What improvements add value to homes?


Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist


If I would spend say $8,000 on a new roof and put my home on the market, is it worth $8,000 more than it was? Same question for a new sidewalk, carpet, paint, or even a new sump pump? Do these items add dollar for dollar value for the amount spent on my home?

Let’s go another route. Let’s say I add a bedroom, remodel the kitchen, add an extra bath, build an additional outbuilding, finish the basement or install the controversial swimming pool? If so, above ground or in ground? Do these items add dollar for dollar value for the amount spent on my home?

It seems like only yesterday — Christmas of 1989. We lived in East Danville with three very young children at home. Most of you can relate to this. We needed formula, diapers, groceries and gas for the furnace. We also had water under the house about a foot deep from a water leak I could not get stopped. And, it goes without saying we didn’t have two nickels to our name after we bought Christmas gifts for the kids. At that time, I also ran a trap line and fur was bringing pretty good money back then. But that, along with my job, was not even close to enough to make it all work. Sound familiar?

Those things weren’t really the biggest issues. The biggest issue was that every piece of clothing we had was dirty and on the laundry room floor. Our dryer had quit working due to a bad motor and we didn’t have any money to replace it. Long story short, the in-laws started giving money that year instead of gifts. On Dec. 26, we had a dryer! That was one of the most memorable Christmases we ever had.

When you are looking at a home to purchase, do you consider it worth more if it has a new roof (in our case a new dryer motor)? Or do you kind of expect it to have a good one that doesn’t leak? Don’t you expect it to have nice sidewalks, nice paint, nice carpet, no water under the home, and even working appliances? I think the answer is yes. These things may better help sell the home, but will not always add more value to the home.

Now let’s look at some other options. Can you see a four-bedroom home being worth more than a two-bedroom home? How about a finished basement being worth more than a non-finished one? How about an up-to-date remodeled kitchen verses one that hasn’t been touched since 1963?

There are many things the buyers looking at your home will expect to be there already, and others that will create the wow factor you should be looking to achieve. You also need to draw attention to these wow factors when you market your home. An updated kitchen with granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, and hardwood floors will win every time over a new sump pump installed in the basement.

Which one would get your attention?

P.S. The new dryer did make us feel much better, but did not enhance the value of our home.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/01/web1_Butler-Randy-mug.jpgRandy Butler Contributing columnist