1st Florida Mortgage

How to Add Value to Your Home

You can enjoy the benefits and updates of many projects that add value to your home and improve your family’s quality of life.

Renew the Kitchen

Kitchen updates pay off. You can usually recover 60% – 120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel—as long as you keep it balanced with the rest of your home and the styles in your area. If you have an older historic home and upgrade the kitchen to ultra-modern stainless steel appliances and granite countertops while neglecting the rest of the home, it can be an eyesore, not a sales boost.


Go a long way towards updating the look of your home with a fairly inexpensive addition with a coat of fresh paint, in modern colors. Low-VOC paint is eco-friendly, and prevents breathing in dangerous chemicals like benzene. In itself that becomes a selling point.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. Energy Star-rated appliances are better for the environment, and they also help you save money, because they use less energy. Potential buyers often look for ways to save money when shopping for a new home.

Second Bathroom

By adding a bathroom, you can recoup anywhere between 80% – 130% of whatever you spend adding a second bathroom.

If you want a half-bath, you need at least 18 square feet, so consider underused closets or the space under stairs. For a full bath, you need at least 30 square feet for just a shower and at least 35 square feet to work with for a bathtub.

Renew Existing Space

You can recoup some of your investment, anywhere from 50% – 83% if you renew the existing space in your home. Finish out the basement or convert the attic space to a bedroom. If you want some extra income to further recover costs, consider a garage apartment you can rent out.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Buyers look for homes with energy efficiency in mind. Energy Star-rated windows can save you up to $500 a year in heating and cooling costs by making your home more energy efficient according to Energy Star. Expect to recover 60% – 90% of your costs when you invest in energy-efficient windows. As long as you install Energy Star-rated windows, you can also receive a green energy tax credit of 10%.

Adding a Deck

More people stay home for vacation, so outdoor living spaces have become more desirable. Adding a deck increases the value of your home. The house will be more appealing to prospective buyers when you decide to sell if you make your deck and your backyard more appealing. It’s possible to recover 65% – 90% of their investment by adding a deck.


Homes that haven’t been updated with energy efficiency in mind cost more to live in and maintain. You can add extra insulation to your attic for just a few hundred dollars, and this small change can save you hundreds each year on your utility bill. Seal cracks around the house to save even more money on energy costs, and to make your home more appealing to buyers.


A quick and simple task is replacing lights with CFL or LED light bulbs in all fixtures. CFL bulbs use 75% less energy and emit 75% less heat than traditional bulbs than traditional bulbs. Each one saves, on average, $40 in energy over the course of its lifetime. number of lights you have in your home. And LED bulbs can save even more—if you have about 40 incandescent light bulbs in your home running just a few hours a day, you’ll spend about $360 a year just on those bulbs. With LED bulbs, you’ll spend about $55—that’s a hefty savings that adds up over time.

Most buyers expect to see programmable thermostats these days, and they can save you money by installing one. A savings of $180 per year in heating and cooling costs is Energy Star’s estimate.

Consider a water heater retrofit with a high-efficiency water heater. A tankless water heater saves you 24% – 34% on your water heating costs if you use less than 41 gallons of water each day in your household. If you use more than this daily your cost savings will be lower but still 8% – 14% over traditional style water heaters.


If you plan to update or remodel, focus your efforts on smaller projects that make your home more appealing to budget-minded buyers. You have many reasonably priced options for home improvement projects that add value to your home. Put your emphasis on energy efficiency and small upgrades that add character and comfort to your home.

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