Home Renovations with the Highest ROI

8/15/2017 Marine Bank


When my husband and I first moved into our home, I was ready to remodel our drab 1950’s home to a chic and modern bungalow. I had big dreams – updated kitchen cabinets and counter tops, an open floor plan and a bathroom remodel that would offer a spa-like experience.


Here’s what actually happened. Within the first few months of living in our new home, our basement, which had never been known to get standing water, was completely flooded. This was not a mere puddle here and there, this was inches of standing water covering our entire basement floor. While our dog thought we were the world’s best owners for getting him a giant swimming pool, my husband and I frantically searched for options to get our basement waterproofed. $14,000 later, our basement doesn't get water, but that ate a large portion of the budget for the big dreams I had envisioned for our home.


This experience made me wonder if renovations like waterproofing a basement, a new furnace and air, or a new roof are a better return on investment compared to aesthetic updates in a home when it comes to resale. They are! That’s because it’s hard to get a buyer interested in a home if it has water damage in the basement or a roof that’s leaking. While an updated bathroom or kitchen is a plus, what buyers really want is a home with good bones. There are plenty of things to worry about when a buyer is looking at a home, and they don’t want to get a home that requires pricey projects, like a new roof and water damage to their ceilings.

...what buyers really want is a home with good bones.

That’s not to say that aesthetic remodels aren’t worth the expense, but buyers much prefer to not worry about updating the home essentials. Once all of your essentials are in good, or at least decent condition, be strategic when you consider your home remodel projects. Keep in mind that typically the lower the cost of the remodel, the higher the return on investment. So even though my kitchen remodel was going to make our house look much better, it wasn’t the best way to increase the value of our home.


Keep in mind that typically the lower the cost of the remodel, the higher the return on investment.


So, what’s the home renovation that gives you the highest return on investment? Attic insulation. It costs around $1,350 and adds around $1,450. It’s not nearly as exciting or satisfying as other home projects, but it’s the best bang for your buck with around 108% return. Some of the other top renovations include replacing your entry door with a steel door, replacing your garage door or a minor kitchen remodel (unlike my original plans for a spectacular kitchen remodel).


As you think about renovating your home, remember these two important tips:

1.Consider the projects that cost the least because they bring the highest ROI.

2.Make sure your home essentials are up to par before you take on any other renovations.


Lastly, not all home renovations are done with the sole purpose to increase your home's value. Some are done to make your house a home. So if you want to take your kitchen from zero to hero even through know your ROI is limited, go for it! Enjoy your home, but make informed choices as you decide on which projects are your priority. 


What are some home renovation projects you’ve been thinking about tackling lately? Let us know in the comments, we like hearing from you.


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