Photo: Takasuu / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Q: “What remodeling projects or improvements add the most value to a home?“
A: There are two ways to look at this question. Is the remodeling for yourself and your enjoyment or for resale? Of course, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and a beautiful kitchen remodel will always stand out to buyers.
We recently saw a home in Walnut Creek that was almost eighty years old attract seventeen offers, because it had a beautiful, spacious and contemporary kitchen with all the bells and whistles. If you are going to put that extra pizazz into something, the kitchen is the place to do so.
If you are remodeling strictly for resale, spreading your remodeling dollars among the kitchen and bathrooms would be ideal. What you don’t want to do is install that dream putting green in the backyard and leave the kitchen andbaths in their original condition.
It’s funny, but even if people don’t cook, they love those gleaming stainless steel appliances.
Dave Smith, Dudum Real Estate Group, 415-298-7851, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Tastes have shifted during the pandemic and more buyers want a home in near-perfect condition. Buyers will pay top dollar for a home that they can just move into, without looming repairs, so comprehensive inspection reports are imperative. If repairs are needed, such as a new roof or a substandard electrical panel, then they should be made right.
Painting and floor refinishing are the cheapest and most obvious improvements. If the floors have already been freshly carpeted, at least provide the buyers with a quote for installing hardwood.
A complete kitchen renovation is too expensive. New quartz stone counters, sinks, faucets and light fixtures will transform the kitchen, the most significant room in the house. New cabinets are too costly, but existing cabinets should be painted.
Bathrooms should be updated too, but not completely renovated. Vanities, sinks and faucets can be changed inexpensively. Old bathtubs should be epoxied and shower enclosures removed.
John Solaegui, Compass, 415-999-0673, email@example.com.
A: When it comes to adding immediate value to a home, dropping in a modular ADU (accessory dwelling unit) or in-law unit instantly adds livable square footage for a fraction of the traditional costs of construction.
If the additional 500 to 800 square feet you’ve just added to your home only cost $300/ft, but is valued closer to $850 per square foot (or whatever your neighborhood commands in terms of price per square foot), you’ve done quite well on the return.
In today’s pandemic marketplace, buyers are looking for more space than ever before. Whether it’s for transitioning to a work from home model, or having the extra space to host in-laws or homeschool, additional indoor and outdoor space is in demand. Bocce court, anyone?
For smaller projects, I place a very high return on investment on exterior paint and landscaping. Curb appeal has never mattered more in a world with Instagram and Pinterest. I also recommend replacing dating countertops and painting over dated cabinetry. A simple drawer pull from Restoration Hardware is the perfect way to get the resale value of a remodeled kitchen for a fraction of the price.
C.J. Nakagawa, Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty 415-407-2151, firstname.lastname@example.org.