After years of watching Fixer Upper and Love It or List It on HGTV everyone is asking, “Should We Remodel?” Our answer is YES, but do so thoughtfully. Buyers are more savvy than ever because they also watch HGTV and surf websites such as Pinterest and Houzz. So, if you are going to make changes, understand what is trendy now. Buyers are not on the hunt for dark Tuscan as they were 15 years ago. Buyers want a clean, neutral, and more of a warm modern look (see photo above for all the details from cabinets to floors).

Spend your money wisely on the things that will give you the most bang for your buck. We are always happy to come out to your home and help you evaluate where your money will be best spent for future resale. We hate for our clients to spend money that we can’t get back out of the house down the road!

Here are some of the remodeling projects that we find have the best return on investment:

1) Paint – This is always the least expensive way to enhance your home. Today’s trends are all about light and bright. We have moved past muddy tans and browns, and even the grays are on the way out. Now buyers are looking for light and bright interiors. Warm whites and greiges with white trim are the way to go. If you only have the budget for one thing, a fresh coat of paint is always a good decision.

2) Replace Your Front Door – Your front door is the first impression your house makes. In some cases, the best idea is to replace the door, while in others, the best plan is to repaint or refinish the door. Either way, a new looking front door enhances curb appeal and is a relatively affordable upgrade. (P.S. This is something the house flippers ALWAYS do!)

3) Update Your Lighting and Hardware. New lighting and door hardware always makes a home look updated. Oil rubbed bronze has long been the standard for replacing shiny or antiqued brass. However, now we are also seeing a resurgence of brushed nickel as interiors take on a more modern feel. This is also an inexpensive way to get an updated look for your house. Lowes has come a long way with lighting – or check out Shades of Light online.

4) Enhance Your Landscaping – If you have ever watched Curb Appeal on HGTV or Fixer Upper then you know that landscape can make all the difference. Look at your plants. Do they need to be replaced? Evaluate your backyard and think about how you can make it into more of a secondary living space. Buyers love to see outdoor living spaces, and again, you might as well enjoy your yard before you go to sell!

5) Upgrade Your Flooring – The floors really set the stage for your home. We have just had several clients replace the tile and carpet in their homes with long, wide wood plank tile flooring (not real wood) and the difference is absolutely unbelievable. This type of tile seems to run pretty consistently between $8-$10/sq ft for materials and installation. We have great wood tile floors in our offices, so if you want an idea of what it might look like in your house, stop by!

6) Update Your Kitchen – Updating your kitchen can begin with painting cabinets (hide the oak grain), changing counters (think neutral quartz and not granite), adding/changing out the backsplash, and upgrading the lighting and hardware. However, don’t just renovate your kitchen to sell the house. According to, “Eighty-two percent of homeowners said their updated kitchen gave them a greater desire to be at home.” There is a cap to how much return you will get on your kitchen. A well done refresh will often get you a better return than an over the top remodel.

Most importantly, make a list and pace yourself. We are all busy and remodels can be costly and time consuming. Work on one or two projects at a time, and before you know it, you will have a house that is ready to list or ready to enjoy for years to come!