Here at Lowder New Homes, we notice that most people choose a new home construction for the primary purpose of living in it, whether it be for a few years or a lifetime. However, real estate is always considered a sound financial investment, with property values inching upward (and sometimes shooting upward!) over time. If you think you might sell your home at some point, there are some strategic customization choices you can make during the building process — new construction upgrades that will help maximize your home’s resale value, enabling you not only to recoup your investment but also perhaps make a sizable profit.
Our guide to the eight upgrades that increase your home’s value
Choosing the right new construction upgrades is important because not every home upgrade will directly affect your home’s value. For example, a high-quality roof or premium plumbing are great upgrades to have, but since most buyers expect the roof and plumbing not to leak, these don’t necessarily affect the home’s appraised value. However, some upgrades definitely impact your home’s bottom line — especially when you pay attention to construction trends and understand what future buyers might be looking for. Let’s look at eight custom upgrades that can help you get the most from your new construction home when and if you decide to sell.
1. Kitchen upgrades
Experts across the board agree: If you want to increase your home’s value, start with the kitchen. Adding an island to your kitchen design can increase your workspace and seating. Upgrading your countertops, cabinetry, and flooring can add elegance and functionality to your kitchen space. Adding pro-line stainless steel appliances not only finishes the look but can even help you save on energy bills in the process. To most home buyers, the kitchen is the most important room in the house, so these upgrades are all value boosters. They’ll cost you more upfront, but you’ll recoup more when you sell.
Another place to focus added value in your new home construction is in the bathrooms. Upgraded countertops, natural stone finishes, deep bathtubs, and walk-in showers are all value-boosters. So are “his and hers” closets. After all, everyone loves to have plenty of storage space!
Another place to maximize value is right under your feet. Cheap flooring isn’t so cheap when you have to replace it, and most home buyers would prefer not to do so. Upgrade wood laminates to natural hardwood flooring and consider for porcelain tile over ceramic, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Porcelain tile is denser and more durable than ceramic tile — it lasts a long time even under heavy foot traffic.
4. Energy efficient and “green” options
As people become more environmentally conscious, expect eco-friendly or “green” upgrades to add value to homes in the next few years. Obviously, an energy-efficient home will help you save money, especially during cold winters and hot summers, but the more energy-efficient features you can add, the more you can increase your home’s perceived value, if not its actual value. Upgraded insulation and high-quality windows and doors are the first places to focus your attention (windows and doors are expensive to replace, so these are great places for retaining home value). Zoned heating/cooling and smart thermostats are two other great features.
Some of these energy-efficiency upgrades are more expensive than others, of course, and not all will directly affect your appraised value. However, energy efficiency definitely matters to buyers. When they realize how much they can save on their energy bills month after month, they will be more likely to respect your asking price.
5. “Smart home” technology
Rapidly becoming the star of home shows across the country, “smart home” features are not just a fad — they are the future. As tech-savvy millennials become the dominant demographic among home buyers, the ability to control heating, lighting, and security via mobile devices will become a huge selling point. These upgrades won’t necessarily increase your appraisal values today, but they are a forward-thinking investment that could definitely impact your home’s value in a few years.
6. Open-concept floor plans
These days, even homes with traditional architecture on the outside are typically built with open-concept floor plans on the inside. We expect demand for this trend to continue as millennials comprise more and more of the buying market. When deciding on a floor plan with the builder, look for layouts within your budget that maximize space. An open-concept floor plan will help to maintain or improve your home’s overall resale value.
7. More space
Generally speaking, if you can afford to make the home bigger — make it bigger. Homeowners place a high value on having plenty of space. Even with existing homes, expanding floor space by 1000 square feet can increase home values by up to 30 percent, according to studies by the National Association of Realtors. More specifically, that extra bedroom or bathroom could have an enormous impact on your resale value.
8. Upgrade the outdoor space
If you want to add value, don’t neglect your curb appeal or your backyard space. An outdoor kitchen and/or fireplace, a hot tub, enclosed patio spaces, or luxury tile and stone patio work can help create an outdoor space perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying a little relaxing on a warm spring evening. High quality, well-maintained landscaping can do wonders for perceived value, as well.
Additional Tips for Adding Value through Upgrades
Finally, if you’re thinking of customizing your home with upgrades, here are some common-sense tips to keep in mind.
Watch your budget.
One note of caution: The more upgrades and luxury add-ons you include in your home design, the higher the price tag will be. You don’t want to increase your own financial strain now for the sake of eventual resale value later. To keep from overspending or over-committing, we recommend setting an upgrade budget for yourself in advance. Once you’ve hit your budget limit — stop.
You naturally want your new home to match your needs and personality, but over-customizing with upgrades can actually begin reducing your home’s resale value. If you try to sell your home later down the road, it’s important to remember that a home perfectly customized to your needs won’t necessarily be a good fit for others. For a prospective home buyer, those custom-tailored features might come off as interesting quirks at best and a future renovation headache at worst. You may have a generous budget to put toward upgrades, but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of it. “Treat yourself” if you wish, but keep the bigger picture in mind.
Ask your builder about special deals and promotions.
A good builder will often offer free upgrades as part of a special promotion or incentive to attract buyers. Be sure to ask your builder about these promotions as they can sometimes add thousands of dollars to your upgrade budget.
At Lowder New Homes, our commitment to quality construction isn’t just for the sake of our customers today — it’s also to help them retain and increase their home’s value tomorrow. That’s why we offer so many quality choices during the building process. Contact us today to learn more about custom upgrades that can maximize your home’s resale value.