What Are the Best Home Improvements for Resale? Expert Tips

What Are the Best Home Improvements for Resale? Expert Tips

Historic homes: pre-1890

Homes built prior to 1980 are truly exceptional. Elegant Victorians feature beautiful ornamental trusses and Colonials include pillars of thick construction that surround doors to the exterior. The style isn’t important they are adored by a lot of homeowners and sought-after by potential buyers.

Urgent home improvement: Repair foundation flaws

As time passes dirt moves and foundations get a little shakier. If you have a historic house, make sure you check the foundation for sagging and cracks. These problems can get worse in time, and can cause an impact on your house, resulting in flooding as well as slanted floors, even wall bowing.

According to estimates by HomeGuide the cost of repairing a minor foundation crack could cost as little as $620 to fix. If the issue is more serious in contrast you can expect more expensive costs. The cost of foundation repairs is $4,511.

Get at three licensed contractors with worked on older homes to determine the desirable make repairs to your foundation prior selling your property.

Recommended design update: Focus on functional improvements

The definition of essential facilities has changed over decades, but anyone looking at an 1850s Greek Revival or an 1880s Queen Anne home wants a home that oozes historical appeal.

“What buyers want today, in a perfect world: Everything is new, but you feel like you’re walking into an 1800s home,” says Spring Cutsforth, a top agent in Portland, Oregon, with over thirty years experience.

If you’re considering adding any changes or additions avoid those that could may compromise the home’s nature. Instead, concentrate on practical enhancements that rise the value of your home. For example buyers are 50% more likely to put in an offer to purchase a house that has new stainless-steel appliances installed in your kitchen.

Homes before war From 1890 to 1940

The 1900s saw an abrupt change away from ornate and more minimalist style and simplicity, accompanied by the rise of Craftsman style architecture. Craftsman homes are characterized by low-pitched rooflines, furniture that is built-in, and central fireplaces. Yet, despite their bare appearance and practical appeal homes of the present have construction issues and design flaws.

Urgent home improvement: Fix dated knob-and-tube wiring

In the early 1900s, the majority of builders utilized knob-and-tube (K&T) wiring. The electrical system doesn’t conform to current insulation standards and is considered to be a danger to fire. Certain insurance companies will not be able to cover homes with K&T wiring unless a licensed electrician is able to determine that the system is secure.

“Electrical was done differently back then,” notes Janet Anderson, a top agent in Tracy, California, who sells homes 26% quicker than the average agent. Anderson recommends that homeowners employ an electrician who is licensed, usually between $110 and $125 per hour, to check homes to check for K&T wiring. “A lot of times, an electrician can put [a homeowner’s] mind at ease.”

If it gets worse replacing the system can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 in the average for a 1,500-3,000 square foot house.

Recommendation for design updates: Improve historic features

People who buy prewar homes love their distinctive architecture and interior designs. Find ways to preserve the original features of your house rather than replacing them.

“What’s sad is when you see an investor pick up an older home, and then they put all modern features in it,” Cutsforth says. Cutsforth. “You start to destroy the character and charm that people are wanting.”

Decorate the corbels on the 1930s Craftsman home with the delicate Cottage White or bold Maple Glaze from Behr. Polish and fix all original fixtures for lighting, or glass doorknobs. You can purchase more antique fixtures on the internet at retailers like House of Antique Hardware. If you’re fortunate satisfying that you have an overhanging windows or laundry chute, make sure you keep your old-fashioned fixtures in good condition!


From hair to houses, everything became larger during the 1980s. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors(r) The average size of homes bought increased significantly in the 1980s with an average of 1700 sq ft in the year 1981, to 22,000 square feet in 1993. The ’80s were also known for the trends today deemed to be snazzy including pastel paints, as well as wall-to-wall mirrors.

Urgent home improvement: Address polybutylene pipes

Polybutylene (PB) is a low-cost flexible plastic that was that was used in plumbing systems for residential use from 1978 to 1995until construction workers discovered that the material was corroding rapidly and shattered when exposed to certain disinfectants.

If you live in a home with PB pipes, you aren’t legally required to repair them. However, they could turn off potential buyers and decrease your home’s value. The price for a complete house pipe replacement can range from $1,500 to $15,000, based on the type of pipe you choose and the size of your house, and the location of your home.

