The fall usually brings us cooler nights and shorter days. While beautiful, the fall is a perfect time for us to roll up our sleeves and take on some of the home improvement projects that we put off because it was just too darn hot during the summer months.
Experts tell us that most building materials are at their best when installed in moderate temperatures. As a bonus, contractors typically have fewer projects during the fall, so you’re more than likely to find help quickly if you don’t want to take on the DIY projects yourself.
According to HousingWire, seasonality plays an important role in the housing market. Home buying and selling activities swell during the spring and summer months of the year, and trail off during the fall and winter. So if you plan on selling your home in the spring, you’ll want to prioritize the best home improvement projects for resale and which will provide you with the best “rate of return” (ROI). To figure out what’s worth your time and budget, we asked real estate investors and other home improvement professionals for their expert opinions.
Paint the front door (ROI: 80% to 150%)
This is one of the easiest and most effective way to attract buyers to your home. A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the rest of the homes on your street. The fall is the best time to do this work, just pick an afternoon when the temperatures are at least 50 degrees and the nighttime temperatures don’t dip below 40 degrees. Here’s a great step by step guide on how to correctly paint your from door from one of our partners “Lowes”.
Enhance the exterior (ROI: 60% to 100%)
If your exterior paint job is in decent shape, a few touch-ups could suffice. But for those with chipping paint or a 1970s color scheme? Call the pros immediately. “The last thing you want is to scare buyers away before they even get inside, your goal is to sell your house fast”, says Alex, a real estate investor with Buying Nevada Houses, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. On average, you’ll spend $1,000 to $3,000 (for a 500- to 1,500-square-foot single-story home), but he estimates that the investment in curb appeal can help properties sell for up to 10% more than others on the block. Just stick to neutrals: This isn’t the time to try out a statement color.
Replace or repair your roof (ROI: 50% to 110%)
A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from instilling confidence in a prospective buyer. This holds true for repairing leaks and for cosmetic damage, which buyers often use to negotiate a lower price.
Power-wash the exterior of your home (ROI: 40% to 110%)
The ROI for this project can vary based on just how dirty your home was before the wash. If the home was merely a little dirty, the ROI may not be as great as it is for one that will look almost new after the wash. If your home falls into the latter category, it can be worth it to hire a pro. If you’re brave enough to take on this potential DIY, checkout how these power-wash professionals do it correctly.
Window replacement (ROI: 50% to 80%)
The replacement of windows is a crapshoot because they are expensive to replace and almost invisible to potential buyers. Most experts tell us that unless the windows are damaged or so poorly insulated that your utility bills are sky-high, most buyers don’t consider windows as a major factor looking for a home.
Upgrade your HVAC system (ROI: 20% to 50%)
This project ranks as one with the lowest ROI, because current buyers have come to expect all homes have central air. An upgrade isn’t a selling point unless the system was old to begin with. If your existing system has been in place for more than 10 to 15 years, it’s likely that you’ll soon need a new one. It becomes an area that a potential buyer will most likely use to negotiate a lower price. So if you do go ahead and upgrade your HVAC system, be prepared to show proof of gains in efficiency to recoup your costs.
All of the above recommended home improvements are worth considering regardless of if you plan on selling your home now or in the near future.