Righteous Renovations! These Home Features Are Proven to Pay Off

By Lance Lambert | Dec 18, 2017
Lance Lambert is a data journalist for realtor.com. He previously wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek and the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Follow @NewsLambert

pbombaert/Getty Images

pbombaert/Getty Images

After all these years of paying down your mortgage, spending thousands on maintenance, and pouring buckets of blood, sweat, and cash into your home, you’re finally ready to move on and sell. But hold on: Those home features you thought were so cool back in 1995 might just be a tad outdated.

Sorry, we know you've had some fabulous times in that sunken living room. You once beamed with pride over your white-on-white, brushed metal-accented kitchen. If that backyard Jacuzzi could talk! And maybe you still harbor a secret affection for those popcorn ceilings in the bedrooms. But the truth is, those things are repelling otherwise eager shoppers. If your home has the right mix of what buyers today are clamoring for—trendy amenities like open floor plans, stylish backsplashes, and heated hardwood floors—it can help you sell your home faster and at a better price.

So the realtor.com® data team looked at a variety of common amenities, to come up with which ones are featured in the homes that close the quickest—and for the most moolah.

"Renovating a home with the right features can not only recoup the cost, it can help you sell your place much faster," says Jessica Lautz, managing director of Survey Research at the National Association of Realtors®. “That means a quick transition into your dream home.”

Tastes simply change over time. The same way we look back with regret on scrunchies, Crystal Pepsi, and the Spice Girls, there are parts of our own homes that now fill us with remorse. It's not surprising that dedicated home-theater rooms, which take up lots of space for an activity that can now be done on an iPad, just aren’t as popular anymore, says Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects. On the other hand, an extra bedroom has mostly universal appeal, since it can be used for a guest room, a gym, or a home office.

For millennials, the largest group of first-time home buyers, extra rooms are not necessarily going to sell them on a house. “It's more features than space they are looking for," Baker says. Especially techie ones, like smart home connectivity.

To come up with our hot list, we looked at 40 of the most common home features. Then we sifted through realtor.com's listings to figure out which were in the homes that sold in the fewest number of days. The fewer days on the market, the more in demand the feature. (We narrowed our selection to features that can be found in most parts of the country).

We discovered that the top features are:

1. Smart home features (such as smart thermostats, refrigerators, and locking systems)
2. Finished basements
3. Patios
4. Walk-in closets
5. Granite countertops
6. Eat-in kitchens
7. Hardwood floors
8. Laundry rooms
9. Open kitchens
10. Front porches
11. Dining rooms
12. Energy Star appliances
13. Two-car garages
14. Fireplaces
15. Security systems

Read about the hottest home features in electronics, amenities, exterior, interior design, and rooms — in the complete article at realtor.com

15 renovation apps to know for your next project

Everybody needs a little help sometimes

BY JENNY XIE | @CANONIND  MAY 12, 2017, 12:19PM EDT
Curbed.com | Curbed Handbook

Whatever home improvement job, there's probably an app out there that will help  |   Sunny Eckerle

Whatever home improvement job, there's probably an app out there that will help | Sunny Eckerle

Embarking on a home renovation project is no easy feat, but thanks to today's advances in internet technology, there is probably a stellar app out there ready to assist with every part of the process. 

Below, we rounded up 15 standouts across three categories—plan, design, and expert help—available on iOS and/or Android, many of which are free to download.

Home Design 3D

Home Design 3D

Plan

1. Home Design 3D: For drawing rooms, testing out furniture all in one app (some features like saving designs and 3D-viewing require upgrades.)

Free on iOSAndroid

2. Roomscan Pro: For creating floor plans just by touching your phone to each wall. 

$4.99 on iOS

3. MagicPlan: For creating floor plans from photos of a room. 

Photo Measures

Photo Measures

Free on iOSAndroid

4. Photo Measures: For saving measurements directly on your own photos. 

$6.99 on iOS$4.99 on Android

5. Handymobi: For organizing home improvement projects, browsing and sharing DIY project ideas; a free toolbox includes a unit converter, level tool, and calculator.

Free on iOS and Android

Design 

6. Tap Painter: For visualizing paint colors (from major brands like Benjamin Moore, Behr, Sherwin Williams, and more) on interior spaces.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas.

$2.99 on iOS

7. Houzz Interior Design Ideas: For access to over 10 million high-resolution photos of design ideas, plus new features like "View in My Room 3D” (virtually try out over 1.8 million products in your own home) and "Sketch" (add products, notes, and collaborators to photos on Houzz.)

Free on iOSAndroid

8. Pinterest: For discovering and organizing design and decor ideas (including those found on Curbed!)

Free on iOSAndroid

9. Chairish: For buying and selling pre-loved home decor, vintage furniture, art, and more; a “preview” feature lets you see items in your space. 

Free on iOS

10. Zillow Digs: For even more interior design ideas and project estimates.

Free on iOS

11. Hutch: For virtually trying out curated decor styles in your space just by taking a photo. 

Free on iOS and Android

HomeAdvisor.

HomeAdvisor.

Expert Help 

12. HomeAdvisor: For discovering and comparing contractors and instant bookings.

Free on iOSAndroid

13. Smith: Home Remodel, Improvement & Repairs: For getting multiple bids from pre-screened contractors within 24 hours.

Free on iOSAndroid

14. Thumbtack: For recommendations on contractors for all sorts of home-related jobs.

Free on iOSAndroid

15. Havenly: For working with a professional interior designer on your project; chat with a designer for free or book a custom project starting at $79. 

Free on iOS


Read this article at www.curbed.com