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Renovating For Resale: Boosting Your Home's Value In Hawaii

Renovations and upgrades can help to significantly increase a home’s value when it comes time to sell. But before embarking on any projects, Hawaii homeowners in particular need to understand their local housing market and potential returns on investment.

With the right advice, renovating could potentially add thousands of dollars onto the resale value of your property while also presenting key selling points that attract potential buyers.

As a Hawaii-based general contractor with over 20 years experience helping clients buy and sell properties throughout the islands, we know firsthand how critical understanding renovations can be in framing any home upgrade investment from both an aesthetic and strategic standpoint.

So let’s take a look at all you need to know about successfully renovating for resale throughout Hawaii!


  1. Renovating and adding energy - efficient features to a home in Hawaii can significantly increase the sale price, with some upgrades providing up to 10% more value depending on market conditions.
  2. Cost - saving DIY options like painting rooms yourself and researching deals online from stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s should be considered when budgeting for renovations, along with accounting for any labor costs required.
  3. Kitchen remodeling is one of the best ways to increase value before selling due to its visual appeal and ROI (91%), followed by bathroom renovations which yield an impressive 67-60%.
  4. Popular cost effective improvements that add a great deal of value include air conditioning systems, landscaping/curb appeal enhancements, installing new flooring & fresh coat of paint as well as modernizing bathrooms/kitchens & appliance upgrades like dual flush toilets & LED lighting fixtures.
  5. Consulting with real estate pros knowledgeable about local market trends can help homeowners identify how best use their renovation funds strategically based on current buyer profile demographics at any given time

Why Renovate for Resale?

Investing in home renovations can mean more than just increasing your chances of selling faster; it also helps boost your property value and attract potential buyers in the Hawaii real estate market.

Increases home value

Renovating your home in Hawaii is a great way to boost its value and make it appealing to potential buyers. Homebuyers these days are increasingly looking for properties with modern, energy-efficient features such as new kitchen fixtures, energy-saving appliances, and updated bathrooms - all of which can directly increase the market value of your home.

For example, installing solar panels can lower electricity bills considerably while also increasing a property's resale value by up to 4%. Similarly, adding an extra bathroom or even remodeling existing ones could add up to 5.7% more resale value in the 20 markets studied by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Moreover, according to the NAR Buyer Demand Study 2018, having a fresh coat of paint or just upgrading lighting and cabinetry can increase the offer price per square foot significantly.

Attracts potential buyers

Renovations are often an important factor when it comes to attracting potential buyers to a property. Investing in simple updates such as a fresh coat of paint, energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures, new shower curtains or doors, modernizing bathrooms and kitchens, giving the outdoors curb appeal with options such as shutters and vinyl siding—all of these can make your home attractive to prospective buyers on the Hawaii market.

In addition to making aesthetic improvements, adding features like air conditioning systems for cooler climates can also be beneficial in increasing interest from prospective buyers who have higher requirements on their wish lists.

Consulting with real estate professionals in the local market may help you identify how best to use upgrades strategically based on current trends and what type of buyer profile you're targeting at a given time.

Key Factors to Consider Before Renovating

When planning a renovation for resale, it's important to consider budgetary constraints, the scope of work, and other factors that can have significant implications on the investment return.


Having a budget for home renovations is undoubtedly the most important part of your renovation plan. As with any financial venture, it’s key to consider each piece of the puzzle before diving in headfirst and beginning work.

Investopedia suggests creating an itemized list of materials needed for a successful renovation, calculating labor costs, setting aside money for unexpected expenses, researching local building codes for compliance requirements, and incorporating a contingency fund into the budget.

To maximize their budget potential, Hawaii homeowners should research deals online from stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s as well as local hardware shops or inquire about bulk discounts to purchase larger quantities at once.

Furthermore, cost-saving DIY options such as painting rooms yourself can save up to 70% compared to having them professionally painted; however its imperative that you factor in enough time and effort when investing in this direction so that projects don't blowout beyond their expected scope or capabilities.

Amount of renovation work

A successful renovation of a home before resale depends largely on the amount of work required. A thorough audit should be done by a professional to identify and prioritize the upgrades needed.

Homeowners need to understand each project’s cost-benefits and return on investment (ROI). Projects vary significantly in scope, but common projects include painting, installing new flooring, replacing old appliances with energy efficient ones, improving landscaping or curb appeal, fixing plumbing issues at bathrooms and kitchens, adding outdoor lighting fixtures and more.

In Hawaii a full remodel can range between $20 -$70 per square foot depending upon the extravagance of the chosen materials; mid-range may hover around $30-$40 per Sq Ft; minimalist renovations may get away with much less costing somewhere near $10-$15per SQ FT including labor costs as well.

Kitchen renovations typically involve higher costs due to installation of cabinets/countertops etc., ranging from 10k - 50k+. But here too it pays off especially when one invests wisely knowing what kind of buyer they will attract while still ensuring quality through their selection process without going overboard which could potentially bring down ROI over time if trends change drastically.

