The kids are out of school, and the major holidays are still in the distance. No wonder summer is the prime moving season. You might not be ready to pack up and go quite yet, but seeing as the average American moves roughly 11 times in their life, chances are good you won’t be staying put forever.
In the spirit of “moving season,” now is a great time to consider home upgrades, like solar installation, a kitchen remodel, and finally doing something to the patch of grass out front. The beauty of taking on a few big summer projects is that they can add value to your home and your life. You’re investing in your biggest asset and improving your domestic bliss! That’s a win-win. Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable home improvement projects to consider this summer (or any time of the year).
We’re a solar installation company, so of course we think adding solar to your home is a great financial move. Don’t just take our word for it, though. According to a study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, “home buyers consistently have been willing to pay more for a property with PV [photovoltaic solar panels] across a variety of states, housing and PV markets, and home types.”
The researchers compared data on over 3,000 homes with solar panels with 18,871 homes without across eight states, including California. They found that solar panels conferred a value of approximately $4 per watt to the home’s worth. That means that a 5 kilowatt system (a system that produces an average of 5,000 watts a month) could add roughly $20,000 of value to the sales price of a home!
That means your solar system will more than pay for itself when you sell your home, while also saving you money each month on your energy bills while you live in the home. We might be just a touch bias, but we think that’s a pretty good deal!
We should note that the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab study only looked at homeowner-owned solar systems and did not provide data on leased solar systems.
Remodel Your Kitchen
Consumer Reports says it all when they proclaim, “kitchen is still king!” Professional millennial couples as well as baby boomers eyeing their retirement years want a beautiful, open kitchen with state-of-the art appliances and plenty of counter space to let them entertain and whip up dinners for the whole family.
Before you start sweating the price tag, Consumer Reports has good news for you. “A smaller investment can have serious impact. For as little as $5,000, you should be able to add a new suite of appliances, as well as a new countertop and flooring, resulting in a fresh, coordinated look.”
The well-regarded Cost vs. Value report released every year backs up this notion. According to the report, a minor kitchen remodel in Los Angeles has a whopping 113% return on investment in 2018!
Knock Down Walls
If you own a home from the ‘60s or ‘70s, you’ll probably notice something: walls. Lots of walls. These days, many families, and especially millennials, desire open-concept home layouts. They want life to flow naturally throughout the house and be able to easily entertain.
According to This Old House, “Anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house is generating a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy. For the price of a few hundred dollars, you’ll transform the feel of the house.”
If your kitchen is blocked away from the family room or dining room, call a licensed contractor and start knocking down some walls!
Replace Your Roof
If you’ve read some of our previous blog posts, you know that roofs don’t last forever. Depending upon the type of roof you have, it may have a lifespan of anywhere between 10 and 30 years. If your roof is getting close to the end of its life, replacing it just makes sense. A leaky roof can result in significant property damage.
Replacing your roof also makes another kind of cents. According to the Cost vs. Value report, replacing a midrange roof can give you an 82.5% return on investment when it comes time to sell. A well-designed roof can also lower your energy costs, allow you to install solar panels, and increase your home’s curb appeal!
Bathroom Addition / Bathroom Remodel
While older homes may have more walls than you need, they also tend to be lacking in adequate bathroom space. It isn’t unusual to find a three-bedroom home from the ‘70s with a single, tiny bathroom for the whole family. That won’t fly for today’s modern couples who expect a big master bathroom for themselves as well as a separate bath for their kids. A half bath in the main living space for visiting guests wouldn’t hurt either!
While adding a bathroom to a midrange house will only net you a 78.2% return on investment, it could dramatically increase the number of potential interested buyers who would never consider a one-bathroom home. Doubling your bathrooms will also make life easier for your entire family.
If you have all the baths your house needs, another consideration is a bathroom remodel. Buyers love double-sink vanities in the master bath, walk-in tiled showers, and big soaker tubs. Your investment will not only give you a bathroom you and your family will love, but it can also nab you a 90.8% return on investment for a mid-range bathroom remodel!
Millennial power couples love the thought of a beautiful yard, but they don’t have the time to care for it. Older baby boomers may not have the physical capacity to prune bushes or keep up expansive gardens. In both cases, switching a thirsty grass lawn into a desertscape yard that utilizes drought-tolerant, easy-to-maintain plants can be a great addition to your home.
A desertscape embraces California’s native plants to create a serene yard that requires very little upkeep and water. Today’s eco-conscious homebuyers will especially appreciate that these yards don’t gulp huge quantities of water, a precious (and expensive) commodity in drought-prone California.
A desertscape will also give your home excellent curb appeal. Don’t forget that the outside of your home is what buyers will see first!
One Project at a Time
You don’t have to be planning a move in the next year or two in order to justify updating and remodeling your home. All the projects you do today will add to your enjoyment of the home while also adding to its value for a future sale. It’s like putting money into the piggy bank, except in this scenario, you also get lower energy bills, a gorgeous kitchen, and a lawn that requires almost no yard work.
Don’t let this project list overwhelm you. If you’ve lived in a home for any amount of time, you know that it’s always a work in progress. Look at your budget and pick one or two home projects to tackle each year. We might be biased, but we suggest starting with solar installation or a roof replacement if your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy.
As you discovered in this article, solar panels can more than pay for themselves when you sell your home, but they’ll also help you save money immediately each month on your energy bill. Here’s one last nudge: the federal government’s generous 26% tax deduction for solar panel installation may not last much longer!
Schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation energy analysis from Semper Solaris today to get the process started. We also provide roof repair and replacement services throughout California and can offer you big savings when you combine a roof replacement with a solar installation.
We hope to hear from you soon!