Whether you’re shopping for a home with resale value in mind or you want to attract buyers to your current home, upgrades make a big difference in price. Home improvement upgrades make a home more functional, attractive, and desirable, and thereby increase its value. 

The top upgrades that raise the value of Charlotte homes include kitchen remodels, outdoor entertaining areas, and materials upgrades. Read on to learn more about popular home improvement trends in Charlotte and what upgrades to focus on.

Kitchen Upgrades

In today’s market, homebuyers are looking for modern, functional kitchens. The average Charlotte kitchen remodel costs about $16,000 for an update with midrange finishes. If that’s out of budget, focus on lower-cost improvements that can bring aesthetic appeal or improve efficiency:

  • Repaint cabinets
  • Add new hardware
  • Upgrade the countertops
  • Install new lighting fixtures
  • Update the flooring
  • Upgrade the stove, fridge, or dishwasher
  • Add a kitchen island

Even just one or two small changes can make a big difference.

Pantries (including butler’s pantries) are popular kitchen features, too. Charlotte area homes with walk-in pantries tended to net over the asking price, according to Redfin data for Winter 2022. If a remodel is in your future, consider adding a walk-in pantry to your design.

Material and Finish Upgrades

Whole-home improvements to the materials or finishes of your home can make a great return on your investment.

For example, if your siding is so-so, consider having your home resided. Fiber-cement siding costs an average of $22,000, according to Zillow estimates, but you could recoup as much as 68% of the cost when you sell. New fiberboard siding can add $15,000 to the listing price.

Other materials upgrades to consider:

  • Hardwood floors or new carpeting (heated floors could add 2.4% to the listing price)
  • New windows (can recoup up to 67% of the cost)
  • New entry door (steel doors can recover up to 91% of their cost)

Outdoor Upgrades

Don’t forget the exterior of the home. 

Outdoor upgrades can boost curb appeal, which could quadruple your ROI depending on the project. Even small changes like fresh mulch, potted flowers, or new house numbers can have an outsized effect on home value and listing price. 

Of course, big upgrades have big impact, too. Installing a deck costs an average of $19,000 but recoups 64% of the expense at listing. In Charlotte, a deck addition that costs about $12,000 can recoup nearly 85% when it’s time to sell.

Buyers are interested in outdoor living and entertainment, too. Outdoor fireplaces can add more than $5,000 to the value of a home, and homes with this feature often reap more than the asking price in Charlotte.

The best outdoor upgrades in terms of ROI for Charlotte homes include:

  • New garage door (91% of the cost recouped)
  • Wood deck (90% recovered)
  • Stone veneer (up to 93% recovered at resale)

Investing in these exterior home improvement projects will help you get top dollar for your home when it’s time to sell.

And remember, while outdoor living areas and outdoor kitchens are attractive amenities and can recover many of the costs associated with installing them, the actual indoor living spaces are more important to buyers, so make sure those are taken care of first.

Energy Efficiency Upgrades

With utility prices rising, energy efficiency is increasingly of interest to home buyers. In North Carolina, which ranks in the top five in the nation for residential energy use, energy efficient upgrades can be appealing, because they help save money on utility bills. 

Most (70%) North Carolina homes use electricity for heating, so improving the HVAC system to a more efficient one will help efficiency. And the state is a leading market for solar power, too, making upgrades a worthy investment.

Some other energy-efficient home improvements include:

  • Energy efficient windows (recoup 66% of your costs)
  • Upgraded insulation
  • Solar panels (can add $20 in value for every $1 in utility savings)
  • ENERGY STAR appliances

Energy efficiency tax credit

Not only can energy efficient upgrades improve your home’s value, but they can save you money at tax time, too. When you make certain improvements to your home, you become eligible for up to $3,200 in federal tax credits as well. These reduce what you owe the IRS. New insulation, doors, and windows are all eligible for these tax benefits.

If you install solar panels or geothermal heat pumps, you could also qualify for the Residential Clean Energy tax credit, which gives you a credit of 30% of the cost. These savings make efficiency projects all the more appealing.

Financing home improvements

If you’re considering making some valuable improvements to boost your home’s value, a home equity loan is a popular option for financing it. Home equity loans let you tap your home’s existing equity without selling it, freeing up cash for important upgrades. Home improvement loans provide funds specifically for home improvement projects. Another option is a cash-out refinance, which lets you refinance your current loan while also increasing your available cash. 

Find a lender you can trust to help you navigate the mortgage process. The mortgage specialists at Fairway Mortgage of the Carolinas can help you craft the perfect loan, whether you’re buying a new home or refinancing an existing one. Contact us to learn more about your options.

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