The more time we spend at home, the more things we notice that could be improved with a home renovation project. Some homeowners wait to remodel their kitchen, landscape the backyard, paint the walls, or update the flooring until right before they sell. However, many people who hold off on completing home renovation projects regret the delay, said Angila Grausz, owner of Luxe Life Home Staging.

“A lot of people I work with say, “We waited, and we spent the money anyway,” she said. “They realize they could have completed the project earlier and enjoyed the results too!”

In Reno and Sparks, Dickson Realty agent Lori Welsh said that due to COVID-19, she is seeing homeowners upgrading their homes both cosmetically, as well as undergoing substantial upgrades or remodels. Some clients are doing this simply to enjoy the space they are spending more time in, and others are doing so with the thought of potentially listing their home in the near future making it more appealing and adding value to the future buyers.

“This is a great time to use the funds from your canceled trips or vacations and put it into the place you call home,” Welsh said. “For many, home is now not only where they live but where they work and or educate their children. Never before has feeling comfortable in your living space been more important.”

The One Question To Ask Before A Home Renovation

When considering which home improvement projects to invest in, Rebecca Dickson, Broker/Owner and Vice President of the Dickson Luxury Division, suggests asking one question.

“The question is, ‘If you had to shelter in place, would you want to be here?’” she said. “How happy would you be to be at your home?”

Several home renovation projects can create long-lasting value for homeowners when they live in a home and when they plan to sell it. Here are seven that Dickson, Grausz, and Welsh recommend considering.

Home office improvements

While more people are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that trend is not expected to drop off anytime soon. About 74 percent of CFOs surveyed by Gartner expect some of their employees to continue working remotely after the pandemic ends.

“More and more people will be working from home and remotely because people are finding now that it’s doable,” Welsh said. “I think an office space is really important, and creating one would be money well-spent.”

Dickson said she sees this trend on a national level.

“We see a lot of that type of change in the way people are using their living spaces at home and the kinds of spaces that they’re requiring,” she said. “If I were looking at my own home right now, I’d be really focused on how I could improve that office space and create a Zoom room.”

Home renovation to create space for learning

Adults and parents aren’t the only ones who need more space to work. With college students and children of all ages need a space to learn remotely 

“We’re advising people to focus on creating offices for themselves and homework spaces,” Dickson said. “Buyers will be looking for homes that have multiple spaces where adults and children could work from.”

The even greater outdoors

Backyards are becoming prime property in the pandemic, and more homeowners are investing in improving this space as well. 

“As people entertain more at home, they want outdoor spaces that are more amenable,” she said.

There’s also been a significant increase in buyers who want a pool, she said.

“Historically, pools are not big sellers because of our short season,” Dickson said. “But we do have a lot of people migrating from other areas where they’re used to having a pool.”

Wining and dining

One staple home renovation project is a kitchen upgrade, and this improvement can be even more valuable in today’s market.

“Grocery sales are up, and alcohol sales at the grocery stores are up,” Dickson said. “For the foreseeable future, people going to be spending a lot more time in their residences.”

Creating a welcoming, versatile and modern space in the kitchen is a worthwhile investment, Grausz said.

“Everybody always congregates in the kitchen,” she added. “Everyone’s always looking for that space.”

Transforming underused spaces

If your formal dining room or living room isn’t getting much use, try reworking the space for your needs, Dickson said.

“I see people taking those living rooms that they don’t use every day, and turning them into fabulous rooms to spend time in,” she said. “I know one couple who took their dining room and turned it into a really beautiful restoration hardware-looking office. I think we’re going to see a lot more of that.”

While she doesn’t usually recommend adding permanent walls or other structural elements, Grausz agreed that many large, underused rooms are ripe for improvement.

“What’s sort of interesting is that everybody used to be into this great room concept with no walls and big open spaces,” she said. “But now I hear people are looking for more private areas right now.” 

Perfecting the porch

Creating a space for social distancing on your porch can also be a nice upgrade, Grausz said.

“People are getting back to the concept of having a front porch because you can socialize with your neighbors in a distant setting,” she said. 

It’s also a way of maximizing the space in your current home.

“Try to think outside of the box,” she said.

Cleaning and updating for a home renovation

Organizing, decluttering, painting and upgrading flooring are all achievable ways to improve a home’s aesthetics now and in the future, Welsh said.

“Those kinds of updates are things that people can do while they’re home in anticipation of listing their house down the road,” she said.

Grausz agreed.

“Just doing new flooring and new paint goes such a long way,” she said. “If you’re at home anyway, make the most of it and make it look as beautiful as you can. You want to be happy to be there.”

Posted by Jeff Sallan on
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