Sep 30, 2023 - Real Estate

How to increase home resale value in D.C.

Angi home projects with the greatest return-on-investment 🏠
Image credit: Data: Angi; Table: Axios Visuals

Before you tackle that home renovation you've been dreaming or dreading, think about how it could affect your home's resale value.

Why it matters: D.C. sellers need to rake in all the cash they can if they're leaving record-low mortgage rates.

By the numbers: Eight of the top 10 projects that command the highest return on investments in the U.S. are exterior changes, from fixing up the garage to replacing windows, per data Angi shared with Axios.

  • In the D.C. region, replacing a garage door or a front door β€” two of the cheaper projects β€” cost around $2,100, on average.
  • A minor kitchen remodel will set back D.C.-area homeowners $26,401, on average.
Arash Shirazi and his wife enjoying their new patio. Photo: Courtesy of Arash Shirazi

Zoom in: DMV-based real estate agent Arash Shirazi and his wife did extensive renovations on their own home this year, from exterior updates to finishing their basement. They also invested $30,000 in their backyard, which is now one of their favorite spaces.

  • The backyard glow up included a new patio, walkways, lighting and trees.
  • "I will never say anything is 'cheap as dirt' again," Shirazi says, adding that dirt can actually be expensive.

The big picture: The type of project you should prioritize depends on how long you'll be in the house, says Angie Hicks, chief customer officer of Angi.

  • If you plan to stay at least five years, go ahead and spring for your dream kitchen.
  • If you're selling in the next year, it might be time to roll your sleeves up and tackle less sexy projects (think: finally fixing that leaky faucet).

Reality check: Higher interest rates make tapping into home equity more expensive, Axios' Emily Peck reports.

Be smart: You shouldn't expect to earn every penny back on things like a new roof or A/C unit β€” today's buyers expect the basics to work, Hicks says.

Here are Hicks' other top tips for getting the highest ROI.

🏑 Consider your neighborhood. If every house has 2.5 bathrooms, you might not need to convert that half to a full.

🌷 Invest in curb appeal. Replace your garage door, paint your front door, spruce up your landscaping.

🏠 Neutralize. If you're selling soon, it's not the time for a funky accent wallβ€” it's time for fresh, neutral paint.


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