Interior Design Experts Reveal the Best Remodeling Investments

Posted by Dawn Allcot on April 23, 2018

Fix and flip real estate investors know that every property needs some improvements to sell for top dollar. But which renovations provide the best return-on-investment? Start by remodeling high-visibility areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and flooring, and follow these tips from top interior design experts to make your next fix and flip property stand out.

Help Prospective Buyers Fall in Love with Wood Floors

“Ditch those old carpets and go with wide plank wood flooring—the lighter in color, the better,” says Taryn Bone, principal of Bone Collective Studio. “I always choose real wood over laminate from an aesthetic standpoint. I appreciate the warmth that a real wood product brings to a space.”

Update Plumbing Fixtures with Affordable Options

You don’t have to pay a lot to turn an old, leaky bathroom into a luxury oasis boasting the latest styles. “Plumbing fixtures come in a variety of finishes,” says Francis Toumbakaris of HGTV’s “Brother vs. Brother” and owner of Francis Interiors. “What’s popular these days is the matte black finish and polished titanium.” Best of all, mid-priced companies now offer these options.

Granite Countertops Raise Selling Prices

Choose the latest kitchen appliances and materials to get back 65 percent of your investment and ensure a fast sale. “Any buyer will be delighted to hear you’ve installed granite countertops, so it can be used as a selling point to leverage the final price,” says Dmitri Kara, owner of Fantastic Handyman. “Granite is incredibly strong and difficult to scratch. It is also water-friendly, unlike engineered or solid wood.”

Turn a Small Closet into Functional Space

Consider converting a small closet into a pantry, a wine cellar, or a laundry area. “In some homes, you’ll find a tiny closet that’s impractical for typical storage,” says Marty Basher, home organization expert for Modular Closet. “Small closets near a kitchen are a great opportunity to add a pantry. Or install a built-in desk, add shelves and under-desk storage, and create an office nook or small craft space.”

Create Dedicated Storage to Keep Cleaning Tools Handy

“Find unique ways of hiding things that don’t inspire, and displaying those that do to set your property apart,” says designer Charmaine Wynter, advising investors to allot clever storage space for items like vacuums and brooms.

Let the Light Shine In

“Bringing more natural light into a home is a sure way to improve it,” says Amy Samuel of Amy Samuel Designs. She recommends tubular skylights, which can be installed in bathrooms and hallways as well larger spaces like kitchens and dining rooms. “You will get maximum impact with minimal installation costs,” she says.

Consider Energy Efficient Improvements

Like skylights, which help reduce heating and lighting costs, insulation can also make a home more energy efficient. “Insulation may not be the shining star of a renovation, but it is the single best return-on-investment,” says Kristin Davidson of Kristin Davidson Interiors. “Adding insulation of R-30 or higher in an attic has an average 108 percent return on initial material investment.”

Focus on Making the Outdoors Great

“Ninety-eight percent of homebuyers place high value on patios, terraces, and decks,” says Rhianna Miller, in-house home/garden design expert at RubberMulch. Decks provide a 74 percent ROI when made from composite materials and 87 percent for wood.

If the property already has a concrete patio, you can update it by stamping or staining it. “Concrete stamping adds visual interest, gives the look of more expensive stones, and is cost effective,” says Miller. “You can also add a color or stain to the concrete before stamping, taking boring gray concrete to a more vibrant, visually pleasing shade.”

Remember to track your remodeling costs carefully, save receipts for the tax write-off, and enjoy the added profits these smart renovations bring.

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