Many homeowners enhance their residences to improve their quality of life. Yet, not all home renovation projects offer a decent financial return on your investment. Installing a swimming pool or building a home office, for example, may not add as much value when it comes time to sell or refinance, and may end up costing you more money.Moreover, the San Diego housing market is currently one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation. Homes in the oceanside city usually receive two offers on average and sell in about 25 days. Competition is fierce, so it’s critical to know the best home resale sweet spots in order to get your house to stand out on the market and move quickly.
Whether you want to build equity or sell for top dollar, the right renovation projects can be worth the upfront expense. Here are five home improvements that can provide the most bang for your buck:
1. Boost Curb Appeal
First impressions matter, and the front of your house is no exception. Freshening up the front yard is the number 1 step a homeowner can take to boost their home’s marketability. It also generally costs less than most interior remodels. You can create better curb appeal by replacing your garage door or mailbox, painting your front door a new color to add charm and replacing old light fixtures.
Installing a front walkway of paver stones, mulch, shrubs and other landscaping elements are additional ways you can boost your home’s appearance. Drought-tolerant settings are a must in San Diego. Consider utilizing desert landscape to your advantage by adding xeriscape plants in place of your lawn, such as crape myrtle trees, mondo grass, aloe, snake plants, lilacs, barrel cactus and blue agave. These types of plants are native to San Diego and benefit the environment by reducing a homeowner’s water usage by as much as 50 to 75%.
2. Update Your Kitchen
Buyers in San Diego are already spending a lot on their potential home and most likely won’t have extra cash to dish out on major changes. Updating your kitchen — such as switching out old countertops for granite and upgrading cabinetry to trendy, shaker cabinet fronts — can really appeal to prospects.
If you’re on a budget, consider replacing your old fixtures, drawer knobs and faucet in a matching style. It gives the room a modern, cohesive look, yet is an inexpensive upgrade that can still have a big impact on buyers. Want to opt for a contemporary style? Try matte-type stainless-steel fixtures or brushed nickel. Or, consider oil-rubbed bronze fixtures for a more classic look.
3. Refresh the Bathrooms
Simple bathroom updates can have a big return. You don’t have to spend thousands on a full remodel — even the smallest changes, such as replacing dated wallpaper or lighting, can enhance the room without emptying your wallet. Skip the frills of heated floors and frameless glass enclosures and opt for new standard fixtures and ceramic tile.
4. Paint With Neutral Tones
One of the most inexpensive ways to instantly revamp your rooms is with a fresh coat of paint. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $15 to $30 depending on the type of paint. Freshly painted rooms look updated and clean, which can add to your home’s resale value. When choosing paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals, such as tan, grey and beige, appeal to the greatest number of homebuyers and can make your home more desirable. Toned-down wall colors can also help potential buyers project their own ideas onto a space.
Feeling creative? Try adding an accent color to your walls to make certain features pop, such as a bay window or wall nooks.
5. Build a Deck
Adding a deck to your backyard is an enhancement that not only allows you to enjoy the sunny weather and coastal breezes of San Diego, but you’re also likely to recoup more than 75% of the deck’s cost at sale time. Consider incorporating unique features into your deck to add additional value, such as built-in benches, planters or a fire pit.
By executing some of these home improvement projects, you can receive some of the best returns on investment and a competitive edge in San Diego’s housing market when it comes time to sell. Whether you'd like to do these projects yourself or hire a third party like, Synergy Builders, we highly recommend doing your research beforehand.