How to Get the Most Out of Home Improvement Projects When You Sell Your Home

Home improvement

Home improvement projects improve your living space, increase your comfort and add value to your home. They can also be expensive. However, many improvements offer solid returns on your investment and pay for themselves when you sell.

A recent NerdWallet survey found that 3 in 5 homeowners who took on home repair/improvement projects in 2020 felt able to pay for the work without draining their savings or going into debt. That’s up from 69% who said so in 2018. And rock-bottom interest rates make it more attractive to take on a home improvement project, even one that doesn’t significantly boost the home’s marketability or curb appeal.

The most popular home improvement projects include sparkling bathroom overhauls, basement renovations and kitchen remodels. However, these upgrades only offer a 60% return on investment when it comes time to sell, according to a separate Cost vs. Value report.

A better way to get the most bang for your buck is with easy-to-do DIY projects that don’t require a lot of money or time. For example, painting and re-grouting tile are relatively inexpensive and can dramatically improve your home’s look. Other affordable home improvements include adding new windows and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. These energy-saving additions are typically tax-exempt in New York. (Check with your local department of taxation and finance and a CPA to find out the details in your state.) And, if you have documentation that the project is considered a capital improvement, you may be exempt from paying labor sales tax on materials.