Budget Series Part 2: Designing for a Short-Term Investment

Whether you’re renovating an older home or simply making a few cosmetic changes, it’s important to make cost effective decisions. In this post, I am discussing some tips to add the most value to your investment.

I recommend starting by understanding and researching your neighborhood. Focus on the house style first, not your style. It is important to gain insight into what homebuyers are looking for in that area. For example, are the homes contemporary or traditional? What is the standard quality of flooring, countertops, appliances, etc.? Your neighborhood comps will help you choose the right style, color, and materials for your home. It is important to have a comprehensive understanding of expectations. This will ultimately help you manage your budget and choose appropriate and affordable materials that will help add value to your home.

An experienced designer will be able to design by celebrating the original style of the home and neighborhood while adding in new elements with an upgraded, high-end feel. Focus on open floor concepts and minimalist designs which tend to be favorable for new buyers. This may mean you spend your money removing walls to open up spaces or refurbishing old hardwood floors. One important area to focus on that can make or break your home sale is your kitchen and bathrooms! Most home buyers are in search of homes with quality upgrades on cabinetry, appliances and plumbing fixtures. 

Don’t go overboard! A few accent pieces can impress home buyers and complete the look. Homebuyers want something unique. They want architectural details and pieces that look and feel one-of-a-kind. You can infuse pops of color through artwork, photography, accessories, window treatments, and even greenery. I love adding plants and flowers to any home because they bring warmth! Accent walls with tile, stone, wall paper or reclaimed wood are a fun way to add visual appeal to a home. A few unique lighting fixtures are a wise investment and placement can create a focal point for the eye. Maintaining a neutral and light color palette and avoiding trends will make the home feel warm and inviting and create a timeless look. A good designer will help differentiate this.

The home pictured below was purchased as a short-term investment. I worked with the homeowners to re-design the exterior of this home for curb appeal and the interior space for functionality and visual appeal. The homeowners were very wise and understanding when it came to investing in the right items. A few changes on the exterior including a new front door and garage door, helped to update the homes look while maintaining uniformity within the neighborhood. Because shiplap is what I would consider a classical trend, the homeowners invested in a beautiful accent wall that that will help the resale value for years to come. We resourcefully saved money by reusing old flooring to build a sliding barn door; a unique architectural element. Money was well spent on quality plumbing fixtures and ceiling fans (one thing I always suggest spending the extra dollar on since they are used regularly and can get costly to replace). We carefully selected affordable yet beautiful light fixtures in order to avoid standard options. Complete upgrades were made to the kitchen and bathrooms (take a look at those walnut vanities from Troo Designs!) adding major value to the home. All said and done, this renovation cost around $150 per square foot. Check out the before and after photos below!

If this is your first renovation then I highly suggest you work with a designer! We understand home trends and have resources that can help you see a higher return on your investment. With an eye for detail, small items are not overlooked, ultimately lending to perfection for the homebuyer.