This year has certainly had us all in our homes more so than ever. With that change, you may have found yourself looking around your house and noticing things you may not have noticed before. Perhaps there’s more wear and tear than you expected, an unfinished project that’s nagging at you, or maybe inspiration has struck after a couple hours on Pinterest and you’re excited about changing things up! You might be looking into buying a new home in the near or distant future and wondering how you can add value to your current home before selling it.

Whatever your situation is, there’s never been a better time than now to sink your teeth into a home project. Upgrading and improving your home the right way can add value to the property that will pay off when you turn around to sell it. This is called return on investment (sometimes abbreviated as ROI) and you’ll want to make sure that any project you do will yield a worthwhile return. So, what should you upgrade that will be worth your time and money? We made a list of seven home upgrades considered to be top selling points for houses.

1. Bathroom

Upgrading your bathroom is a great place to start when revamping your home. It’s a smaller space that will be easier to tackle, and it yields a high return on investment. How much value does a bathroom remodel add? It depends on the home, but HGTV listed a minor bathroom remodel as the top home upgrade that pays off.

A minor bathroom upgrade might include replacing old tubs and toilets, putting in a more updated floor, or even giving the wall a makeover with some new paint or wallpaper. You can also re-finish your appliances such as the tub, or re-caulk it if it needs it.

2. Kitchen

Up next: how much value does an updated kitchen add? Upgrading your kitchen can range from small details to a full-on renovation. However, before you get overwhelmed, don’t worry! The 2020 Cost Vs. Value report discovered that minor kitchen remodels have a higher return on investment than major ones. So essentially, you set the kitchen and bath remodel cost because you don’t have to flip entire rooms for good ROI.

A minor, or mid-range kitchen renovation leaves the kitchen layout and structure as it is, and focuses more on working with what you have. You might paint cabinets, install new backsplash, and/or upgrade your appliances. Doing all of these things will add to the beauty of your kitchen, which is often one of the top selling points for houses. It’s a central gathering space with a lot on display. Not only that, but kitchens become outdated more quickly than other rooms, so it’s probably worth your while to look into upgrading this area of your home!

3. Siding

gallery of stone veneer siding samples

Siding was another home upgrade that topped lists across the board for return on investment. This includes stone veneer, vinyl siding, and fiber-cement. Stone veneer siding, in particular, allows you to recoup almost all of the cost you’ll put into it. In general, though, the siding will help give your house a face-lift, add curb appeal, and make the exterior of your home more durable for the years to come.

4. Landscaping

First impressions are important, and when it comes to buying a home, they say that many buyers start deciding whether they want to buy or not within the first few minutes – or even seconds! This is one of many reasons why upgrading your landscaping is a smart idea. Creating an inviting, elegant landscape design will create a positive experience for potential buyers right on sight. Adding a walkway, lighting, and planting trees, flowers, and shrubbery will add charm and value to your home. As an added bonus, trees and shrubbery can help to provide shade to the house and act as a noise barrier as well.

5. Adding a Deck, Patio, or Outdoor Kitchen

While we’re on the subject of the outdoor portion of a home, it’s good to note that installing an outdoor living area can greatly increase the value of the home overall. Adding a place for people to entertain, cook, and get some sun (or moonlight!) can add to an already beautiful home and make future buyers excited to have more space to live in. This is a fun upgrade to get personal with, as there are tons of elegant and playful outdoor amenities to add to a space such as a grill, countertops or bar, or maybe a fireplace or fire pit.

6. Front Entry

A close up shot of a front entryway and chair and plant sitting on a porch area of a newly remodeled home

As we mentioned earlier, you want people to be wowed right upon seeing and entering your house, so it only makes sense to make sure your front door and entryway are in the best shape possible! This could mean anything from painting the front door or garage door, or changing them out entirely, to replacing the windows by the door and taking a look at the aforementioned siding in the front area of your home.

7. Basement

We’ve covered the many pros of finishing your basement before, so it’s no surprise that remodeling the basement is another fantastic option for a house project. Adding a basement increases livable square footage and can transform the space in a number of ways (think theatre room, home gym, and more!). HGTV estimates that a basement remodel in the Western part of the U.S. can return 108 percent of the cost! It’s a no-brainer!

Let the Remodeling Adventures Begin

There are many more areas of the home that could always use some spiffing up – areas which are also considered top selling points for houses – so don’t feel limited to this list. Research projects with high return on investment and make the best choices for your budget. While you’re looking into upgrading your home, be sure to review our post on the best practices for safety and cleanliness during a renovation.