The Value of Remodeling

Author Natalie Bruno | Remodeling, Selling

When preparing to sell your home it’s important to determine what goals you’d like to accomplish. Is selling quickly a priority? Are you looking for a specific return from your sale? Do you have the budget and timeline to complete improvement projects? All these factors play into what type of preparation is right for your home. If increasing your home’s equity is a priority, even minor updates can have large payoffs. Below we’ve listed the top remodeling and preparation projects you can do to increase your home’s equity and attract competitive buyers!



Curb appeal can make or break a property. Even if your home has the most spectacular interior, a buyer may never get that far if the exterior isn’t well-kept. Investing in basic landscaping services to make the front of your home look more inviting is recommended by 94% of Realtors, with the majority of homeowners recovering every dollar when they sell. For an inexpensive yard transformation, we suggest power washing the exterior of your home, laying down mulch, planting some color, and trimming back hedges.

In addition to revving up your yard, making sure your home’s exterior features are in tip-top shape can attract more buyers and increase your sale price. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs.Value report replacing an old garage door (97.9% ROI), upgrading to a steel entry door (93.8% ROI), repairing aged siding (85.9% ROI), and replacing outdated windows (72.3% ROI) provide some of the highest returns for Portland homes. For those on a budget, a fresh coat of paint can completely transform your home both inside and out eliminating the appearances of wear and tear. Our favorite local paint supplier is Miller Paint, check out their latest exterior paint options here.


The kitchen is the heart of the home and dated finishes can quickly deter potential buyers from making an offer. Spending money on small upgrades can change the entire feel of the room and allow buyers to see your home’s full potential. Replacing outdated faucets and upgrading cabinets are the easiest ways to modernize your kitchen. For those on a budget simply painting your cabinets and installing new hardware can transform the space. If you’re renovating to sell, keep finishes neutral and timeless updating your countertops to a light quartz and finishing your floors with hardwood. Installing a ceramic or porcelain tile backsplash is another quick way to impress buyers and elevate your home.

On average a minor midrange kitchen remodel costs $22,958 in Portland with most buyers receiving an 88.4% return. Major kitchen remodels are more costly and give you less bang for your buck when you sell with the average return on investment ranging from 55.8%- 60.6%. Whether you’re doing some small updates or a full remodel, minor kitchen upgrades provide the highest chance of a return for any interior home improvements and are worth pursuing to increase your home’s equity.



Bathrooms with dated finishes can easily age a house and scare away potential buyers. If your home is a single bath, this problem is elevated as most buyers are looking for multi-bath properties. If you’re facing the above issue it may be more beneficial to invest in a bathroom addition. On average midrange bathroom additions cost $17,633 less than upscale bathroom remodels and result in a higher return. However, before you move forward with an addition, check the capabilities of your current plumbing as running new plumbing can dramatically increase the cost. If your home already has multiple baths but is victim to dating, doing some midrange upgrades will bring you the highest return (73.3% ROI). Keep in mind current bathroom trends when upgrading like spacious showers and customized floor tile, most buyers desire a neutral spa-like feel.



Finishing your basement is a great way to add space to your home and create income possibilities with an ADU. However, what you choose to do with the basement space could dramatically impact the overall ROI. Simply finishing it and creating a large den may have little change on your return, but if you’re able to add a bedroom, bath, and/or office you could see a higher profit. If your basement has an outdoor entrance, it may even be worthwhile to fully finish it for use as an ADU for short or long-term rentals. On average, basement renovations receive a  return of 64%. The cost varies widely on what you’re doing with the space, but typically is between $12,000- $35,000. If you plan on living in your home for a few more years, finishing your basement could be a worthwhile expansion. However, if you’re remodeling to sell, you may see a higher return by using that money on other upgrades.

If you have the time and budget, remodeling your home can increase its appraised value, leaving you with higher equity and a lower loan-to-value ratio. If you decide to remodel your home, our team is available to help. Figuring out where to start can be overwhelming which is why we’re happy to do a walkthrough and provide you with personalized recommendations on projects and finishes, always keeping in mind your budget and return. We’ve successfully helped guide 100’s of people with minor home renovations to boost their home’s value and we have an extensive database of contractors we can recommend to help you with the job!

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