10 Home Improvements That Always Pay Off

Even in a hot real estate market, updating your home before listing it can help increase its selling price — as long as you choose home improvements that always pay off. Home prices have reached historic highs due to buyers rushing to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates and a combination of limited supply and high demand.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of a previously owned home increased by 17% from March, 2021 to March, 2022. However, we are seeing demand slow down over the last month with the recent increase in mortgage interest rates. Supply is still relatively low and people still want to buy homes, but investing in your home before listing could help you sell faster and for more money, especially if the market shifts farther away from a “Seller’s market”

nice house with 3 cargarage

The time to plan for updates and changes may be now if your house feels outdated or needs work. Specific modifications will provide you with a greater return on your investment than others, whether your goal is to make your space more useful and pleasurable simply or to get it ready to sell in the future. 

Here are ten home improvements that consistently pay off and can significantly increase your house’s value.

brick townhomes with red and white doors

1. Decluttering

The average price: $450

Customers want to visualize how their furnishings and decorations will fit into a new area. Decluttering before the move entails putting things in their proper places and generally making the house’s interior look pleasant, so a neat space is always helpful and a good alternative.

While you can complete this process on your own, some homeowners find it emotionally exhausting if they have to decide what to do with items that may hold sentimental value. Professional decluttering of your home can be completed swiftly and for a reasonable price.

2. Deep Cleaning

The average price: $200 to $600

Eighty-five percent of the realtors surveyed advised extensive home cleaning, demonstrating that the owner took the time to keep the house tidy.

You could undoubtedly complete this project on your own as well, but an experienced professional can complete it more quickly and at a lower cost. If your home has carpeting, clean it professionally because it can collect pet and other odors you may have grown accustomed to.

The average cost of a professionally performed deep clean is $221, while the price of a professionally performed carpet cleaning, such as steam cleaning or shampooing, is $600.

We advise removing the carpet and replacing it with new carpet or another type of flooring if it is in poor condition or has been in the house for a while. Otherwise, be prepared for prices between $400 and $6,000, depending on the flooring material as well as the size of the space.

3. Curb Appeal

The average price: Under $100 to $5,000

When making a strong first impression, it sometimes depends more on the outside of your house than the interior. Seventy-eight percent of real estate agents advise this project because it makes potential buyers eager to visit the rest of the house.

Simple landscaping projects like raking and tidying your front lawn and planting new flowers or plants can improve curb appeal. Repaving your driveway, painting the outside of your house, and painting your front door are other outside upgrades.

The price to enhance the appearance of your home’s exterior might range from $60 for a one-time lawn care appointment to $5,000 or more if you decide to paint the home’s exterior.

4. Bathroom Refresh

The average price: Starts at $275

If you want to increase the chances of selling your house, you don’t need to renovate the bathroom thoroughly. In reality, you may get away with performing a refresh as long as the room is in quite good shape and was not built more than 50 years ago.

A vanity, mirror, shower head, or faucet replacement is all it takes to update a bathroom. The bathroom can look brand-new with the addition of new towel racks or a fresh coat of paint.

Instead of completely replacing a tub and shower that is starting to look worn out, you may simply reglaze it. Reglazing tile will give it a brand-new appearance and alter the space’s ambiance.

For some minor bathroom updates, you may spend as little as $275, depending on what you choose to replace.

Bathroom remodels can easily become very expensive, but we don’t necessarily recommend expensive remodels for optimal ROI.

bathroom with blue tile backsplash

5. Regular maintenance items

The average price: variable

Before prospective buyers visit your property, you should remedy minor maintenance issues like blown light bulbs, loose doorknobs, and broken fixtures. Sixty-nine percent of the realtors polled advise making little home improvements before advertising the property.

It’s not simply how much money it will cost to correct it for consumers, fixing minor things can improve the overall perspective a buyer has of your home.

If there are little things broken or looking off, you begin to suspect that the house may require extensive upkeep and repairs that have gone uncompleted; even if the expense isn’t great, the inconvenience is.

6. Interior painting

The average price: $200 to over $8,000

Sixty-three percent of realtors advise inside painting because it can give your home a fresh look and feel. It’s also one of the easiest home improvements that always pay off.

You should go ahead and repaint the room if there are any locations where the paint may be stained or faded. If the entire house needs to be repainted, steer clear of strange hues. Be sure you only use neutral colors like white, grey, and beige (the same applies to outside painting). Orange might be your preferred hue, but a potential buyer might not like it.

Costs range from as little as $200 for minor paint touch-ups to around $10,000 for a complete interior home paint job.

7. Kitchen Refresh

The average price: $1,200

Consider painting your kitchen cabinets and updating the hardware to give them a fresh look. If the countertops are worn out or only slightly damaged, replace them.

There is no need to replace your appliances if they are still reasonably new and in good condition. However, you may purchase a set of stainless steel appliances for a few thousand dollars if they are older or in poor shape.

Additionally, you are not required to choose the best gadgets, but replacing old dirty black or white appliances with new stainless steel appliances that are on sale can change the overall appearance of one of the most important rooms in the house.

8. Building a deck

You can use a deck for more than just grilling burgers and soaking up the sun. According to Jerry Levine, owner of the Levine Group, an architectural and construction company in Silver Spring, Maryland, buyers perceive a deck as providing a seamless transition from inside to out. 

Utilize rustic, natural wood, according to experts. In 2020, homeowners who invested an average of $14,360 in timber and labor may anticipate recovering $10,355, or 72% of their costs, thanks to wooden decks.

9. Replace front or garage door

A smart improvement investment is replacing an outdated, drafty entrance door that allows air to enter the front hallway.

You can give your home a fresh look at a relatively little expense by installing a bright new garage door. When you sell your home, a new garage door will reportedly recoup over 90% of its cost, according to a Remodeling Magazine poll.

10. Installing central air-conditioning

According to assessor Leslie Sellers, installing central air in a typical 2,400-square-foot home might cost upwards of $10,000 and increase its value by 10 to 20 percent. Newer AC units could provide great value to you while you’re living in the home and unlike window units, central air won’t make the rooms look more cluttered.


After deciding which projects to take on, choose your budget. You need to know how much the upgrades will cost, whether you deal with a contractor or do it yourself. If you have the money to pay for home improvements that always pay off the renovations, that’s excellent. If not, you may be able to take out a loan or home equity line of credit to pay for the projects.

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