a smart thing to do to prevent damage.

A kitchen renovation may not pay off a ton, but it will keep people interested in the house. You don't need to do any major renovations. In fact, a homeowner should try and find things that will have a large impact with little actual effort.

4. Doors (Added Security)

Upgrading the front door is another great renovation that will be a great help to a home. By upgrading the locks, the trim, and or the door itself, a homeowner can easily increase the security and value of the home. Those wishing to do this sort of renovation should look for what are known as pump proof locks, good weather stripping, and metal or solid wood doors. 

5. Furnace/ AC

The climate control systems of a house are the third most important feature when it comes to functionality. Climate control, after indoor plumbing and electricity, make a home more favorable than staying outside exposed to the elements. If a homeowner can swing it, they should try to upgrade, or at least keep up-to-date, the climate control systems of a home. On top of that, they should consider installing smart thermostats. These will help keep a home's climate control running at peak efficiency.

6. Landscaping

When a homeowner renovates their landscaping, they are doing many great things for their home. They are making it look good - or as we call it in real estate: enhancing its curb appeal - which makes it more attractive to potential buyers; it also makes the yards more usable for the occupant. Now, when renovating the landscaping of a house, it doesn't need to be anything drastic. The most basic form of landscaping renovation a person can do - for example, ensuring that the lawn isn't spotty, making the sprinkler system functional, and weeding - will have a profound effect on the curb appeal of the home. Not to mention it will make it a more pleasant place to 'hang-out' after a long day.

7. Lighting

Lastly, there is lighting. A well-lit home is a home that will feel welcoming to a larger group of people. There are many ways to fix up the lighting in a house for a very low price. If the person fixing up the home has the money, recessed lighting is a big hot ticket item nowadays in homes. It can help to give really natural ambient light instead of the harsh direct light of other lighting systems.

When upgrading lighting in a home, the homeowner should always consider buying green lightbulbs. Energy Star bulbs can be found at almost every store in Boise and can be a great asset for a home. The bulbs will cost more upfront, but will save the owner money in the long run since they use less electricity compared to other options.

A note on solar panels:

Many people like the idea of installing solar panels on a home. These will make a home sell faster, but they almost definitely want breakeven on the investment due to high installation costs. If a person plans to stay in a house for a while longer after installing the solar panels, then it might be worth it as the savings on their electric bill and the government incentives will help them to make the investment worthwhile.

Renovations not to do:

Remember how we said that a renovation should improve the functionality of a home? Well, on the other hand, when a renovation does not increase the functionality of the home, it is not as valuable to the homeowner.

1. Pools

The number one thing a homeowner ought to deeply reconsider is the instillation of a pool. Now, if the homeowner is planning on living in the home for a long while, then it is perfectly acceptable. However, if they are installing the pool in hopes of raising the property's value, it is going to backfire.

2. Single Purpose Rooms

Single purpose rooms are rooms that, without great effort to undo the renovation, cannot be used for some other purpose. For example, if a person buys a home that has a movie room or home theater with tiered seating (or even fixed theater seats you'd see at your local cinema) it will be very difficult to change the room around to be a home office.

3. New Bathrooms (unless needed)

Unless the home really needs one, a homeowner should avoid adding on a bathroom. It will be a nightmare to install and the poor homeowners will most likely lose money on the endeavor. Bathrooms are very complex projects that take a lot of time as well as money, so it is best to avoid them unless necessary.

4. Bathrooms in General

Again, bathrooms are a no-no. Unless you have the time, money, and need to upgrade a preexisting bathroom, don't do it. Now, if the bathroom is so broken down that it is an unbearable sight, then it may be a good idea to work on it. However, one must try to do it as quickly as possible with as few of steps as possible as to not open the can of worms that is a remodel.

5. Window Frames

A homeowner may be tempted to put wooden frames on the outside of their windows, but in reality, it will only be a cosmetic help and will do little for the value of the home.

Renovation pitfalls to avoid:

1. Building a small bathroom

Small bathrooms that sit underneath the stairs or in the corner of the house are cute, and do come in handy every once and a while, but they shouldn't be done unless they will actually increase the quality of life of the homeowner. Like we said above, avoid adding plumbing to your home.

2. Using low quality materials

It may be tempting for a first time renovator (or even a veteran renovator) to try and save money by using lower grade materials. This will almost always end in misery. Ok, maybe not misery, but it will definitely not last as long or look as good as if the person had done the job with the right materials.

3. Not budgeting correctly

Money is the big, overarching factor that dominates the home renovation world. Using a budget will help any renovator meet their goals efficiently and with less risk. If someone goes about renovating a home without a plan, budget, or goal in mind, they will certainly end up spending more than they need to for a lot less than they want.

Talk to an accountant or banker about the renovations you want to do, and get as many estimates as you can from other vendors. This will ensure that you have proper planning and the lowest rate possible.

Keeping the house up-to-date:

The best thing you can do for your home is to keep it up-to-date. Keeping the house up-to-date instead of waiting until something breaks down or degrades to fix it is a terrible way to go about renovating. It will save you money and allow you to enjoy the home longer if you simply spend a little extra cash here and there to keep it updated. Plus it won't seem outdated.

So, there you are. Renovations for your Boise home. Keep checking back for more tips and tricks and always be sure to talk to a contractor about renovation ideas before proceeding. (NOTE: ALWAYS FOLLOW ANY AND ALL SAFETY PROTOCOLS WHEN DOING ANY SORT OF WORK ON YOUR HOME).