The housing market in the DMV is in the midst of a multiple-year uptick—the natural rebound since the recession of the late 2000s. This seller’s market means that homeowners are at an advantage and should be able to quickly find buyers willing to pay top dollar for their house. But it also means that not investing in quality home improvements now can lead to money potentially left on the table when you do want to sell.
Of course, quality home improvements aren’t just to increase the monetary value of your house, but also to increase the personal value you perceive from it. A beautiful house—one that you are proud of and feels like home—can’t be measured in dollars and cents (even though the energy savings you may realize from some improvements is real). Upgrades increase the sense of sanctuary and strengthen the view that your home truly is your castle.
Whatever your impetus for quality home improvements, such a decision will yield short- and long-term benefits that cannot be overlooked. Here are five of those improvements available to homeowners in the DMV area:
1. New roof
Your roof may still be functional but appears ancient. If you’re selling, that drab roof could be a turnoff to prospective buyers. If you aren’t selling, that drab is roof is just a reminder that your house looks and feels out of date. Replacing your roof can give your home the jumpstart you seek. Shingles have come a long way—today’s are built to last longer, more handily resist the elements, and simply look better. Or, you can take a different direction, going with a cedar shake, slate, or metal roof. Whatever route you choose, a new roof will add to your home’s value and provide a nice return on investment if you do sell. It also looks better—important for people driving by your house, and important for you when you pull into your driveway.
2. Repaired/upgraded roof
Perhaps your roof is in good working order and has years of life left … but it isn’t perfect. Maybe a few shingles are missing, or maybe you replaced some shingles yourself and the colors are mismatched or you don’t trust your own work. Maybe your gutters are in rough shape and/or don’t match the structure of the roof. Hiring experts to correct the situation can extend the life of your roof and make it look more attractive, as well as give you confidence that when the next big rainstorm hits the DMV, you won’t have drips or leaks. Upgrades such as custom gutters and skylights are also quality home improvements that add value and enhance your house both inside and out.
The exterior of your home below the roof is just as important as the roof itself. Yet, siding is one area many homeowners take for granted until, one day, you notice your exterior walls are in desperate need of an upgrade. New siding just doesn’t look good—it provides energy efficiency during the DMV’s hot summers and unpredictable winters.
Replacement windows are similar to roofs in that both provide a high return on investment. Even if you aren’t planning on selling anytime soon, window upgrades increase the energy efficiency in your house: Less heat escapes during the winter; cool air stays in during the summer. Moreover, upgraded windows provide an incentive to use them—how often have you not opened your old windows on a breezy day just because you hadn’t replaced the old screens in the spring? Modern windows emphasize convenience, efficiency, security, and light.
Speaking of efficiency, that draft you feel coming through the bottom of your doors is more than just drafty—it’s wasted energy. New doors can cut down on this loss, as well as provide more security for your home and, frankly, look better than the doors your decades-old house might have been built with.
What quality home improvements have you considered for your house?