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5 Upgrades to Increase the Value of Your Home

Ryan Rodenbeck

Ryan started in Austin real estate as an investor in 2001. He looked at all investment opportunities — Austin foreclosures, condos, homes for sale...

Ryan started in Austin real estate as an investor in 2001. He looked at all investment opportunities — Austin foreclosures, condos, homes for sale...

Nov 20 6 minutes read

Last week we invited the talented, local designer and consultant Abby Vasek into our office to speak to our team about what building designs and materials are currently trending in Austin real estate. She also gave us some great pointers to share with you that could help with your home renovation projects this summer. If you happen to be in the process of renovating your home or buying a fixer upper, Abby’s tips in this email will be useful to get your home looking its best. You can find out more about Abby on her website,  Also, I'm going to be doing a Facebook Live with Abby this Friday at 11 AM and we're going to be diving into current architecture trends in Austin.  Tune in on our Facebook Page if you want to watch that.  

As you may know, we offer renovation advice and coordination for both buyers and sellers. Our team participates in many renovations a year, ranging from a small bathroom remodel to a full-blown cosmetic overhaul. If you need some help with this as either a buyer or a seller, please reach out and we’ll get you started. If you know someone that needs help, please forward this email to them and invite them to reach out to us.  Here is a link to our Before and After Video Gallery of projects.  We'll be uploading new videos from the past 6 months soon.  Let us know if you have questions about what value you'd get out of certain upgrades on your home.  

 The #1 trait that home buyers focus on when shopping for a home is quality according to National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB).

Current architecture and design trends are influenced by the advancement in the production and fabrication of new materials, offering people more affordable, durable, and easy to care for options than ever before. Stone veneer as an example, gives people the look and feel of real stone thanks to the advancements in stone cutting allowing for thin and affordable sheets to be used in place of expensive stonework.  

Here are a couple rules to consider when improving your home pre-sale (or for your personal use): 

Rule #1 Consider the ROI. Make a plan and research your options before starting a project. When possible reuse or resurface the area that needs improving. For example, when it’s appropriate, paint the kitchen cabinets and buy new hardware vs. spending thousands on brand-new cabinets. 

 Rule #2  Make sure that you select finishes that are fitting to the price point of your home. Using materials that are unusual for the neighborhood will deter potential buyers and can delay the sale of your home and cost you thousands!

Want to know your home's current home value?  CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT

5 suggested home improvements for increasing your home’s value in 2017 are as follows:

  1. Replace the front door - Whether it be the front door or around it, we want to improve this focal point of the home. Affordable fiberglass doors are now available with realistic wood finishes that can be bought for a fraction of the cost of a wood door. Crown molding header above a door is a nice touch to an entryway.  

Door Before and After.png


  1. Get New Siding - Fiberglass or Hardy is a nice choice, but it's expensive. Vinyl is a more affordable change, but you need to make sure it’s in line with other homes in the neighborhood. We’ve (Spyglass Realty) done this many times for our duplex buyers and not only does it increase value and curb appeal, but it also allows for a reduction in insurance cost.  
  2. Upgrade the Kitchen - Minor kitchen remodels reap the greatest return, especially when refacing instead of replacing. The average cost of medium range/minor kitchen remodels in Austin, TX is about $19,000. This includes flooring, cabinets, new appliances, lighting, and countertops. At Spyglass Realty, this is the most popular upgrade that we facilitate for home sellers in Austin. Can lights are a nice upgrade that cost only $70 to $90 per light, including installation. Changing out a dark color of cabinets for a lighter color can make a big impact. 
  3. Add a Deck or Patio - Building outside can be done at a cost of $8 to $30 a sq foot rather than $150 to $200 for interior additions. Adding an outdoor kitchen and/or patio cover can be a big upgrade for a reasonable cost and it’s sure to attract potential buyers. Also, adding a patio in the front is a nice touch to increase the curb appeal.
  4. Replace/resurface the Garage Door - Like a front door, it's a big improvement and adds a boost of curb appeal at a relatively modest cost. Make sure to paint it the same color as what is trending in your area or select the appropriate finish. A garage door can cost between $400 and $4000, depending on the level, but most homeowners in Austin are spending an average of $1,000. Our recommended Austin garage door vendor charges about $600 for an entry level metal garage door and another $250 for the garage door opener.  

 If you didn’t see the home improvement you had in mind on that list, check out this handy Cost Vs Value report

 Whether you are buying or selling, we will help you improve the home in the most affordable way, while boosting that feeling of quality that today’s homebuyers are seeking. If you need some inspiration for what home improvements to select, simply ask us to send you listings in your neighborhood that have recently sold. We will help you study what finishes your neighbors chose and how those choices affected the selling price. We can help you identify what finishes are the most appropriate for your neighborhood and how to copy it in the most affordable way. 

We hope everyone has a wonderful week and as always please reach out to us with any and all of your real estate needs. 


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