How Much Renovation Does Your Property Need?

From healthy eating to getting enough sleep to certain yoga poses, we’re always trying to find the right balance. But in the world of home renovation, how much is too much? What is the “just right” amount, and how much should you expect to spend?

If you’ve debated renovation for awhile now (or have never thought of it until this moment), let this post serve as a guide to help you on your journey.

Type of Property

The amount of renovation (and the subsequent cost to renovate) depends a lot on property type:

When you’re the primary resident:

Your renovations might be the most substantial in this instance. After all, you’re likely living in your house for awhile and especially if you plan on staying for the next decade or so, it’s important to keep things current with the times.

The average homeowner spends nearly $50,000 on an entire home renovation. Here are a couple cost breakdowns for rooms that are most frequently remodeled:

RoomAverage Cost to Renovate
Bathroom$10,000
Kitchen$25,000
Basement$20,000

Keep in mind, these prices vary greatly based on where you live, but this is nonetheless a good way to start thinking about project costs.

When you rent out the property:

Your remodels will likely cost less than renovations for your own home. Tenants don’t want (or need) all the embellishments that you’d add to a personal home remodel. They’re staying temporarily, and they want to picture themselves in your property — too many details or renovations can be overkill.

Some common renovations to keep a rental property fresh include:

  • Installing new countertops
  • Replacing carpeting (or ripping it out entirely)
  • Repainting walls
  • Adding built-in storage or shelving
  • Refinishing hardwood floors
  • Putting in new fixtures

Each of these renovations helps maintain your property’s relevancy and, as a result, its desirability. They also add value to your home. But these examples also approach things more at a foundational level, ensuring your property lasts for years (and renters) to come.

When you flip the property:

Similar to renting out a property, you don’t need to go overboard on home renovations when flipping a house. For example, while you might dream of a steam room-type shower in your personal bathroom, this is probably too extravagant (and not cost-effective) for a house you’re going to sell.

That being said, you could end up spending more on remodeling when trying to flip a house. Since the point of flipping is taking a home that’s in poorer condition, fixing it up and making a profit, renovations for flipping houses are often more severe (and pricier). Here are a few examples of projects that are both costly and necessary:

Remodel ProjectAverage Cost
Fix cracks in the foundation$300-$600 for small cracks, $15,000+ for severe damage
Replace roof$8,000
Repipe house$4,100

Property Size & Older Homes

Condos and apartments will cost significantly less to remodel than full-scale houses (about $25 to $100 per square foot). Victorian and older homes usually cost more to fix up because they have more issues needing work. Depending on the extent of the remodel, you could pay double the price to renovate an older house than one built in the last 30-50 years.

We mentioned this in a previous blog, but don’t forget that you can get grant money to fix up older, historic homes. If the fear of lots of zeros following a dollar sign is holding you back, know that you might not have to pay as much as you’re thinking.

Area Where the Property Is Located

As we mentioned, your region drastically impacts how much you’ll pay for renovation projects. But area also impacts the amount of renovation you should consider. Remember, no matter if you’re selling down the road or trying to rent the place tomorrow, you want remodeling to be worth the price.

People living in tech-industry cities like Boulder or Austin will likely find higher rent (or high-priced listings) reasonable. The jobs pay higher, and cost of living is greater. If you upgrade your small-town, rural Ohio house to the point where the average person can never afford to rent or buy, you’ve gone too far.

When to Not Renovate at All

If your budget can in no way cover renovation costs and loan repayment is out of the question, if you’re at a point where it’s more cost-effective to sell than to fix everything, or if you need to move away faster than you can complete these projects, it’s time to sell. More specifically, it’s time to sell with RealtyHive

We take properties just like yours and put them in time-limited events. This encourages faster selling and takes the worry and stress out of your hands. Plus, you don’t pay any fees until your home sells! Look through our listings to get an idea of what we do, and sell with RH today.

Emily Wottreng
Latest posts by Emily Wottreng (see all)
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