Upgrades That Can Add Major Value to Your Home

HGTV home-flipping star Tarek El Moussa is an expert at teaching people how to renovate homes to boost their value—and to get top dollar on the sale.

So, what’s his secret? After analyzing episodes of his show, realtor.com noticed that El Moussa turned to certain upgrades time and again and that they never failed to impress buyers and inspire top offers. Here are nine of his suggestions for making a flip look luxe, just in case you’re considering a few upgrades to your own home that may pay off down the road.

1. Big showers

El Moussa knows that great baths can sell houses, so he’s always telling flippers to double down when they start thinking about the master bath—especially when it comes to shower size. He knows that giant showers look elegant, so he’s always willing to knock down walls and commandeer closets to get an extra few inches of shower space. Apparently, he’s not the only one who loves this feature. Whenever his flipping students take his advice and prioritize shower size, the offers roll in big-time.

2. Accent tile in the bathroom

Although the size of a shower seems to be El Moussa’s biggest priority when it comes to the bath, he always goes bold, with style, if he can’t go big. One way he brings extra flair into a flipper’s bath design is recommending an accent tile for the floor and soap niche. This tiny detail gives the bath a lavish look that can’t help but boost the price.

3. Tile on kitchen islands and peninsulas

Tile kitchen backsplashes are a must-have in any flip. But when the backsplash isn’t enough, El Moussa tells flippers to bring some extra color into a kitchen by adding some tile to the island or peninsula, as well.

He knows that some modern accent tiles on the peninsula can help make the kitchen pop, giving the space a little extra color and style.

4. A blank slate backyard

El Moussa knows that backyards are important to buyers, but he also knows that investing a bunch of money in the yard can be a waste. Why spend on a patio or pool when the next owner may want something different?

That’s why he often tells his students to skip the high-end backyard features and simply make sure that it looks presentable. He’s a huge fan of new grass and mulch, which provide a fresh look and a clean slate for the next owner.

5. Modern stairway railings

A lot of El Moussa’s Southern California flips have two stories, and that means a staircase. Stairs can either be a great feature or an eyesore, depending on the style, which is why he likes to pay special attention to this feature.

He’s quick to suggest replacing an outdated banister and railing with a modern black design. Then, any time he sees carpet on the steps, he also insists replacing it with hardwood instead, to match the rest of the house.

6. An open floor plan

El Moussa knows that buyers will pay top dollar for an open floor plan, so even though busting down walls may be expensive, it’s nearly always worth it. Most flippers heed this advice, but the few who don’t pay the price by getting feedback from buyers that rooms seem small or cut off from the rest of the home.

7. Dramatically dark tile

While many buyers love light tile, El Moussa often goes against the grain by advising flippers to choose darker tones. A black shower or a dark kitchen may not be for everyone, but this choice is an easy way to bring a more high-end look into a house.

8. Chic wallpaper

Wallpaper has long shed its reputation as fussy and outdated, which is why El Moussa loves using fun wallpaper in his designs. He also recommends that flippers to do the same, because it’s an easy and inexpensive way to give any room an accent feature that buyers will love.

9. A fireplace that makes a statement

El Moussa knows that the fireplace often is the focal point of a living room, so he loves to make it stand out. Some of his favorite fireplace designs include modern, patterned tile and clean marble slabs, both of which look amazing in a modern home and can really increase its value. The perfect fireplace often is a big selling point.