Urban Natural Homes October 10, 2014

Best Home Upgrades for Resale


Are you thinking about doing some home upgrades with resale in mind, but aren’t sure which ones actually make the most sense? While there are plenty of cost vs. value reports and numerous articles out there stating that this or that is the upgrade to make, the truth is that each house is going to be a unique situation. Depending on the location, condition, and the owners reasons for selling, upgrades may not be warranted at all. However, to get top dollar, most homes will generally benefit from some kind of upgrading.

The first question to ask is: Are there any crucial repairs that need to take place? No matter how pretty the appearance of your home is, if your roof is leaking it is going to get called out during inspection and that could very likely cause the deal to fall through. So, be sure to take an inventory of needed repairs ahead of time. A pre-inspection by a qualified inspector can be helpful for identifying needed repairs, especially if you are not the ultra-handyman type who knows the condition of every square inch of your house.

After dealing with practical concerns, you can then move on to aesthetics and ask: Is there anything that is obviously distracting about my house? Avocado green toilets, peeling wallpaper, worn out shag carpet… certain items are just going to be a quick turn-off to buyers and should be dealt with first.

And finally, after repairs and obvious upgrades are made,  consider improvements that will give your home overall emotional appeal. Again, while each home is unique, certain upgrades have repeatedly proven to be popular with buyers,  including:


This is a no-brainer—one of the biggest bangs for your buck. For color choices see my September blog article “Paint Color Choices: Are You Planning on Selling – or Just Sprucing Up Your Abode?”.

Front Door:

This one may come as a surprise, but numerous studies have shown that changing the front door can have a significant effect on how individuals view a house overall. So if you have a worn, weird, or out-dated front door, change it.


Seattlities love their kitchens and have almost come to expect the shiny new appliances and high-end countertops. You pretty much can’t go wrong with anything you invest in the kitchen.

Hardwood Floors:

Hardwood floors remain perennially popular with buyers. If you have hardwoods under the carpet, pull the carpets up and refinish your floors. Also, re-finish any existing exposed hardwoods to bring back their natural beauty.

Bathroom Upgrades:

Nothing dates a house more than some of the crazy bathroom remodels that someone once-upon-a-time actually thought looked good (like pink toilets and sinks with matching backsplashes!). Bring a bathroom back to the 21st century with more simple and modern design elements.

A Finished Basement:

Finishing a suitable basement is a way to seriously increase the resale value of your home as you are adding overall finished square footage in the process. If you don’t want to go through the time and expense of a full remodel, at least make sure it is dry and bring in a pro to take care of any excess moisture, including leaks and flooding.

Window Replacement and Other ‘Green’ Upgrades:

Living in a progressive city, Seattlites see value in ‘green’ updates and are willing to pay more for a home with energy efficient features. Consider an energy audit which will identify weak spots and then update with newer technology options for insulation, weather stripping, energy efficient windows, appliances  or any other suggestions made by the auditor.


First impressions count, and for our by and large nature-loving crowd in the Puget Sound area, having a nice, well-cared for yard is big on the list.