Right now, many Americans have more time than usual to do home improvement projects. And, since it’s spring, they want to go outside to do them. Joe Raboine, a frequent contributor to HGTV, Realtor.com and Director of Belgard Residential, suggests three projects that are simple to do while giving the homeowner a maximum return on investment.
“Though the level of uncertainty in the economy is high, there are safe and practical ways for homeowners to upgrade their space, allowing them to make the most of their home today while also setting themselves up for success when the time comes to sell,” Raboine says. “We are in a special situation right now. Many people had travel plans that were canceled: they can put that money into home improvement.”
Raboine points out that exterior renovations deliver a better return on investment than many indoor improvements and can be easier to achieve while implementing social distancing guidelines.
“If a contractor does the work, you can expect to recoup 67% of the cost,” he says. “But if you do the work yourself, you will easily recoup 100%.”
He suggests these three projects:
Routine Lawn Care: According to top real estate agents nationwide, landscaped homes are priced at 1% to 10% more than homes without landscaping. The average U.S. median price of a home is worth $266,300; therefore, something as simple as landscaping can add an extra $2,663 to $26,630 to a homeowner’s bottom line.
Perform standard lawn care service, such as mowing, watering, fertilizing and weed control. Include softscaping along with hardscaping into a home’s design for a polished and manageable atmosphere.
“If yours is an urban house without a lawn,” Raboine says, “Make sure the front door is freshly painted and the approach is attractive. This is about curb appeal.”
Illuminate Your Space: Not only does outdoor lighting deter crime, it creates an undeniable ambiance in the yard. Exterior lighting can revamp a home’s curb appeal while improving a homeowner’s experience prior to selling. By upgrading lighting features around the property, homeowners are estimated to see an average of 50% return on investment.
“With old incandescent lighting, voltage was a factor with distance,” says Raboine. “With LED fixtures, which are low voltage, wires don’t have to be buried deeply and installations are not dangerous. This is a nice Saturday project. You might spend $500 for fixtures, but you will get double that back.”
He adds that advice on where to place lighting fixtures and basic installation instructions are available at Belgard.com.
Extend Living Outdoors: Homeowners can create an inviting outdoor living space to boost family interactions and mood while increasing return on investment. This can be achieved through additions as simple as a 10’ x 10’ patio, grilling space with pavers or a fire pit paired with comfortable furniture.
Fire pits with a gas burner and patio area can recoup as much as 67% on investment. Bigger improvements, such as outdoor kitchens, are reported to seal the deal for a home buyer and can result in 71% recovered value
“We want to slow down, to spend time in nature,” Raboine says. “If, at the same time, we increase our home’s resale value, all the better.”