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Home Improvements that Have the Best ROI

Paul Kaplan

I'm Paul Kaplan and I formed the Paul Kaplan Group to offer specialized services to those clients that are interested in buying or selling an architec...

I'm Paul Kaplan and I formed the Paul Kaplan Group to offer specialized services to those clients that are interested in buying or selling an architec...

Sep 7 9 minutes read

If you decide to sell your Palm Springs home, you probably want to get the best possible price. You'll hear or read lots of advice on preparing the house for a quick, profitable sale, from staging to making necessary repairs. However, you might also consider the potential benefits of other improvements designed to increase a home's beauty, utility, and overall appeal. Since some improvements impact home value more than others, let's examine some of the most and least valuable enhancements.

A Useful Home Office

COVID-19 encouraged many employers to let their employees work from home, while countless entrepreneurs have always maintained home offices. Research indicates that creating a dedicated home office space can boost your home's resale value by at least $10,000. However, resist the urge to convert your garage into that home office. Buyers expect a home to include a usable garage, even if they don't end up parking their cars inside it. For this reason, garage conversions hurt resale value instead of helping it.

Eye-Catching Paint and Lighting

Painting your home's interiors offers a simple way to boost its resale value by over $2,000 while also making the rooms and hallways look more inviting to buyers. Clever home staging techniques invariably include painting a home in strategically neutral colors such as white, ivory, beige, and gray. These neutral colors, combined with a sparse arrangement of equally neutral furniture, help home shoppers imagine their own families and belongings occupying the home.

New or modified lighting fixtures can make your freshly-painted interiors look even more cheerful. Moderately-priced lighting fixtures can look just as appealing as the high-end options, allowing you to increase your ROI. Many buyers love homes with features such as recessed lighting, automated timers, and dimmer switches. LED lights offer the additional appeal of long life and tremendous energy efficiency. Installation of these lights can boost your resale value by up to 3%.

Fabulous Flooring

New flooring can breathe new life into your home's interior. It can also yield a solid return on your remodeling investment, but only if you select the right flooring material. Clay tile can provide a higher ROI than porcelain tile, for example, because the latter always requires professional installation. Although wood flooring commands the highest ROI and can add 2.5 percent to your home's total value, that may not be the case in the desert. Wood doesn't tend to hold up well in the desert climate.  Luxury Vinyl Tile seems to be the most common and most affordable flooring upgrade these days, due to its durability, easy installation and low maintenance features.

Think twice before selecting the most luxurious marble tile with the notion that it will command a higher asking price. Many buyers prefer harder-wearing materials that require less care and offer easier replacement or repairs. Carpeting in the desert, is rarely a good choice, as many people these days prefer hard surface flooring. 

A Long-Lasting New Roof

As you may know from previous experience, a roof replacement represents a serious investment. However, it can also pay big dividends if you want to sell your home. Although a new roof may only yield an ROI of 60 to 68 percent, it can still boost home sellers' asking prices by an average of $12,000. The appeal of a new roof that shouldn't need replacing for decades can also help you sell your home more quickly to a more enthusiastic pool of buyers, allowing you to start the bidding at a higher price point.

Exterior Enhancements

That attractive new roof offers only one way of increasing your home's curb appeal and resale value. Almost anything you do to improve the exterior's beauty will yield dramatic results. For instance, consider the national average value added by painting the exterior and adding insulated windows.  A fresh set of vinyl-frame windows can add $13,297 in value.

Because our outdoor space in the desert is as important as indoors, other items to consider are adding patios, outdoor firepits (one of the most commonly requested features for vacation rental homes in the desert), sports courts or other enticing elements that will help a buy imagine the fun they'll have living at your house. 

Lovely Landscaping

Curb appeal requires more than just fresh-looking exteriors and a beautiful roof. It also includes the visual impact of your lawn and garden on prospective buyers. A beautifully-landscaped property communicates that the owner has tended the home with loving care, implying a durable, good-looking property inside and out. Depending on the baseline value of your property and the specific modifications you make, an investment in professional landscaping could boost your home value by as much as 12.7%.

To gain even more significant benefits from your landscaping efforts, equip your exterior walkway, porch, and driveway with exterior lighting. Buyers will like the safety and security that this lighting promises. They may also enjoy the idea of showing off their desert landscape, garden, and other exterior features at any time of day or night.

With today's water shortage challenges, lawns are out and have been replaced with low maintenance fake turf, in combination of low-water desert landscaping.  A water efficient yard is appreciated by many desert buyers, especially since often these are 2nd homes.  

Swimming Pool Installation

Although in most areas of the country, it's not profitable to install a swimming pool.  Not so in Palm Springs- people come to the desert to enjoy the outdoors- and jumping into their own private pool, is one of the most requested features for those looking for a single-family home.  However, due to Covid related supply chain delays and staff shortages, it can take six months or more to build a pool.  So, if you're looking to sell your home quickly, this home improvement may not be worth the wait.

Skip It: Limiting Your Living Space

Taking a bedroom and converting it into a closet or home gym may seem like a great idea now, but, in the end, these projects are usually not worth it when it comes to resale because they're removing the home's livable space. What happens if a potential buyer doesn't need the extra closet space but could really use another bedroom?

However you might want to consider adding a backyard Accessory Dwelling Unit.  Read more here.  

Skip It: Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Wall-to-wall carpeting is expensive and hard to maintain or clean, so it might not be a wise investment. Instead, people are using rugs to create that warmth without the commitment to full carpeting. That allows future homeowners to make their own decisions on flooring instead of needing to take up the carpeting. 

If you're going to add carpet, we'd recommend sticking to your bedrooms but not expanding it to your living or great rooms.


If you're considering selling, feel free to reach out to us at The Paul Kaplan Group, to make an appointment with one of our selling agents.  Our experts will be able to take a look at your house and suggest what improvements would be recommended to make your house more marketable and to increase your sales price.  And if you don't want to manage the work yourself, we can connect you with our Concierge Service by Curbio to do the work for you-  and you pay nothing until you close escrow!  We look forward to hearing from you! 760-459-1396

Brilliant Move: Consult Your Trusted Real Estate Professional

Hopefully, these home improvement options give you a clearer idea of how to boost your asking price. Consider taking the most intelligent step to ensure you get top dollar for your home. Contact us to discuss these home improvement tips and other ideas for increasing your home's value.

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