6 renovations that can boost your home’s value

Whether you’ve found your forever home or just a stepping stone, improving it can be a winning proposition. Of homeowners surveyed for the 2017 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 82 percent said they look for ways to make their home more valuable. With these smart updates, chosen by Remodeling magazine and other industry experts, you could not only recoup costs but improve your lifestyle—for multilevel returns.

Show text version
Close text version

1) BEST LONG-TERM BENEFIT:
New roof
Replacing an aging roof, while pricey, can prevent structural damage, boost curb appeal and win over buyers: A third of realtors say it helped seal a recent sale.

Average project cost:
$20,664

Average return:
69%

2) BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT:
Insulation

Making your home more airtight can lower your energy bills and appeal to buyers. Ask your electric utility or state energy office if you qualify for energy improvement incentives, which can add to your savings.  

Average project cost:
$1,343

Average return:
108%

3) BEST FOR GROWING FAMILIES:
Bedroom addition

Taking advantage of space on your top floor—in an attic or over a garage—can save money because you don’t have to lay a foundation.

Average cost, attic conversion:
$65,000

Average return:
61%

4) BEST OVERALL IMPACT:
Kitchen remodel

Kitchens are key if you’re selling and make being home more pleasant if you’re not. You can get a remodeled feel at a lower cost by resurfacing cabinets, changing hardware or replacing appliances.

Average cost, complete remodel:
$62,158

Average return:
65%

5) BEST CURB APPEAL:
New entry door

Exterior upgrades can bring joy every time you come home—and cost less than many interior upgrades. Real estate pros recommend them because they can be universally appealing and less dependent on personal taste.

Average project cost:
$1,413

Average return:
91%

6) BEST WAY TO ADD SQUARE FOOTAGE:
Finished basement

Finishing a basement is an economical way to increase your living space. Consider consulting a contractor to make sure the area is watertight and to work around plumbing, electrical and ductwork.  

Average project cost:
$36,000

Average return:
69%

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR REMODELING SUCCESS

Know what you can afford
A ballpark figure isn’t enough—it’s important to establish your budget. Then, beware of “scope creep,” where you add a little of this and that and end up blowing past your planned total.  

Research financing options
If you don’t pay for renovations with your savings, you may need to borrow the money. A home equity line of credit allows you to pay your expenses as they come up, and rates may be lower than other types of credit. If you don’t want to borrow against your home, you can look into personal bank loans.

Get help from the pros
Six in 10 homeowners tackle some projects themselves, according to the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, and that’s one way to save money. But specialized jobs, such as rewiring an outlet or retiling a bathroom, might be better left to experts. Before you hire, check reputable websites with customer reviews, have a face-to-face consultation and get a cost estimate in writing.

Consider the neighborhood
A big addition might make your house the most expensive on the block—which could be a problem if you try to recoup the cost when you sell. So if resale is your No. 1 priority, take care not to overdo it.  

Sources: Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report; 2015 Remodeling Impact Report, National Association of Realtors

Close Disclaimer
The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

Up Next

Contact Us

  • Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Eastern Sat 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Eastern
    800.763.6798
  • Schedule an appointment

Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.