Selling your home to buy a new one is the real estate equivalent of a stage-five clinger. The prospect of moving is fun! And exciting! But then you discover that interest rates are the highest they’ve been in the last ten years, and that you’ll need to spend a pretty penny on home improvements before you can even consider listing. Suddenly, you feel like you’re stuck with an overbearing partner. But good news for you: the recent boom in the housing market has caused the median home price to rise by $330,000 since the end of 2021, and the average buyer is willing to accept offers up to $10,000 above asking, according to a recent Rocket Homes study. The study also found that certain features—which include a two-car garage, an updated kitchen and a desirable location—can increase your home’s ROI by almost $100,000. Read on for everything you need to know, plus advice on how to make the most of each feature before taking to Zillow.
1. A DESIRABLE LOCATION
Okay, so you can’t exactly pick up your home and place it in the heart of town, but being in a desirable neighborhood can add up to 30-percent to your home’s value. According to the study, “[Homebuyers] perceived location as adding nearly $150,000 in additional value, compared to homeowners who increased a home’s value by just over $80,000 for a good location.” So what’s the biggest lure when it comes to location? Proximity to school districts and outdoor recreation areas. Data from the study revealed that being near a highly rated school district can increase a home’s perceived value by more than $75,000, while close proximity to outdoor recreation (think: parks, beaches, ski slopes, etc.) added more than $61,000, on average. So yes, even if you’re a 30-minute walk from the beach, it’s definitely in your best interest to make a note of that in your home’s listing.
2. AN UPDATED KITCHEN
This one probably comes as no surprise (because who doesn’t love quartzite countertops?). The study revealed that, on average, a kitchen renovation added more than $27,000 of perceived value in the eyes of the buyers surveyed. What’s more, over half of respondents agreed that an upgraded kitchen could persuade them to buy, and an equal number said that a home’s kitchen is of the highest importance. But it’s important to know what buyers mean when they say ‘upgraded kitchen.’ While updated cabinetry increased a home’s perceived value by more than $5,300, upgraded appliances were the single most important item on people’s lists (and yield just over $4,600 in added value). Still, we know that kitchen reno's don’t come cheap; on average, homeowners should budget around 16-percent of their home’s total value for kitchen renovations. But if there’s one upgrade you can make for the highest ROI, the kitchen is where the heart is.
3. A TWO-CAR GARAGE
Finally, the study revealed that certain architectural and exterior features—including one- and two-car garages, vaulted ceilings, open floor plans and a large number of windows—can increase the perceived value of a home by up to $314,570. But of course, there’s always one feature that has the greatest impact, and on average, a two-car garage increased perceived value by more than $39,000 (which was significantly higher than any other interior or exterior feature). Plus, the study also found that a one-car garage would still increase perceived value by more than $20,500. The bottom line? If you have a pic of your two-car garage, be sure to put it in the first five slides of your listing.