Among the home improvement projects buyers are most likely to value are those that increase storage space and preserve vintage features. Southern Living magazine recently rounded up some of the renovations that get sellers the most attention for their properties, including:
Temperature-controlled square footage: “From the appraiser’s point of view—and really from everyone’s—heated and cooled square footage is the biggest winner” in terms of payoff, says Dewey Golub, a real estate pro with Keller Williams Realty in Charleston, S.C. That’s important to keep in mind for buyers who are weighing a garage, attic, or screened-in porch conversion.
Cosmetic kitchen tweaks: Southern Living says more buyers are turning away from busy backsplashes and jarring palettes in the kitchen, opting for a simpler subway tile backsplash and subdued paint colors for cabinetry. Los Angeles agent Ben Lee also suggests using stainless steel appliances to help modernize a dated kitchen. “They don’t have to be that expensive,” he says.
Vintage preservation: If the property has historical value, stay true to its character with projects such as restoring original window casements and hardware. “You want to respect the authenticity and the integrity of the home,” says Steven Jones of Better Shelter, a Los Angeles-based residential real estate development and design firm.
Plenty of shortage: Organizational accents, such as built-in bookshelves and window seats with storage underneath, are not only practical but also offer “old-school charm,” Southern Living notes. When closet space is tight, consider adding storage solutions such as extra shelves, hooks, and rods. “If there is limited closet space, I always install an extra closet rod so people can increase their hanging capacity,” Jones says.