Looking to sell? Or stick around? Home renovation recommendations for any situation


DES MOINES, Iowa — With the pandemic and the changes in the housing market within the last few years, you probably know someone who has done a renovation or bought a new home.

According to findings from a survey on Houzz.com, a home design and remodeling site, from 2020 to 2021 the amount people have spent on home renovations has gone up about 15 percent.

Lynn Johnson, a local real estate agent, said that renovations run from basic to extreme, but there are a few things you should be evaluating right off the bat depending on whether you want to sell your home or stick around.

“If you really are looking to sell your home, what are some things that you know about your house. Things that you already don’t like are also going to be things that buyers are not going to like. But if you’re looking to stay in your home, make it your own, with a neutral palette,” said Johnson.

Kitchen and bath remodels are the most popular and they usually cost the most but have the highest return on investment. 

Johnson wants people to know that they can remodel things without breaking the bank. Purchasing new handles and faucets for your bathroom or kitchen areas or painting outdated wood cabinets are good places to start.

As for when to accomplish these projects, now is the time.

“When that weather starts to warm up after the first thing, that’s when we hit a new market or spring market starts, and sometimes we’re well into the spring market before we even realize it,” said Johnson. “It’s one of those things where we were in it and we’ve been in it for two weeks and you don’t want to miss out. So do your projects now. But I would also consult with a professional. Sometimes what you have in mind that you like is not what the buyers want. And those are different trends that are really a big deal.”

Johnson does recommend consulting someone like a designer or stager for more extreme home projects, especially if someone is trying to increase the value of their home.

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