It can be hard to pull the trigger on a costly home renovation. It can be even harder if you don’t know if you’ll ever get that money back when you sell your home. Across the board, some upgrades can recoup a larger percentage of your investment than others. However, the Philadelphia housing market has some unique features and buyers looking for specific things, which should affect your renovation investment strategy. Here are some Philadelphia home upgrades that add the most value to your home’s sale price.
According to the 2015 Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling Magazine, the change with the most financial impact in the Philadelphia region is a new front door. Who doesn’t love a cheery entry way? Replacing an older door with fiberglass will cost you an average of $3,128. But when you go to sell your house, that same improvement can net you an additional $3370 – a return of 107.7%. A steel door replacement will return almost 90% of the improvement’s cost.
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While no other improvements will actually return more than their cost to your home’s value, there are several that will make your home more comfortable and attractive now, and still earn you more than half their value when it comes time to move on. Curb appeal, energy efficiency, and finished space are the top three categories that fit this description.
When it comes to the exterior appeal of your home, investing in a deck addition (78.3%), new vinyl siding (62.7%), or a stone veneer accent (71.6%) can be beneficial. Not only will you earn back more than half of the money you spend on these upgrades, but your house will look more appealing. Since Philadelphia buyers love curb appeal and outdoor space is at a premium in Center City, these upgrades can also reduce the amount of time your home is on the market. Philadelphia buyers will be clamoring to put in an offer on a house with nicely upgraded exterior features!
Energy efficient upgrades won’t just add value to your home when you sell – they will help you save money while you live in your home, which allows you to reap some of the benefit. Replacing your windows with new vinyl windows (67.9%), or replacing your roof (57.3%) bring the most benefit. This also allows traditionally drafty and cold Philadelphia homes to stay warm and cozy in the winter, and be sufficiently cooled in the summer. Since both windows and roofs are a large financial investment, they are upgrades that Philadelphia buyers find most desirable, especially with housing stock in Center City often being of the historic variety.
Finally, improvements to the interior space of your home can also return quite a bit of the cost of their investment. Philadelphia buyers are especially interested in attic bedroom conversions (69.6%), kitchen remodels (66.7%) and bathroom remodels (56%). Remodeling an older kitchen or bathroom can create more space through the placement of fixtures, making the rooms look larger and work more efficiently. You can also create more storage in each room, which appeals to buyers. Finishing attic space into a bedroom serves two purposes. First, adding a bedroom to your property can dramatically increase the value, especially if you are going from two bedrooms to three bedrooms, as three bedroom properties are what buyers request most often. Second, by turning the attic into a finished, usable space, you are adding square footage to your home. With the often tight spaces in Center City and surrounding areas, it’s easy to see why potential buyers are drawn to a maximum amount of finished interior space.
By strategically upgrading your home based on the Philadelphia buyer’s market, you can enjoy new features now and reap the financial benefit of your upgrades when it’s time to sell!
About Agent Lady: Cherise Wynne is a leading real estate agent in Philadelphia, helping home buyers and sellers navigate the City of Brotherly Love, with a special focus on first time home buyers. To chat about getting started with your first time home buying experience, click here.