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Home Projects for Added Value in SLO County

Just call it the “HGTV-effect.”

While there are buyers for homes in any condition, the vast majority of homebuyers are looking for homes that seemed to have been touched by the hand of Joanna Gaines. Keep the motto, bright and open, in mind: light, neutral tones, and open-concept feel, conducive to gatherings (even though that’s not really—well—allowed at the moment).

But where should you throw your money exactly? Glad you asked. Target these areas:

The Kitchen

Most homebuyers race through a new listing’s photos to see what the kitchen’s like. A kitchen that’s small, isolated and outdated is a major negative for most homebuyers because the kitchen is one of the main areas people congregate today. Focus on freshening up the style of your kitchen: new countertops, refinished cabinets, new hardware. Matching stainless steel appliances will go a long way, but at minimum, just try to keep the palette the same.

Word of caution: if you’re looking purely at ROI (return on investment), then stick with a minor remodel. A luxury kitchen remodel has a much lower ROI than a lower cost remodel that achieves a new look and feel. Zillow pegged a minor kitchen remodel as having a return on investment as high as 92.9%.


No doubt about it: the vast majority of buyers drool over hardwood floors. It’s not cheap, but hardwood flooring generally has the highest ROI over any other flooring. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR®) Research Group claims the ROI for wood floors is around 106%, while suggest it’s in the 70-80% range. Whatever the figure, a home with hardwood floors will have greater appeal to the market and will sell a whole lot easier than a home without them.


After the kitchen, the most scrutinized rooms by buyers are the bathrooms. And it doesn’t take much to freshen them up. While a bathroom remodel will see an ROI of around 75% according to's Cost vs Value report, simple projects like a fresh coat of paint with a new vanity, mirror and some updated lighting will go far in transforming the feel of your bathroom from questionable to delightful.

Landscaping + Curb Appeal

First impressions are important, right? More than curb appeal though, outdoor spaces (especially in San Luis Obispo County) get a lot of use and and therefore have a high value. What’s the ROI? Well, they’re all over the map. You’ll see ROI figures ranging from five to 1,000% (I’m not kidding). It depends largely on your location, the upkeep, and the design. A good rule of thumb is keep your landscaping to no more than 10% of the value of your home. Keep in mind, too, that a well-designed and maintained yard tells a lot about the care and condition of the home. So get a landscape plan drawn up and stick to it. It could mean the difference between buyers whizzing past your home and a great outcome when it’s time to sell.

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