8 Home Features That Will Increase the Value of Your Property—and a Few You Should Pass On
Pros weigh in on which home “extras”—from smart technology and pot fillers to garbage disposals—are truly worth your money.
Whether you’re in the midst of making a home renovation plan or identifying a checklist of “must-have” amenities while house shopping, figuring out which home features are worth your money can be tricky. After all, it’s important to strike a balance between budget and boosted convenience. There’s also something to be said about the investment you make and the return it can potentially provide years down the road if you ultimately decide to sell your home.
To help you figure out which home extras are truly worth it, we reached out to a range of home professionals, including real estate agents, interior designers, and housing industry experts.
Customized Kitchen Cabinets
Many homes are built with simplified, bare-bones kitchen layouts. Often, the cabinetry is underutilized, under-considered, and awkward—think weird corners or ultra-deep shelving. Pair that with the fact that many homeowners also have numerous gadgets and kitchen tools they like to keep on hand—like mixers, blenders, air fryers, and espresso machines—and you’re in for disorganized chaos.
That’s where custom cabinetry comes in: Think extra shelves, appliance garages (which allow you to hide that blender in plain sight), and cabinets that are as wide or as compact as you need them to be. Best of all, you don’t need to completely reconfigure your kitchen to maximize your cabinetry. “Even without doing an entire kitchen renovation, changes can be made to existing cabinets to allow for better use of space and easier access to these small appliances,” says Melissa Zimbelman, a real estate agent and property manager in Las Vegas, Nev.
Karen Hatcher, a realtor, property manager, and developer, agrees—but says that starting from scratch, with custom cabinetry and built-ins, goes a long way. “When all of our things have a home in our home, there is a feeling of organization and peace that comes with that,” she says.
Smart Home Technology
You regularly update your phone so you can hold the best technology modernity has to offer in your palm—why not take the same approach with your home? With a touch of a button, you can turn off lights, adjust the thermostat, or close the garage door. You can even access these features from your phone while away, which is a game-changer for those who often question whether they adjusted all the above after leaving the house.
“Smart technology lets you know when a door opens, and cameras let you peek into your home anytime, anywhere,” says Kimberly Greenwell, a home industry expert and TV personality. “It also adds modern-day convenience to your everyday life and gives you peace of mind when you are away.”
Garbage disposals are an American home mainstay, and for good reason. “They make kitchen cleanup so much easier,” says Cara Newhart, an interior designer. “Who wants to chase soggy food around the sink? I just bought an 1880s farmhouse and this is my first home living without one, which is rough. One of my next home DIY projects is going to be installing one, for sure.”
The average cost of installing a garbage disposal is around $500, which is a minimal investment for the amount of convenience it brings to your home. This handy addition also helps minimize kitchen odor, protects your kitchen drains and plumbing, and is easy to maintain and operate.
Professional Sound System
From hosting events to gathering the family for movie night, a high-quality sound system can elevate your home and even help shape everyday experiences into cherished memories, says Danielle Walter, an interior designer and the founder of Diggs Designs.
“Sound sets the mood from the moment you walk in the door, provides for the convenience of listening to what you want, and brings family together,” she says. “Clients always love this addition. Plus, music feeds the soul and promotes happiness within a home. It can be educational, as well, introducing kids to classical music and exposing them to music outside of what they listen to on their own.”
While bidets have been a fact of life in homes across the globe for ages, homeowners in the United States haven’t yet come around to their appeal. That’s starting to change, though, especially with the advent of inexpensive bidet attachments that are easy to install.
“A bidet toilet is life-changing and less expensive than you think,” says Greenwell. “These attachments have various features, such as a soft close lid with a heated seat, motion sensor lid with light, air deodorizers, adjustable warm water sprays, and dryers.”
Along with a warm seat on a cold night, bidets offer a variety of other benefits, like reducing waste and bacteria in your home, says Greenwell.
Embracing our yards is nothing new, but in the last decade, there’s been a real shift in the way we view our exterior spaces. More than ever before, decks and patios are being transformed into genuine extensions of living areas, complete with inviting seating, ambient lighting, and functional cooking areas. That said, a deck is arguably one of the simplest ways to maximize the square footage of your property, Newhart says—and are, therefore, worth the money.
“They add elevated space for seating and can be planned to fit your yard perfectly, no matter what size you’re working with,” Newhart says. “Plus, they’re an easy addition. I’ve done everything from hiring out for a high-end composite deck to making a DIY wood floating deck that cost around $400. It’s always worth it.”
Retractable Motorized Patio Screens
On that note, if you have a patio or deck then figuring out a way to enclose it is a smart move, says Zimbelman. “The maintenance of keeping up with dust and debris that is blown in, or messes left by visiting birds or neighborhood pets, makes spontaneous use of the patio hard to enjoy without cleaning beforehand,” she explains. “Also, in climates with extreme temperatures, many patios are unusable for months of each year.”
Adding retractable patio screens creates a barrier against many of these annoyances, while assisting in keeping temperatures more regulated inside the patio. That translates to a space that offers year-round livability.
If you’re on the fence about installing a pot filler in your home, just go for it, says Walter—especially if you’re a passionate at-home cook looking for a way to simplify and enhance your meals. In fact, Walter believes that pot fillers are an absolute must-have in every kitchen design or renovation she touches. “Not only does it make an impactful statement, but it fills a pot three times faster than a sink,” she notes. “Our clients love this added touch and they don’t mind the extra cost because it is both practical and beautiful.”
Via Martha Stewart