Home Improvement 411: Where to Scrimp & Splurge

This is a topic we can’t get enough of. We live for Pack Projects and love breaking down how it impacts resale, for both our own homes, as well as our clients. Keep in mind, each home/ neighborhood/ price range will be unique in the price points and finishes – but the base line will remain the same. If you’re planning on tackling some home renovations this winter, keep reading for the Pack’s foolproof plan to increase your resale value this spring:

Entry. You thought we were going to kick it off with the kitchen, didn’t you? But if you’ve been following for a while, then you know how important first impressions are to the Pack. We’ve seen it too many times with our buyer clients – if “something doesn’t feel right” as soon as they enter a home, it’s rare the showing will bounce back. In fact, they are rushing through the rest of the house so fast, they fail to see the good.

image via Studio McGee
  • Scrimp
    • Give your front door a fresh coat of paint – go bold!
    • Pick up a new welcome mat at Home Goods. Bonus points for one with personality.
    • Make sure the first impression both looks and smells clean. Ask a trusted friend for their opinion. Chances are, you’ve gone nose-blind.
  • Splurge
    • Have your landscaping done professionally. Go over the top with your porch planters – trust us, they’ll notice!
    • Re-tile front entry. Everyone looks down first, make it count.
    • Replace entry chandelier – good lighting is key. Please replace the dated boob globes!

Kitchen. Here’s where you’ll be pulling out the cash a bit more, and with good reason. Whether you love to cook or not, it’s the room where everyone gathers, and the one that gets the most eyeballs.

image via Kate Marker Interiors
  • Scrimp
    • Paint the cabinets – white still reigns supreme! (The Pack suggests Dove White by Ben Moore)
    • Update hardware – we love Forge Hardware on Etsy. You will absolutely be rewarded for upgrading from the standard Home Depot endcap.
    • Declutter. This one seems obvious but you would be aghast at the amount of homes we show with magnets covering the fridge, open bags of chips in the pantry, mail lying around on the counters. It should look almost barren!
  • Splurge
    • Replace cabinets with something more on trend. The way people use kitchens has evolved so much in the past twenty years. They are now multi-purpose rooms that are being showcased as just that – extensions of the living space. Seeing more open shelving, multi-function spaces, built-in cabinet organization, updated technology…buyers are swayed easily by these upgrades.
    • New appliances. This is a must if your appliances have seen their day. Gone are the days where buyers mark “stainless steel appliances” on their list of must-haves. We have tried almost all types of refrigerators, ranges, and dishwashers at every price point. Where Sub Zero and Wolf used to be the top dog, buyers are now looking for a new look, use of tech, appliances that blend more seamlessly into decor, etc. We love the new range from Cafè.
    • Tile Backsplash. Especially if you are on board with the open shelving look; choosing a tile backsplash that serves as a unique design element will showcase your kitchen so much more beautifully than settling for the overused subway tile. If you’re having a hard time choosing, message us – we’d love to help narrow it down for you!

Bath(s). Here’s the tough one. If you update one, do you have to update them all? ((Yes.)) But please don’t shoot the messenger! The problem is, if you get one bath looking all new and shiny, it only calls attention to the baths that still need renovating. Which in a buyer’s mind means dollar signs right off the purchase price and that is definitely not what we’re here for. The level in which you need to update them, though, totally depends. Let’s get to it:

image via Studio McGee
  • Scrimp
    • In most price points, buyers are simply looking for bathrooms that look recently refreshed. We’re talking first and foremost, clean. A little grout cleaner and a lot of elbow grease can go a loooong way.
    • To achieve that “refreshed” look, a lot of times you can get away with painting the cabinets (as long as they are in good shape), replacing builder-grade mirrors above the vanity, and fresh paint on the walls.
    • IF you have colorful tile that dates your bath back to the disco era, you’ll have to step it up a notch with new flooring (LVT is a great option if you’re really on a budget), and when in doubt – white isn’t going anywhere. Here’s a time and place where the Pack has approved your use of subway tile. They look great in a shower, and if you’re handy with a tile saw, a herringbone pattern will wow them!
  • Splurge
    • If you’re in a competitive market, or a price range that demands it, you’re going to have to up your game a bit. How will you know? By looking at the comps. Check out your competition and do better. If you can make that master bath a spa-like, glam squad station, instagram worthy haven, then you will sell your home for top dollar. Starting with:
    • Use of technology. There are so many cool options now when renovating, like using Alexa to start your shower and even setting it to your preferred temperature. Special makeup mirrors with built-in selfie lighting, touchless faucets and toilets that clean themselves. These are fun features that will certainly impress and look like they cost a whole lot more than they actually did.
    • Finishes with Flair. These buyers are looking to see something new and exciting. We’d still say stick with neutrals; marble, white, grey – mixed with rich materials like brushed brass. If you’re going for more of a modern look – stark whites coupled with matte hardware looks incredible.

Have a question on your next renovation? Send us a note @nixonpack over on instaland, or leave a message below!

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