Bang for Your Buck

Here are 7 upgrades that add value to Texas homes

Here are 7 upgrades that add value to Texas homes

open concept kitchen with granite countertops & home interior
Don't take it for granite: countertops add serious value. Photo courtesy of Opendoor

Taking on a home improvement project soon? You may want to rethink investing in a new fence and consider a new roof instead. That's according to real estate company Opendoor, which has identified the home upgrades that will add value to Texas homes, as well as the ones that will not. 

There's a "huge difference between what is basic home maintenance and what is a value-adding upgrade," Opendoor says. "Homeowners may not know the difference, and often put money into home projects that they think will yield a big return when they sell, but that’s often not the case."

According to Opendoor, these upgrades will add value to Texas homes: 

  • Installing granite, marble, or quartz countertops in place of formica or tile.
  • Replacing a standard shingle roof with a tile, slate, or metal roof.
  • Replacing a standard plaster pool finish with Pebble-tec or redoing the pool with gunite. 
  • Replacing standard appliances with high-end stainless steel appliance brands like Viking, Wolf, and SubZero.
  • Adding smart home technology.
  • Professional landscaping with a smart, low-maintenance irrigation system.

How much value are we talking? Opendoor's data shows that typically, homes with high-end pool finishes yield 20 percent more than homes without. And upgrading to stainless steel appliances (even basic models) can increase ROI by 42 percent. 

The real estate company also outlines the "basic home maintenance" that will not raise the value of your home, including replacing the HVAC system, re-piping the plumbing system, replacing an old fence, and replacing the carpet. 

Keep in mind that the return will vary by neighborhood and price point.

"If you see a neighbor’s property sell for a great price after renovations and upgrades, you can typically expect the same," explains Opendoor agent Gayln Ziegler. "If your neighborhood typically doesn’t have upgrades, such as granite countertops or high-end appliances, your return might yield lower results, as you’re going above and beyond what the neighborhood calls for."