As a certified real estate appraiser in northeast Ohio, I’ve interacted with numerous homeowners who often ask me how they can add value to their property or expect returns on renovation investments. The answer, however, is not straightforward, as multiple factors influence property value. Nevertheless, there are some key considerations homeowners can keep in mind to maintain and increase their property’s value.
Regular Maintenance and Upkeep: The most crucial aspect of preserving property value is consistent maintenance and pride of ownership. Ensuring that all building components, such as HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, electrical systems, and more, are promptly repaired or replaced in a professional manner will help maintain the property’s market value.
Kitchen and Bathroom Updates: When kitchen or bathroom areas become dated or require replacements, it’s essential to refresh these spaces. A complete overhaul is often unnecessary if these areas are appropriately maintained. Recently, I have been in newer homes built in the prior 5-10 years where a complete remodel of the kitchen and bathrooms has already taken place. So, it’s advisable to make improvements that align with the market’s expectations, as a five to ten-year-old kitchen that has been well maintained, and not investing tens of thousands of dollars in renovations that cater to personal tastes, which may not yield significant returns.
Finishing the Basement: Homeowners must set realistic expectations when finishing their basements. Depending on the basement type, some finished areas can add considerable value, such as basements with tall foundations and designed for a walk-out or with garden style windows to the exterior, while others should be finished and utilized only for recreation purposes, including basements with no exterior access, limited natural light, and low ceiling heights or dampness issues. Homeowners, need to think that a finished basement may not increase the square footage of the home in the eyes of appraisers lenders, but should be thought of as an amenity to the home. The return on investment for finishing a basement may not be positive considering the high costs involved.
Landscaping Projects: While landscaping, patios, and hardscape textures can enhance a homes appeal, their return on investment may vary. Landscaping is typically considered a decorative component, and individual tastes may differ. Patio and hardscape features can add value, but again, these items are constructed typically to personal taste, at a high cost, and one buyer may not have the use or find the improvement as appealing as the owner who spent tens of thousands of dollars having it built.
Consult with a Professional Appraiser: When considering major renovation projects, consulting with a professional appraiser scan provide valuable insights into potential returns and benefits. While not everyone may think of seeking an appraiser’s guidance, doing so can save homeowners significant amounts of money while still maintaining their property’s value.
In conclusion, maintaining and increasing property value requires ongoing maintenance and routine upkeep. Thoughtful updates to areas like kitchens and bathrooms can be beneficial, but renovations should be done with market expectations in mind. Finishing basement or investing in landscaping projects may not always yield positive returns, so it’s crucial to weigh the costs and potential benefits carefully. Consulting with a professional appraiser can be a wise investment, helping homeowners make informed decisions and safeguarding the value of their property.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out and take advantage
DENNIS VELARDO, OWNER
Dennis graduated with honors from both Medina High School and the University of Akron, with a Bachelor’s in Corporate Financial Management. Born and raised in Medina, a second-generation Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser, Dennis was first exposed to the world of appraising growing up watching his mom, Charlene. He worked alongside her until I took over the business in 2015 upon her unfortunate passing from breast cancer. It is with great pride and determination I want to continue to develop and grow the business that my mom started. Most importantly, in a way that will make it my own, while still making her proud.