Top Upgrades to Increase Home Value in Hawaii

Top Upgrades to Increase Home Value in Hawaii

Homeowners in Hawaii have a unique set of upgrades at their disposal to dramatically increase the value of their property. From kitchen remodeling to curb appeal enhancements, there is no shortage of renovation opportunities available for those looking to maximize ROI before reselling.

Kitchen remodel

A kitchen remodel is one of the most popular ways to increase your home's value in Hawaii. It adds both a visual appeal and utility to potential buyers and usually has an impressive return on investment that makes it great for home sellers.

A total kitchen remodel can result in an average return at resale of 91%. In terms of marketability alone, this area can easily provide the biggest bang for your buck since more people will be interested if your kitchen looks modernized or up-to-date with current trends.

Furthermore, by adding energy efficient appliances this can instantly boost the sale price even further as they are highly sought after in today’s real estate market. Investing some money into renovating a mundane-looking or outdated kitchen could pay off exponentially when you decide to sell.

Bathroom upgrade

A bathroom remodel is a great way to upgrade your home and increase its resale value in Hawaii, as it yields the biggest return on investment (ROI) of any other project. According to Zillow data, midrange bathroom renovations in Hawaii typically have an ROI of 67.2%, while upscale renovations yield an impressive 60.2%.

Critical upgrades that add the most value include shower doors, new vanities with storage space added and modern fixtures like dual-flush toilets or energy-efficient lighting upgraded to either LED or CFL bulbs.

Since this type of renovation can potentially be costly and complex, it's important to consult a real estate agent who understands the local market trends before making any major decisions.

Energy-efficient features and appliances

In the Hawaii market, energy-efficient upgrades are not only gaining popularity but also offer a multitude of benefits to homeowners, including cost savings and environmental impact reduction. Installing energy-efficient appliances, sealing air leaks, and investing in solar panels can potentially save homeowners thousands of dollars over time on their utility bills while also increasing the resale value of a home.

In fact, most Honolulu Board of REALTORS® market reports suggest that making significant energy-efficiency upgrades could add up to 10% more to your home's sale price depending upon the rest of the housing market values in your area.

Additionally, these upgrades have the bonus effect of reducing one’s environmental footprint by cutting down on overall electricity and water consumption. By investing in cost savings now for reaping larger rewards at resale, it is no wonder why energy efficiency has become such an attractive option for Hawaii homeowners who are looking to increase their home's value before putting it back into the market.

Fresh coat of paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to boost a home’s value. According to real estate agents, painting can increase a home’s sale price by up to 5 percent - sometimes more if it's done strategically.

It also gives potential buyers something inviting and attractive when they first walk into your home. For instance, investing in newer colors or neutral shades can attract wider markets, as the traditional buyer may have different tastes than that of an investor or landlord looking for their next rental property.

On top of this advantage comes short-term cost savings, whether you hire professionals or do the job yourself; either way it does not require major materials like cabinets or countertops would.

Curb appeal

Having a great curb appeal can be hugely influential when it comes to selling your property in Hawaii. A well-maintained, visually pleasing front of your house gives the buyer their first impression and leaves a lasting impression.

Curb appeal is important for both existing homes and new constructions as it adds extra value by making the home more marketable to potential buyers. Small improvements such as weed control and lawn maintenance are key for boosting curb appeal.

The return on investment for these low-cost improvements brings anywhere from 75% - 100%, meaning that every single dollar spent increases the resale price significantly more than was even initially invested! When upgrading frontal decorations like mailboxes, producers or lighting fixtures homeowners should make sure they are conscious of local trends—perhaps opting out of tropical themed pieces if Hawai’i will no longer be home.

Tips for Maximizing Your Renovation Budget

Maximizing your budget for the most impactful renovations is key to getting a good value when selling a home in Hawaii. Discover practical tips and strategies to help ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Prioritize the most impactful upgrades

Renovating your home is one of the best ways to increase its value for resale. It's important to prioritize the renovations that will have the biggest impact on increasing its value and appeal, while still staying within budget.

Kitchen and bathroom remodels are two projects that can give your house a significant boost in terms of both aesthetics and marketability. Both rooms tend to provide potential buyers with an idea of how the livable space is, so ensuring they make a good first impression through modern features and efficient layouts can add depth to your bottom line.

Similarly, energy-efficiency upgrades such as double-paned windows or improved insulation are cost-effective investments that may pay off long-term with lower utility bills but may also provide a preemptive answer for any future buyer inquiries about efficiency ratings or sustainability initiatives for their new home.

Additionally, upgrading electrical systems or grease traps in restaurants can improve safety standards which could be attractive features since inspections must pass before sale completion.

Paint jobs outside that bring attention back to the exterior beauty and ideas like landscape designs create better curb appeal thus making it more desirable among buyer groups who appreciate well maintained outdoor spaces juxtaposed against activities like hiking or beach lifestyle enjoyable right from their doorstep at any given moment.

Consider DIY options

DIY home renovations can save time and money while also increasing the value of your property. DIY projects allow you to invest in essential upgrades without investing too heavily, making them a smart option for Hawaii homeowners who are looking to boost their home’s market value.

However, it is important to consider factors such as budgeting, existing resources, skill level, or inexperience with tools and materials before commencing a DIY renovation project.

