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Renovate Your Home for the Best Value By Avoiding These “Upgrades”

Gate House’s founder, owner and principal broker, Charlotte Guernsey, was recently interviewed for Best Life Online about which home renovation “upgrades” can actually turn out to be downgrades. After twenty years of selling real estate in Beacon, New York, Charlotte has seen which upgrades add more value to a house, and which don’t end up giving a good return on your investment. If you’re looking for the best renovations to maximize the selling value of your home, the items on this list may not be worth the cost.

Here are some of Charlotte’s tips from the article:

Photo of a minimal kitchen

Naomi Hebert via Unsplash

“Buyers don’t want anything that’s going to be a major energy drain,” says Charlotte. Keep utility costs down by choosing energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures. Look for LED light bulbs and certified energy-efficient appliances.

Philipp Berndt via Unsplash

Choose your flooring carefully. Charlotte points out that “people don’t like carpet,” or niche design choices that are hard to clean like ornate tile. Hardwood floors are the most appealing to buyers across the board.

Photo of a living room and roofed deck.

Alberto Castillo via Unsplash

Additions give the most value when they extend the square footage of your home. “Don’t add a pergola thinking it’s going to make you money,” choose a roofed deck instead for the best return on investment. And don’t put in things like a freestanding stove that cut into open space. “A pellet stove is not worth doing. Every square inch is so important these days.”

Becca Tapert via Unsplash

Marble countertops in your kitchen will be more trouble than their worth. As Charlotte points out, “They look great, but they stain and the upkeep is unrealistic—the same with slate, which also scratches. Go with a quartzite or a granite instead.”

Scott Webb via Unsplash

Keep the look of the house neutral to appeal to the most buyers. “Stay away from painting with decorative elements,” says Charlotte. “You want to keep it as clean and minimal as possible.” Trendy design elements may not hold value in the long run. “Stick to the classics.”

Looking to sell your home? Contact us to get in touch with one of our expert real estate agents, who can show you which renovations will put your house at the top of the market.