4 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home in 2021

This past year has proven a lucrative year for home sellers. With the pandemic helping to fuel low-interest rates, changing homeowner needs, and increasingly high demand for housing, it's the ideal time to cash in on a listing. Luxury-laden homes with the right upgrades and attention to detail will command far more offers, and in turn, much higher sales prices. Homebuyers in 2021 are looking for ample space and turnkey homes, and they're willing to pay for them.

Let's examine four ways to increase the value of your home and turn a successful transaction into a highly lucrative sale.

1. Enhance Your Exterior

1904 9th Ave — Before

1904 9th Ave — After. Property sold for 25% over the asking price.
Home improvement projects that offer the most significant ROI are almost exclusively updates made to a home's exterior. Your home's curb appeal plays a vital role in how others perceive the property's value. Especially if you're listing your home for sale, buyers will form an initial opinion on your home based solely on its exterior. That opinion rarely changes even after they tour the interior.
Exterior, home numeral replacement, and entry door replacement all carry the biggest bang for your renovation buck when it comes to home improvement. To make the best first impression, try updating your home’s exterior with a neutral paint color that will be widely appealing. Whites, creams, and muted grays are excellent choices for your home’s facade.
Swapping out house numbers for modern numericals can give your property a distinguished and contemporary eye-catching look. These Neutraface typefaces are widely appealing and will grab a potential buyer’s attention, boosting curb appeal and driving traffic to your property.
Regarding your home's entryways, a garage door replacement offers a surprisingly sizable ROI in California. Replacement costs from $3,500 to $4,500 can yield a return of 117%. Considering the scarcity of the garage door in San Francisco, a new entry can add a lot of pop to a home. Although not as significant an ROI, replacing your front entry door with a new steel door at the cost of roughly $2,500 results in an 88% return.
Revamping your property’s facade is a spectacular way to increase its value. Maintaining any landscaping you have is a crucial aspect of its curb appeal. Adding shrubbery and blooming flowers as well as keeping the exterior cleanly manicured can give your home a critical edge in a competitive market. In addition to sprucing up your home's landscaping, exterior improvements ensure your home stands out in the marketplace. They help shape a buyer's all-important initial impression into one that is very positive.

2. Transform Your Yard and Rooftop Deck

Landscaping and outdoor areas are premium spaces in San Francisco. If your home possesses a small yard, outdoor space for entertaining, or roof deck, make the most of it. While not every Bay Area home has them, buyers appreciate the additional livable space and entertainment areas, even if they possess a small footprint. Should you sell your home, the opportunity is there to vault your home's overall value with fantastic outdoor space.
For outdoor yards, the key is to get creative. Would the space, particularly the area behind the home or in between structures, serve you and future owners better as a lawn? A decked or concrete patio? A garden, whether it is zen, vegetable, flower, or otherwise? As inspiration, look to similar homes with similar spaces within your immediate neighborhood or market area. Research improvements made to recent sales comps and if those improvements generated any additional value or interest from the sale. Modifications can be as little as a few hundred dollars or a few thousand, depending on just how inventive you want to get.
In regards to rooftop decks, the pandemic cast a new light on these outdoor spaces that many San Francisco homeowners took for granted or treated as an afterthought. They were nice to have, sure, but with so much to do elsewhere in the city, they were often underutilized - dressed up with nowhere to go. Upgrading a current roof deck or adding a new one runs between $5,000 to $10,000 for the former and $15,000 to $20,000 for one built from scratch, but that investment can prove to be lucrative. 

You can expect to add roughly 7% to a home's value with rooftop decks as an outdoor amenity. That number can increase into double digits if the deck ends up framing stunning city or bay or ocean views. Should you list your home for sale, expect it to garner a lot of attention thanks to your commitment to improving its usable outdoor spaces.

3. Increase Your Home's Interior Space

Given San Francisco's unique topography and mix of various housing types, increasing a home's usable square footage is by no means a simple task. In many instances, it can cost a homeowner north of $100,000 or more, but it can be done.
Repurposing a ground-level utility room with a home office and an additional bedroom

Basement excavations or the addition of an accessory dwelling unit are not uncommon in the Bay Area, including the densest areas in San Francisco neighborhoods. Though they may prove costly and time-consuming, these home improvements are worth it for many Bay Area residents. Additions to your home add a lot of flexibility, providing an extra bedroom for a family running out of space, a baby or playroom for those with a newborn on the way, or a home gym for those with an active lifestyle. This extra room could also be transformed into one of the most sought-after commodities in a home during the recent pandemic: a home office. In the case of the accessory dwelling unit, that extra addition can even double as rentable, income-earning space that will eventually pay for the expansion and then some.
Not every Bay Area home possesses the space for expansion, but many carry with them an opportunity for reconfiguration. A too-small bedroom might stage better as a cozy office. That awkward den may better serve your needs as an office, home gym, playroom, or flex room for all three. Have an unrealized basement or attic area? Finish them out to provide your home a room it doesn't already have. In the case of the basement, adding a laundry room here will prove immensely popular in today's market.
Whether you're doing it for your own enjoyment of the home or an eye toward selling, always examine what might make the house better, more livable. If you're planning to list, research what most buyers are looking for, and tailor your home's new spaces to their needs.

4. Make Small Improvements for Big Value

Although we covered some big-ticket items, not all value-add projects need to be costly or require wholesale changes to your home's physical structure. Sometimes the smallest improvements can make the biggest impact.

For example, attempting a major upscale kitchen remodel can run approximately $125,000 to $150,000 and only net you a 54% ROI. You may want to scale it back to get more bang for your renovation buck by doing a minor, mid-range kitchen remodel. Adding new cabinet fronts, hardware, new energy-efficient appliances, new countertops, flooring, and paint will cost you roughly $25,000 to $30,000 but bring with it an ROI of almost 90%. You could also choose to add new energy-efficient appliances and paint, which would spruce up the space while giving you or a buyer one less thing to worry about. 

You might opt for targeted improvements, like new windows and window treatments, new lighting, flooring, or a refreshed paint scheme, to appeal to prospective buyers. These value-add projects all have one thing in common: they help make a home feel larger without increasing its footprint. Adding exterior lights can brighten your home’s facade and create a welcoming ambiance from the first step on the property. These are huge perks that you as a homeowner will enjoy and a potential home buyer will love.
Technology upgrades are becoming big business and finding favor with a growing number of would-be buyers. Though their ROI may vary, adding smart technology to your home in the form of smart thermostats, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, cameras, locks, or exterior lighting will enhance your home's value in the eyes of the right tech-savvy buyer.

The point is you don't necessarily need to go big to add value to your home. Thoughtful improvements, even those as simple as decluttering and staging, will make a positive impact on both your home's real and perceived value. If you hope to sell your Bay Area home for top dollar, cleaning, decluttering, depersonalizing, and staging are often the simplest and yet most effective ways to get the most from your home — especially when you go to sell it.
Ready to explore the best of Bay Area real estate? Contact Dylan Hunter today to start your home buying or selling journey. Through Dylan’s extensive network of contractor resources, your home can quickly be prepared for sale. From Lake District real estate to Duboce Triangle or Cow Hollow homes for sale, allow Dylan and his team's years of experience and expertise to be your guide to the San Francisco luxury real estate market.

Work With Dylan

Dylan provides clients with opportunity and choice in achieving their real estate goals.
Let's Connect
Follow Us