When Does DIY Makes Sense? If you have some basic skills in working with carpentry, plumbing, or painting then they are great ways to do at least some aspect of the remodeling yourself.

Simple tasks like installing shelves or tiling floors that require few specialized tools can be done quite easily by most homeowners while still helping to enhance the look and feel of their space.

Other renovations that often make sense include painting walls (or furniture), upgrading fixtures like faucets/light switches or changing out light fixtures/cabinet knobs/hinges, etc., refinishing countertops with faux granite finish paint kits; adding closet organizers; updating window dressings as well landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs outdoors.

Shop around for deals

With just about any home renovation project, you’ll want to make sure that you get the best deal possible. Hawaii homeowners can take advantage of cost savings by comparing prices with different contractors and suppliers when looking for materials and services.

Ask around, research online for local reviews or recommendations, and be mindful of industry trends to see if there are competitive deals being offered in your area. When it comes time to hire someone for the job, don’t be afraid to negotiate on price or request any discounts that may apply due to taking care of multiple projects at once.

Additionally, look into DIY options where applicable since many smaller-scale improvements may not require a licensed contractor but could still yield an attractive return on investment down the line like a fresh coat of paint or upgraded outdoor lighting installation depending on the style and atmosphere desired for your resale property value boost.

Final Thoughts and Precautions

As you embark on your home-renovating journey in Hawaii, it is important to remember that not all renovations will add value and return on investment. Seek advice from a professional real estate agent for any questions or concerns before renovating, as they can suggest ideas and strategies to ensure successful resale while staying within budget.

Consult with a real estate agent

Consult with a real estate agent

One essential step in boosting your home’s value before selling is consulting with a real estate agent. Realtors are experienced professionals knowledgeable about the Hawaii market and trends, so they can provide you with valuable insight on which renovations to prioritize.

They can also enable you to gain an understanding of how much resale potential certain upgrades may hold for your specific area. An experienced realtor will be able to guide homeowners through key decisions such as budgeting the right amount for cost-effective projects that have maximum impact, and recommending high-value updates that buyers would expect in Hawaii like solar-powered appliances and energy-efficient features.

Consulting a real estate agent helps maximize returns from investments, maximizing your home's worth before listing it on the market!

Be mindful of resale trends in the Hawaii market

Renovating for resale in Hawaii requires understanding the local real estate landscape and account for current trends to make sure renovations are strategic and maximize return on investment.

In many cases, deciding on specific features can be overwhelming as certain upgrades might not have a long-term market value or appeal to buyers in the area. A key factor when considering any renovation should also be an analysis of how it affects potential buyers’ decision—not just from an aesthetic standpoint but financial too.

For example, recent research indicates that energy efficiency is of great importance to new owners looking at properties in Hawaii due partially to high electricity costs across the state.

This could mean investing money into installing solar panels, investing in efficient air conditioning units or upgrading insulation throughout your home—all valuable home improvements that will help you attract buyers more quickly than before.

Understand the return on investment for each upgrade

It is important to consider the return on investment before investing in a home renovation project, as it may determine whether or not the upgrade is worth the cost. In Hawaii’s competitive market, understanding how much of an impact even small renovations can have helps maximize chances of a sale when you list your house.

Wood decks are popular upgrades that increase both curb appeal and resale value; depending on location and material used for construction, they yield an estimated ROI between 65-75%.

Additionally kitchen remodels are a common way to boost home values—they boast one of if not the highest average return at resale with 91% nationwide according to The Cost vs Value Report 2023 by Remodeling Magazine.

Other big returns include bathroom updates (62%) and energy-efficient replacements such as efficient windows/doors (79%), roofing (81%), insulation (389%) —these renovations often feature high demand among potential buyers so be sure to look into them when planning projects for your home in Hawaii.

Furthermore appraisals traditionally rely on comparisons between similar properties so more expensive or unique upgrades may only produce marginal returns compared to more conventional methods: so focus on what’s right for your neighborhood specifically instead of chasing after luxury features alone.

Don't over-renovate for the neighborhood

When you're ready to make improvements on a home in Hawaii, it's important to remember that quality renovations can boost its value significantly. However, homeowners should be mindful of over-renovating for their neighborhood which could price the property out of the market or fail to recoup renovation costs.

It’s essential to research local housing trends and speak with real estate professionals if possible before renovating — they'll have an accurate estimate of what kind of investment will offer the best return.

By considering current resale values as well as potential future returns on investments, homeowners can rest assured that whatever money is spent on renovations will lead them closer towards maximizing their home's worth.


When it comes to finding ways to increase the value of your Hawaiian home, renovating for resale is a great solution. Renovations can help attract buyers and increase your chances of selling quickly and at top market prices.

It's important to create an effective plan that takes into account budget constraints, the desired amount of renovation work, and local real estate trends. Think carefully about target upgrades like kitchen remodeling, adding energy-efficient features or appliances, and exterior touch-ups such as fresh paint or landscaping improvements to maximize the return on investment for each upgrade.

Working with a qualified professional may be necessary when tackling bigger renovation projects. Contact Design Trends to update your home in a way that will boost its value without going over budget!

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Published on
Mar 11, 2024
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