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Minor exterior upgrades that can help sell a home

The home improvement industry has been booming for years, but forecasters are projecting a deceleration in 2023 and perhaps beyond. Estimates from the Home Improvement Research Institute, which is the leading market research resource for the home and building products industry, indicate that growth in the home improvement products market is expected to decelerate from 7.2 percent in 2022 to 1.5 percent in 2023. Inflation continues to affect consumer spending, and homeowners may be looking to spend less on renovations in the year ahead.


Minor upgrades which aren't as costly as larger projects can still make a big difference, especially among prospective buyers. When looking for minor upgrades which can help sell a home, homeowners can rely on Remodelling magazine's annual "Cost vs. Value Report." That report analyzes costs for an assortment of remodelling projects and determines the value of those projects at resale. Though resale value depends on a host of variables, including location, the following are some relatively minor exterior upgrades which impress buyers and provide a strong return for homeowners.


Garage door replacement: Garage doors matter more than sellers may recognize, as various real estate professionals note buyers appreciate homes with updated garage doors. That's good news for homeowners, as the "2022 Cost vs. Value Report" indicated homeowners recoup roughly 93 percent of their garage door replacement investment at resale. The average cost of such a job is right around $4,000, making this a budget-friendly remodelling project.


Window replacement: The cost of new windows will depend on just how many windows must be replaced. But there's no denying buyers like the idea of low emissivity (low-E) windows, which can cut energy bills by a significant amount over time. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy estimates that heat gain and heat loss through windows is responsible for between 25 and 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use, so sellers who can tell buyers they have new low-E windows can emphasize those savings in home listings. The "2022 Cost vs. Value Report" indicates that homeowners recoup roughly two-thirds of their investment in new windows at resale.


Landscaping: Well-maintained landscaping is another home exterior component which can make a strong first impression on buyers. A recent survey of nearly 7,000 realtors conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that upgrading a landscape recouped roughly 83 percent of homeowners' initial investment at resale. In addition, 11 percent of realtors surveyed indicated that an upgraded landscape was the decisive factor that closed the deal for the house.

Updating a home's exterior doesn't have to bust homeowners' budgets. Many affordable projects also provide a substantial return at resale.

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