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Part I: Highest ROI’s On Home Interior Improvements

Monday, December 18, 2023   /   by Julie Jones

Part I: Highest ROI’s On Home Interior Improvements

Whether you’re getting ready to sell, or looking to improve your current space, remodeling always brings return of investment (ROI) to mind (or at least it should!).  Home improvements are highly dependent on local market demand, your home value and specific neighborhood, and of course, your budget.  Even though you might love the idea of having an inground pool in your backyard, this type of investment may not bring you the biggest return in Syracuse, NY.

Most of the time, when people think of home remodeling, their first thoughts are the kitchen, bathroom, or primary suite.  Though these can offer decent ROI and give you a warm new impression of your everyday living space, some of the highest ROI’s in the Syracuse market right now are on exterior jobs. 

In this blog series, we’re going to explore the ROI of 3 major areas throughout a property: interior, building exterior, and outdoor living spaces.  Making the right changes to these areas could offer you a rewarding ROI, while also giving you suggestions to apply to your home improvement visions.  Today's focus is on the best interior improvements for a lucrative return when ready to sell.

Part I: Interior Improvements

Interior home remodeling can be intimidating depending on the level of renovation and time it can take to complete these.  But what I always say is, construction is great when it’s done; and the reward when you’re finished completing these desirable home improvements are lasting, with a reinvigorated appreciation for your space, and higher ROI when you sell.

1.)  Minor Kitchen Remodel - 70% ROI

As a realtor, I often hear the saying, 'kitchens sell houses,' and it holds true in the real estate game.  But how much to remodel is key, depending on your space and home value.  According to the Cost vs. Value Report 2023 for the Syracuse market, minor kitchen remodels bring back the highest return at around 70%. 


Minor kitchen remodels generally consist of smart updates that don’t require a total upheaval of layout and can breathe new life into your kitchen.  For example, upgrading to matching appliances, refinishing or painting cabinets, refreshing sink grout, replacing the kitchen faucet, investing in new counters if needed or refinishing existing ones, adding a backsplash, swapping lights, and changing knobs and drawer pulls are all budget-friendly options that constitute a minor, mid-range kitchen remodel.  Also, adding creative new storage spaces with shelving under cabinets or on spare wall space, pull out storage drawers in cabinets, and an upgraded kitchen island can seriously add value and character to your cooking haven.
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2.)  Minor Bathroom Remodel - 56% ROI

Okay, let me back up.  There are essentially two rooms that sell houses: kitchens AND BATHROOMS.  Not surprisingly, the highest return on investment in interior home improvement aligns with bathroom renovations. For ROI, rather than embarking on an entire rehab of your bathroom space, focusing on a modest bathroom remodel can be more effective. You don't need a complete overhaul; a refreshed look in each bathroom can make a significant difference. Consider simple upgrades like installing trendy, uniform hardware to fixtures – such as coordinating the hardware on the vanity with floating shelves, towel hangers or hooks, and the mirror. If you’re ready to go a step further, updating the vanity, bath tub and brightening up the lighting can enhance the overall appeal.

Another special way to boost the appeal in bathrooms is by adding depth to your wall design by including a patterned accent wall or going all out with wall paper.  Since the space is generally smaller, the elbow grease involved and/or overall cost is easier to handle. 


3.)  HVAC Conversion | Electrification - 

Didn’t think about the inners of your furnace when you had a home remodel in mind, did you?  I didn’t at first either.  But it turns out, one of the HIGHEST ROI’s in today’s market is converting fossil-fuel burning furnaces into an electric heat pump, along with the installation of new lines and wall units.  While it might not be the most glamorous renovation, it stands out as a trendy choice, reflecting the growing interest in renewable-sourced, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient HVAC systems. Heat pumps not only provide heating but also cooling, replacing electricity-consuming air conditioners, and can significantly impact monthly utility bills. Although the conversion comes with a substantial price tag, averaging $17,747 for a 2,000-square foot home, the return on investment is exceptional, exceeding 100% on national average, and a whopping 87.7% - 95.0% in the Syracuse market.


The journey toward maximizing your home's enjoyment for you, and the overall value through strategic remodeling requires thoughtful consideration and a focus on return on investment. While the allure of certain projects, like an inground pool or an expansive primary suite, may captivate your imagination, understanding the unique dynamics of the Syracuse, NY market is crucial. Throughout this blog series, we'll continue to explore the ROI of two more pivotal areas: building exterior, and outdoor living spaces, recognizing that the right changes to these spaces can yield the highest returns.