In the last article [7 exterior upgrades for a home on the market – Q&As] architects, Leah [CEO, Graphite] and Rushika [Principal, Holos A+D] answered questions and talked all about exterior improvements. So let’s assume your curb appealing updates have drawn a potential buyer inside your home…now you want to wow them with an amazing interior.
Check out their answers to the top 5 questions about value boosting interior improvements to get advice on how to upgrade your spaces!
1. What are some interior components that are highly sought after in homes today?
Rushika – In general, people prefer open concept living spaces for a more airy and interconnected feel, so if you are renovating to sell, consider losing any non-bearing partitions in the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. Layout these spaces to maximize natural light and transparency.
Lift any suspended false ceilings and increase head height as much as you possibly can. If you have an old timber roof structure worth exposing, lose the false ceiling altogether. If not, at least get rid of any popcorn ceiling texture. Taller ceilings have a nice and open feel to them.
Most buyers prefer to have at least one extra bathroom for flexibility. If you are considering a reconfiguration, put this on your priority list. Having two bathrooms and a separate powder room is ideal, but anything is better than having only one bathroom, even if it is just separating the shower from the toilet and vanity, do it.
2. What upgrades should I do in my bathroom?
Rushika – Bathrooms can easily be lifted up with a few quick upgrades. Consider switching out your faucets, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures for something more modern with clean lines. Get rid of those old school 3-dome vanity lights and switch it out for something fresh and clean, such as a thin linear light or twin sconce. Perhaps consider upgrading your swirly traditional chrome faucets to minimal cylindrical black faucets.
It’s important to keep things neutral and fresh in order to appeal to a maximum number of buyers. Something too stylized and trendy will go out of demand soon and may not appeal to many buyers.
3. What upgrades should I do in my kitchen?
Leah – If you only have enough money to renovate one room, the kitchen is the room to pick! Kitchens are often a make or break feature for buyers, and millennial buyers have an updated kitchen at the top of their must-have list.
Interestingly, you don’t have to spend big on a kitchen to get a big return In fact, a minor kitchen remodel has a better ROI than a major one! For a minor remodel, focus on cosmetic updates rather than rearranging the layout.
Here are some areas to focus on when updating your kitchen, even if you don’t have a large budget to work with:
- Paint your cabinets – If you don’t have the money to upgrade your cabinets completely – giving them a fresh coat of paint goes a very long way! Try using white to brighten up the space and make it feel more open and modern.
- Add new door and drawer pulls – Updating the hardware can instantly modernize the look of your kitchen.
- Change out the faucet – Look for something simple yet functional. Consider one with a pull down sprayer.
- Change out the tile backsplash – When in doubt, go for a neutral color subway tile here. Going with anything fancier often limits the amount of people who find it attractive. With simple white rectangles, it’s clean and modern and matches any decor your buyer chooses.
- Under cabinet lighting – This is a standard feature in any kitchen built today. It provides great task lighting when working at the counter. It’s also great for soft ambient light at night.
- Other lighting fixture upgrades – If you have any pendants hanging above your countertops or island, this is a great upgrade. Once again try to choose something simple and neutral to appeal to most buyers.
- Splurge for new appliances if possible – try to go for energy efficient appliances as well as ones that have a stainless steel finish with clean lines.
4. What are some improvements I can do myself with a limited budget?
Leah – One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated.
But what colors should you choose? Once again, whites and neutrals are your friend here. Not only does it ensure appeal to most buyers, it also gives a blank canvas feel to the whole house so any furniture or artwork will be easily visualized within the space. And the best thing about white interiors is that it makes the spaces feel bigger and more open!
The other large surface besides the walls is the floor. If you’re lucky enough to have hardwood floors in your home, consider getting them refinished. This is necessary every few years anyway to keep them looking fresh and beautiful. And if you have carpets, consider getting those replaced, since carpets can look old and worn very quickly.
Another idea is adding shelves. Built in shelving looks more high end and helps increase functionality of small spaces like closets or nooks.
5. Will sustainable upgrades appeal to my buyer?
Rushika – Yes, absolutely! Sustainability is a hot topic in all domains today; people are increasingly becoming aware of the impact our lifestyle is having on the planet, and responsibly taking steps to minimize it. At a time like this, sustainable upgrades are a major plus for homes on the market!
Let’s start with some of the simpler things you can do here; this includes something as simple as switching out all your bulbs for LED bulbs. This is a major electricity saver which is not only going to benefit the planet, but also your buyer’s pocket. Another such simple upgrade is switching our your thermostat for a smart thermostat which will save your buyer even more on utility bills.
If you live in California this is already mandatory, but if not, water saving faucets and plumbing fixtures are also beneficial to have, along with energy star appliances. These upgrades are in the medium cost range. A higher budget upgrade which is also more impactful and appealing to buyers, is an upgraded HVAC system which not only lowers utility bills, but also cools/heats more effectively for a comfortable home.
So what’s next?
Once you’ve made some home upgrades and you’re ready to sell, you’ll want to make your home look the best it can when potential buyers visit. In our next article we’ll talk about tips for preparing your home for the sale! Sign up on our websites to get notified when the next article comes out!
Graphite is the only freelance platform of its kind specifically for architects – where clients are matched with the perfect architecture team to help take their project to completion without the overhead costs typically associated with a traditional architecture firm. Holos Architecture + Design is a firm based out of southwest Florida that provides a range of design services including e-design, and now features its own unique and growing home decor line of products – Holos for home.