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Chicago Is a Seller’s Market: 5 Ways To Boost the Value of Your HomeMay 14th, 2021 by
Despite the economic turmoil of the past year, the housing market in the Chicago area is flourishing.
According to the Chicago Association of Realtors, home prices have increased by 8.2% over the last year and sales are up 36.8%. Inventory remains low—down by 11.6% over last year. There are simply fewer houses for buyers to choose from.
Interest rates are still incredibly low, too. Buyers are now more motivated than ever to find the home of their dreams. And it’s in their best interest to close the deal before rates increase.
If you’ve been thinking about selling, now may be the best time.
But before you sell, you have some homework to do. While homes naturally appreciate on their own, smart homeowners are always looking for ways to boost the value of their homes even more.
If you want to ensure your house is worth more when you’re ready to sell, here are 5 easy upgrades, along with information about finding the right home services pro for the job.
1. Garage Door Replacement
You may not give much thought to your garage door. This isn’t the most exciting upgrade you can make to your home. But replacing your garage door with an upscale model can yield a high return.
In fact, the only upgrade with a higher return on investment is adding manufactured stone veneer to your home’s exterior. A new garage door costs around $3,500 to install. You can increase your home’s value by about 95-98% of that cost.
But there’s a catch. You can’t replace your old garage door with another lackluster model and expect to see a high return.
The replacement door needs to add curb appeal. It has to complement your home’s style. And, of course, it has to be functional. Plus, if the garage is part of the living space, it needs to provide insulation.
Use our Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Garage Door if you need some help tackling the shopping process.
2. Siding Installation
Damaged, deteriorated or outdated siding can have a significant impact on your home’s value. And not in a good way.
Not only does damaged or dated siding look bad but it also hurts your home’s energy efficiency. Insulated vinyl siding is an affordable way to boost curb appeal and increase energy efficiency at the same time.
It’s also a great way to improve your home’s value.
You stand to recoup more than 75% of the cost of updating old, damaged siding. For a mid-sized project of roughly $15,000, you can expect to recover a little more than $11,000 of the cost.
If your siding is missing a few paint chips but is in otherwise good condition, you may be able to paint the siding instead of replacing it. And paint it you should. This is an even less expensive curb-appeal-boosting option.
A fresh coat of paint will cost you about $2,500, but it can make a world of difference in your home’s appearance.
3. Window Replacement
Window replacement is one of the more expensive home improvement options. But if your windows are old and drafty, replacing them may be necessary.
According to recent homebuyers, windows and doors are the second most important energy-efficient upgrade in a home. Yet many are unwilling to make the improvements, themselves.
We recommend contacting a window replacement professional. Not only does that spare you the pain of a difficult home improvement project but it also ensures the job is done right.
Depending on whether you need to replace vinyl or wood windows, you can expect to pay between $17,000 and $24,000 for complete replacement. However, you can recoup between 70% and 75% of the project cost.
Though this may not seem like a huge savings, once you factor in the savings on your utility bill and the faster turnaround time on the market, it may be possible to break even.
4. Stone Veneer
Manufactured stone veneer is the most cost-smart improvement you can make before putting your house on the market.
On average, stone veneer costs about $9,000 but yields a 95% return. Why is the return so high? Homebuyers really like the way it looks.
Manufactured stone veneer adds sophistication to a home, dramatically boosting curb appeal. Plus, it looks great on just about any housing style—from townhouses to ranch-style homes to the stereotypical suburban dwelling.
If your home lacks the wow factor, give it a quick facelift with manufactured stone siding. This one investment will almost certainly attract better offers.
5. Front Door Professional
Like people, homes have one shot at a first impression. What’s on the inside may be what matters, but we see the outside first. That’s why an attractive front door is important.
A stylish front door can give a house a sense of personality. Everything from color or framing to style has the potential to make an impression.
Replacing your front door will cost between $150 and $3,000, depending on where you live and what style you choose. However, you can recoup as much as 75% of the cost in increased home value.
If replacing your front door is not in your budget, consider other ways you can make a statement piece out of it.
Incorporate small details, such as new hardware, planters, house numbers or lighting. Paint the door in a bold color or dress it up to match the season. Small efforts such as these can go a long way toward attracting the right buyers.
Find the Best Pick
How do you find the professionals you need to partner with before listing your home?
You’re in luck. We’ve already taken care of the search and vetting process for you. We’ve compiled a database of the best companies and contractors right in your area.
It’s never been easier to find a home improvement specialist near you.