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Can You Afford These Expensive Home Upgrades Before You Sell?

Posted by Haley Moran on Jun 16, 2016 11:10:21 AM

These expensive upgrades might cost more than they are worth. Can you afford them?So, you are trying to sell your house. You probably know that this is not a simple task, in fact, it can be downright painful.

If you’ve bought the signage and listed your home with an MLS, but you are still having trouble selling your house, you might have considered making some updates to appeal to buyers. But before you call up that contractor, you need to consider that some improvements are very expensive and actually might not help you sell. Here’s a list of expensive upgrades that, while they might be necessary to close the sale, won’t ensure that you will earn your money back. 


Seven expensive upgrades that cost more than they’re worth.

1) Create more open space.

Knocking down walls between living spaces could be quite expensive on a budget.

Homebuyers these days want large, open spaces with lots of windows or anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house. Often, this requires you to knock out a non-structural wall, or even remove your kitchen island. While you'll transform the feel of the house, it might not add that much to your asking price. Depending on the scope of the work you perform, it’s likely you won’t earn back most of your money.

To remove a non-load-bearing wall, one story or two, when you’re installing carpet: $2,500 to $3,000

Cost to remove a single-story, load-bearing wall: about $10,000

Cost to remove a two-story load-bearing wall: $20,000 to $30,000

2) Light up the place.

Installing a skylight or recessed lighting is pretty, but racks up a bill.Improving the lighting situation in your home is a common go-to for sale renovations. Everything from installing a dimmer switch, skylights, sun tubes, and installing wider bay windows is commonly sought after by buyers, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will pay more for them. Buyers these days frequently expect newer lighting to be installed in their homes, so if you spend a pretty penny on modernizing your lights, you likely won’t see your investment paying off.

Cost to install recessed lighting - 1 light: about $365.74 with labor

Cost to install a skylight: between $400 to $1300 per window with labor

3) Care, maintenance, and general improvements.

In order to sell your house, you might have to make extensive repairs first.

On a different note from cosmetic updates, your home needs to be well-maintained before it sells. As part of the repairs that need to be made, think about insulating the attic, replacing the rain gutters, inspecting the septic system, repair plumbing leaks, replacing leaky windows, installing storm windows, and weed the flower beds.

Investing in maintenance and repairs is crucial to the sale of your house. The houses that sell the fastest are in pristine condition and are priced to the market.

4) Go green.

Installing eco friendly appliances and solar panels might attract buyers, but is expensive.

If your heating or air conditioning systems are old, new ones are so much better, and can save on the electric bills for the future owners. However, this can cost you up to $7,000 for the unit and installation, and adding a solar-powered panel can make that cost much higher.

5) Your front door and entry needs a makeover.

Replacing your front door, lighting, and building a porch are expensive upgrades.

People make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house. Small fixes such as installing a working doorbell might not seem like much. But when you add together an updated overhang, such as an awning or portico, along with a stylish and updated front door, this could get expensive quickly. On the same hand, decks, patios, porches, and porch swings are all upgrades that can rack up your tab, but won’t necessarily equal your money back in profit.

A small and basic do-it-yourself porch project can cost about $5,000 to $10,000, but the budget for even a small porch project can go up quickly when lots of extras are included.

6) Update your flooring.

You might need to take up carpet, refinish your floor, or install hardwood.

This could include repairing broken tile, patching damaged floor boards, and tossing out the wall-to-wall carpeting. In some cases, however, a whole new floor is in order.

Cost to refinish hardwood floors: about $1,552

Cost to add hardwood floors: about $4,398

Cost to remove carpeting: about $230 for 250 square feet

7) The all-important bathroom upgrades.

Remodeling the bathrooms is a common home upgrade before a sale.

It’s likely that improving your bathroom will add some value to your home, but it comes at a very high cost, and these kinds of improvements can get very expensive. It may not be economical to do a major renovation if you are trying to spend as little as possible before putting up a house for sale. Most buyers on the market look for updated sinks, vanities, raised tubs, window glass, and flooring. If you cannot finance these types of repairs easily, it might not pay off.

Cost to renovate a bathroom: between $8,000 and $10,000 for new fixtures like a toilet, sink, and a bathtub. This is also an estimate for the cost of new tiling, cabinets, and a countertop for the sink.

Luckily, there is another option.

If you have been trying to sell your house but are sick of the hassle or the waiting around, you have the option to sell your home fast without making a single expensive repair.

MoneyBug is specially designed to buy your home as-is, even if it is damaged, and will still give you the highest possible amount of cash. If you’d like to see how much you could receive to sell your house with MoneyBug, you can find out instantly just by entering your address. There’s no paperwork involved, and this offer is guaranteed to be given to you in-full as promised.

Like what you see? Get your cash offer now!

Haley Moran

Written by Haley Moran

With a mother who's a successful interior decorator and a grandfather who's a house flipper, Haley grew up in an environment that was centered around real estate. She has a background in journalism and mass communications, and has been a non-fiction writer since 2004.

Topics: Homeowner Tips and Tricks

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