Recommended design update: Update kitchen cabinets and countertops

Nothing is more outdated than a kitchen with a retro-style. In fact 40 percent of real estate agents advise sellers to consider improvements before they list their home, and 20% say that kitchen renovations can benefit close the sale!

For a cost-effective kitchen remodel, opt for a low-cost neutral laminate to replace your Formica or tiles countertops. Instead of ripping out the old oak cabinets, you can paint cabinets in white or gray.

“You can just do things that are very minor to really give your kitchen a facelift, so it appeals to buyers and gets you the top dollar,” Anderson says. Anderson.


In the 90s, Americans embraced the mantra “bigger is better” with McMansions. These sprawling homes featured extravagant entrances, three-car garages and lots of spacegenerally between 3000 and 5,000 square feet. If you have an apartment from the 1990s it could be that you have some extra ground to cover in order to prepare your property for sale.

Urgent home improvement: Amend exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS)

The 1990s saw the introduction of the barrier exterior insulation and finishing systems (EIFS) used to be a well-known construction cladding system that offered homes with insulation as well as protection against water damage. A few years later homeowners and contractors realized that EIFS was a source of moisture, which led to mildew and mold issues.

The system has been improved in the past, however if your home is affected by EIFS however, you must engage a qualified home inspector to assess the system and determine if there is mold. If you find the issue in the early stages, repairs are minimal and will cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

Design update recommended Gold and brass hardware

The typical home of the ’90s has polished brass fixtures as well as hardware. Brass is definitely back, but this time it features a matte-finish. Therefore, you’ll need to replace your old polished gold lighting fixtures when would like to modernize your home’s appearance.

Change out the doors handles, lighting fixtures as well as kitchen handles, bathroom faucets and other elements decorated with brass from the past. Pick a contemporary look like stainless steel or matte black to be used throughout your home.


The little home movements gained tiny amount of traction following the 2008 market crash, McMansions were still all the rage in the beginning of the 20th century. The median size of homes was increasing to around 2700 sq ft in the year 2009 when builders built more bedrooms and bonus rooms than they ever have.

Urgent home improvement: Inspect shoddy, rushed construction

The 2000s saw a significant growth in housing before the 2008 market crash Many builders sacrificed quality for desire of speed.

“Builders have a history of constructing homes in their town,” observes Laura McKenna, a top agent in Boston, MA, with over 36 years of expertise. “Some were considerate and proud of the quality of their home construction. Others were more focused on the ROI and took shortcuts.”

There are a variety of issues, including cracked flooring and a sagging insulation, homes constructed in the past decade are typically filled with flaws that could hinder or even stop the sale. Beware of inspection drama later on later on and employ an inspector prior to you put your house on the market. Home inspections typically cost between $337 and $337.

Recommended design update: Add a home office

The amount of bedrooms and bathrooms in modern homes has increased, many homes built in the 2000s do not have an office space. If you’re looking to draw buyers, you can build an addition or use an empty space to serve for an office at home. According to the Realpro NJ’s Top Agent Insights Report, Q3 2020 39% of buyers who moved due to work motives did so in order to locate homes with an office.

Create your office space with minimalistically decorated bookshelves and a basic desk, such as this one from Wayfair. Also, you can dress up your office space with a few decorative elements such as plants and an elegant accent chair.

At the final analysis, it is the “bones” matter most

Although buyers might find certain periods more appealing than others, each decade has its fair share of design failures.

“There are poorly constructed, and well-constructed homes built in every decade,” says McKenna.

Before listing your house make sure you hire a seasoned home inspector to find any structural issues that could be significant. In terms of design, each decade has its faults and flaws, however the features that which are worthy of a buyer’s time and cash depends on many factors, such as the condition of your home’s overall in relation to other homes and the condition on the market.

“Right now inventory is so low that the things that you might have had to do yesterday you may not need to do today,” Anderson says. Anderson. “That’s why you would definitely want to talk to a real estate well-qualified.”

If in doubt, speak with a professional real estate agent Realpro nj for guidance. They’ll tell you what home and cosmetic repair projects are most likely to boost the value of your home and the marketability of your home in the particular area.

Read More: Should You Live in a Single-Family Home?

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