Katie Holdefehr on features that will increase your homes’ value in 2022 for Real Simple.
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Plus, the best time to list your home for the biggest return.
When it comes time to sell your house, there are some inexpensive updates, like fresh paint in a neutral color, that will always help a property sell for the best price possible. But to parse out which features are most in-demand for 2022, we turned to the pros. By analyzing more than 3.1 million home sales from 2020 and 2021, Zillow has determined which keywords in a home listing are associated with a property selling for more than expected. Some of the value-boosting features may be a result of the lingering effects of the pandemic—broadband internet lands near the top of the list, thanks to an increase in work-from-home jobs—while others reflect environmental concerns connected to climate change. If you plan to sell your home in 2022, it might not be worth it to add expensive features like a steam oven at the last minute, but if your home already offers these elements, be sure to highlight them in your listing.
And if you are selling your home soon? Consider listing ASAP. According to Zillow, homes listed on a Thursday in late April can expect to sell for about 2.8 percent more (about $9,300 on the typical U.S. home). List ahead of the weekend showings, mention the steam oven, and don’t forget to highlight your modern farmhouse decor.
For the second year in a row, Zillow found that steam ovens were the number one feature to boost home values. Listings that included a steam oven sold for 3.7 percent more than expected. Prompted by the pandemic, more homeowners became home cooks in recent years, making kitchen features like steam ovens more desirable. Similar to the appeal of the on-trend air fryer, steam ovens promise delicious food that’s healthier than frying in oil or baking. Beyond the steam oven, new appliances, in general, helped homes sell for 2.6 percent more than expected.
If you’re an HGTV fan, you’ve probably been following the modern farmhouse trend for several years now. According to Zillow’s findings, this style has staying power, even prompting homes to sell for a 3 percent prime premium. And good news if you joined the recent wall paneling trend: listings that mention “shiplap” tend to sell for 2.6 percent more. If you’re planning to sell your home this year, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend a full modern farmhouse makeover, but if your home already fits the style, go ahead and include “modern farmhouse” in your listing to boost your home’s resale value.
And if modern farmhouse isn’t your aesthetic? Maybe lean into nautical style. Zillow found that homes described as “nautical” were associated with a 2.4 percent price premium. As many homeowners seek to turn their spaces into a getaway that offers some much-needed escapism, nautical style brings the vacation home (even if you don’t live near the shore). Subtle touches—light blue paint in a bathroom, sea-themed paintings—will nod to nautical style without going overboard.
For many Americans, work from home or a hybrid work schedule is one of the lasting effects of the pandemic. As many move farther away from city centers and work from home more often, a reliable, high-speed internet connection has become even more essential. Not surprisingly, homes that included “broadband” in their listing description sold for 2.5 percent more.
Retrofitting a house for earthquakes, which could include bolting the house to its foundation, aims to prevent the house from shifting off its foundation in the event of an earthquake. This precaution can help avoid significant structural damage to a home. A feature most common on the West Coast, Zillow found that homes that listed “seismic retrofit” sold for 2.4 percent more than expected.
Installing a metal roof is typically much more expensive than adding an asphalt-shingled roof, but it can also bring a 2.4 percent price premium once you go to sell. If you plan to stay in your home a long time, a metal roof will also last longer than a shingled one, plus, this durable material can survive snow, hail, and even wildfires. Since the material reflects sunlight, a metal roof will keep your home cooler in the summer, saving you money on AC. This investment roofing material can save you money on cooling costs every summer, as well as boost your home’s resale value whenever you go to sell.