When you begin to measure the benefit of certain home improvements, you often have to factor in depreciation over time. Most home updates and upgrades are not intended to last forever, indeed many may not last more than five years. Wise homeowners, who plan to enhance their comfort as well as increase the property value of their home, make home improvements that will retain their value over the years. These enhancements can increase property value by tens of thousands of dollars and boost resale value for decades.
Long-Term ROI to Increase Property Value
When considering home improvements that retain their value over 5, 10 or even 30 years, you should consider how long you are planning on staying in your home and if the home improvement will increase the comfort or functionality of your home in the long run. Rebuilding a kitchen or bathroom 5 or 10 years before you sell gives you years of uses, while increasing your property value…but will this investment retain it’s value over the years? The quality and longevity of the material and equipment you select can significantly affect your ROI after the first year.
Your best bet is to consider the life expectancy of the upgrades you make. For example, most home appliances last at least 5, and probably closer to 10, years before they need to be replaced. As such, re-designing your laundry room and buying a new washer and dryer will reap some benefit for you immediately, but the value of the equipment depreciates rapidly over the course of a few years. By investing in long-lasting upgrades that improve the functionality or longevity of your home, you will be making an investment that will continue to work for you for decades.
1. Bathroom Addition
A great place to start looking for home improvements that increase property value in the long-run is by inspecting the current layout of our home. Is there anything missing that you and your family regularly wish you had? For example on those mornings when your entire family is struggling to get ready for work or school but there’s never a free bathroom. Wouldn’t having the extra bathroom save you time, not to mention the stress, as you juggle your family’s hectic schedule?
Building an additional bathroom is one of the most cost-effective ways to dramatically increase your home’s resale value, help your home better compete with your neighbors, add a modern touch to an older home and make your life easier. Homebuyers like to have the number of bathrooms come close to or match the number of bedrooms. If you have four or five bedrooms but only two or three bathrooms, you may have the square footage to make that new bathroom a reality.
Fortunately, bathrooms do not require a lot of extra space, so you can often build an extra one without having to add on to the home. Create a bathroom in your basement, or convert a walk-in closet to a reach-in, leaving room to add a powder room. A brand-new bathroom is going to set you back about $40,000, once you figure in the cost of knocking down and rebuilding walls, installing plumbing and electrical, plus the cost of fixtures. The more high-end you go for flooring, shower and bathtub, the more you will pay. However, you can tack on 10 percent to your home’s property value for a powder room and double that for a full bathroom. For a home that costs $250,000, that is an increase of $50,000.
2. Hardwood Flooring
For true longevity, there is really only one flooring choice: solid hardwood. If you buy the right kind of wood for your area and have it installed properly, it could literally last as long as your home does. You read stories from time to time of people who peel back decades-old linoleum or carpet only to see hardwood underneath. Once sanded, stained and polished, hardwood flooring that is 100 years old can be a beautiful, functional and conversation-worthy piece of your home.
Not all hardwood flooring is made equal, however. Engineered hardwood looks just like solid hardwood and costs a fraction of the price for solid hardwood planks, which are at least 3/4″ thick. However, since engineered hardwood contains many thin layers of wood in the plank, realistically it cannot be sanded or stain again.
Solid hardwood will cost you anywhere between $2 and $30 per square foot, depending on the wood you want. As with other home improvements, you may wish to avoid trendy choices, such as the striking and endangered exotic hardwoods zebrawood and tigerwood. They almost invariably cost more, as well. Installing a solid hardwood floor may increase your property value by $2,000 or more, although it certainly makes your home a much more attractive prospect. The important thing to remember is that you do not have to make this upgrade shortly before you sell your home. You could install solid hardwood flooring a good 20-30 years before you anticipate the need to sell, so you get the enjoyment without depreciating your investment.
3. Metal Roofing
Roofing is another aspect to the home that can generate a decent return on your investment while it buys you many years of home protection. You have a few choices, and the money you spend definitely makes a difference in longevity. If you go for traditional asphalt shingles, you will spend the least but you will also probably need to replace it in 15 to 30 years . Tile roofing is hardier but weighs a great deal more and can break easily.
The top investment for hardiness over time is metal roofing. A roof made of steel, aluminum or copper weighs a small fraction of tile and can last several decades. Fifty years is a reasonable estimate for the duration of a metal roof, with copper roofs lasting up to 100 years with little maintenance required. You should expect to pay about $10,000-$20,000 for the roof, or more if you select copper. The good news is that you will recoup about 72 percent of the cost in increased property value, even if you install it decades before you sell.
4. Landscaping for a Lifetime
Since many plants are only intended to last for a certain amount of time, you may be surprised to learn that your landscaping has the potential to affect your home’s property value for the long-term. Trees are an obvious choice to select for years of use before you sell. People often prefer to buy a home with mature trees in the yard because they offer improved energy-efficiency, convenient shade and even produce, in the case of fruit-bearing trees.
Timed right, a good tree with a nice canopy might add as much as $9,000 to your home value. Since trees take years to grow to full height, they are excellent to add to your landscaping for your own enjoyment. You may add as much as 28 percent to your property value over time, with landscaping that is not too trendy and is comparatively easy to maintain.
Long Lasting Property Investments
You do not have to make a choice between home improvements that increase your quality of life and upgrades that make your home more desirable to future homebuyers. Your home should provide you with comfort, safety and enjoyment for every moment you are there. By planning carefully, and wisely, you can ensure that you are meeting the needs of your family at this moment while keeping an eye on the long-term value of your home.