They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but the living room is becoming more important than ever. We’ve been spending a lot more time at home lately and have come to appreciate comfortable and inviting living spaces that allow us to get together, relax, and maybe watch some of our favorite shows.
Because the show is now a major hub, let’s bet that buyers pay more attention to this space. Here are some upgrades that will impress buyers, help you increase your market value, and maybe give you a little boost in value.
Let there be light
Studies show that light has a significant impact on our physiological and psychological well-being. So it’s no surprise that natural light is at the top of many must-buy lists.
To make sure your living room is filled with as much mood-enhancing vitamin D as possible, ditch heavy fabric curtains and opt for lighter linen or cotton options instead. Also move furniture a few feet away from windows or glass doors to allow light to pass through the room.
If you have an old, sturdy front door near the main living room, consider replacing it with a door with a window to brighten things up. Not only will the added light impress buyers, but replacing your front door can also result in a significant return on investment (ROI).
“In addition to improving natural light, homeowners should also take a look at their light fixtures,” said Doug Petroff of Petroff Appraisals. “Replacing old and dated fixtures with something more modern and trendy is a relatively inexpensive project and most homeowners can easily do it on their own. “
Refresh the walls
A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference in the world. And because the goal is to help buyers imagine themselves in the space, neutral colors are your best bet. But neutral doesn’t always mean boring. Neutrals today include grays, taupes, shades of white, black, and even some pastels.
The size can have an impact on the feel of the room. The main living areas should be open and large enough to accommodate the whole family.
But Petroff says homeowners should consult a professional and perform a cost-benefit analysis before tearing down the walls.
“Opening things can get expensive pretty quickly,” he said. “In a living room on the first floor, you will probably be dealing with a load-bearing wall, which can significantly increase the costs and scope of the work.
Exchange the flooring
Walking into a living room with a grimy carpet is an immediate stop for almost any buyer. But replacing the old carpet with a new one might not be the smartest decision. Most buyers today prefer hard surface flooring, such as hardwood or luxury vinyl planks (LVP).
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Remodeling Impact Report, new wood flooring is the 4th most attractive project for buyers. And when it comes to ROI, NAR says a hardwood flooring project costs around $ 4,700 with an estimated return of $ 5,000 (106%).
Show some flexibility
Before the pandemic, a living room may have served only as a meeting place or television.
“We’re starting to see a little more value in homes that offer versatility,” Petroff said. “If your living room is adaptable and can meet other needs, that’s a big bonus. For example, is there an area where a buyer could add built-in items and create a workspace? Or a place where they could add shelves or cabinets to store toys, school supplies, etc. “
Pay attention to your neighborhood
When undertaking a renovation, it is important to consider what is typical of your neighborhood. While most homes in your area have smaller living rooms with dated finishes, focus only on a few crucial updates that will help your home stand out, while lowering your costs. On the other hand, if you live in a more upscale neighborhood and your house is the most run down in the area, you will need to invest some money to bring things up to date.
And Petroff says homeowners should also consider how long they’ll be staying in their home before they start tackling projects.
“If you’re selling in the near future, I might focus on things like painting and lighting that will give you the most bang for your buck,” he said. “However, if you are going to be staying there for the next few years, you may want to install hardwood floors or add built-in elements to make your living room more welcoming and versatile. Just keep in mind that in many homes the living room is visible as soon as you walk in, so in terms of marketability you want an attractive, functional, and comfortable space.
For more home improvement tips, follow the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® on Facebook.