Guest post by DIY Dad, Eugene Williams.
As the housing market fluctuates, so too does your risk when you purchase and rehabilitate a home as an investment. If you have bought a home to resell, you need to get the best return on investment (ROI) for each of your rehab tasks. Knowing exactly which DIY projects are the best for ROI and avoiding those that are the worst is the best place to start.
1. Focus on What Sells
When you purchase a home as an investment, you easily list dozens of projects to tackle. Unfortunately, many who do this take on too much and then get a negative return on investment because they don’t focus on meeting market demands and matching budgets to the needs of the market instead of exceeding it.
Experts suggest focusing on what sells, potential homebuyers look for updated kitchens, bathrooms, and curb appeal. Focus on these areas when prioritizing DIY projects and your budget. Compare your potential projects to others in the neighborhood and match them. Avoid excessive spending on basements and landscaping or swimming pools. These projects are expensive and do not proportionally increase your after repair value (ARV).
2. Kitchen Rehab DIY Ideas for High ROI
In many booming housing markets, kitchen remodels yield top ROI. Some of the best kitchen DIY projects that protect your investment include replacing appliances with commercial-look stainless steel appliances, installing natural wood or stone floors, and installing stone countertops. Of course, you should leave the complex projects like replacing countertops to the professionals if you are not a contractor, because this project involves a great deal of precise measurement and specialized tools.
With some patience, you can install a wood or ceramic tile floor in the kitchen and get a high ROI for completing the job on your own. Keep in mind you may need to remove the existing floor and prepare the subfloor for the new flooring. First, be sure to test for asbestos if you have purchased an older home.
For tile, you’ll need thinset to cover the floor for backer boards and mortar for between the tiles. If you need easier, more budget-friendly kitchen DIY projects, consider resurfacing cabinets or updating finishes.
3. Bathroom DIY Projects for High ROI
Potential homebuyers expect to see updated bathrooms. There are several DIY opportunities in bathrooms, including replacing the vanity, lighting, and toilet. These simple, inexpensive projects significantly alter the look and feel of the bathroom.
In most cases, bathroom vanities are cabinets housing a sink or two. This makes it fairly simple to replace them without needing a professional; just be sure to turn off the water before you unhook pipes. If you don’t want to deal with plumbing or work around flooring that was cut to fit the old vanity, you can update the existing vanity with hardware and a fresh coat of paint.
Lighting is another simple and inexpensive way to update a bathroom. If you want to replace an existing light fixture, do it yourself by checking the sizing and disconnecting the power at your breaker box. Test the wires to make sure no electricity is flowing through them and remove the old light fixture and mounting hardware. Then, follow the instructions for installing the new light fixture. If you want to add new lighting, contact a professional electrician to handle new recessed lighting, wall sconces, or decorative ceiling fixtures.
4. Curb Appeal DIY Projects for High ROI
Curb appeal is essential to attracting potential home buyers to your property. Some of the easiest DIY projects to improve curb appeal include painting the front door a color that will make it pop and replacing entryway hardware like your house number, entry door lockset, mailbox, and light fixture. Don’t mix metals and make sure the finish you choose compliments the style of your home. For example, choose aged bronze for traditional homes and brushed nickel for contemporary houses.
To protect your investment and get the highest ROI, focus on what sells. Start with kitchen and bathroom updates and decide which projects are DIY and which require professional help. You also can improve curb appeal with some quick DIY projects that make a big impact on potential buyers.