Five Ways to Add Value to an Apartment Renovation | Rodman Paul Architects

Five Ways to Add Value with an NYC Apartment Renovation

Michael Fasulo, AIA, LEED AP
November 16, 2018

Whether you bought your unit with a goal of renovating or you’re having the “time for a change” renovation itch, knowing whether your ideas are going to increase your home’s value can be challenging. Here are five ways that may make your renovation a value-add.

1. Research what is missing from the neighborhood and fill the gap.

Real estate news and real-estate focused websites like Curbed are great places to discover what types of homes people are looking for in your neighborhood – and what they’re not able to find yet. For example, if you live in a family neighborhood without many multi-bedroom units, consider subdividing your unit to create another bedroom, or combine smaller apartments to create that sought-after larger multi-bedroom home. Do you live in a neighborhood focused on nightlife? Renovate with an eye toward people who love to entertain: an open plan, a cool kitchen, or a bar addition can make your home highly desirable to the most likely buyers.

2. Fix the obviously wrong thing.

If there was something that made you question buying the place in the first place… fix it, especially if it’s relatively simple or costs less to fix than it would appear. For example, if the apartment has a giant bedroom and tiny bathroom, enlarge the bath. If the windows are falling apart, replace the windows; if the home lacks air conditioning, add air conditioning. Add or enlarge a window to a view if your building will allow it. These types of practical, functional renovations can seem less exciting than more visually dramatic moves, but they will increase the number of potential future buyers. And if something struck you as a potential problem when you first bought, it’s probably been lurking in your subconscious ever since. Do yourself a favor and just fix it.

3. Add a bathroom or powder room if your building’s rules allow.

Very few people in New York City have ever had “too many bathrooms.” One bathroom per bedroom is a gold standard. If you don’t have the room for an additional full bathroom, adding a powder room can bring comparable value.

4. You can’t go wrong with kitchen and bathroom renovations.

Renovating an existing kitchen or bathroom is a generally sound investment. Renovating a grimy bathroom or a dated, overused kitchen can improve your home’s resale value with most of the cost at least recovered at resale. As a bonus, kitchen and bathroom renovations will also greatly improve your day-to-day life for the duration of time you own the home.

5. Spend wisely.

If you’re renovating solely with an eye to reselling, don’t overdo it. Add “nice” cabinetry and appliances, rather than more expensive, “luxurious” versions. Avoid lots of personalization or “signature” touches, unless you’re planning to remove them prior to putting your unit on the market. Perhaps most importantly, don’t move pipes if you can help it.

If you’re planning to stay from ten years to forever… don’t compromise, make the home what you’ve always wanted.

If you’re thinking of renovating, we’d be happy to walk you through your goals and options. Contact us for a no-cost consultation.