And three renovations that are.

By Sarah Yang
July 27, 2017

With four hit HGTV shows, a bestselling book (plus a memoir on the way), and other countless ventures, Drew and Jonathan Scott have plenty of experience when it comes to the ins and outs of real estate and home renovations. Chase and Google recently teamed up to unveil the “Search for Home Snapshot,” which looks at how and what people across the country are searching for when it comes to learning more about homeownership—and the brothers were on hand to lend their expertise.

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One of the big key findings from the Snapshot was that a lot of first-time homebuyers are doing their research: This year, 44 percent of the searches in the mortgage category were about first-time buyer mortgages, which was up 11 percent from last year. People are also looking for a good deal, and Google has seen a 34 percent rise in searches around affordability from 2015 to 2016.

And once you’ve scored the home of your dreams, the next step is generally to complete any renovations or upgrades you may want to tackle. This is where Drew and Jonathan come in: We asked the brothers which renovation was just not worth taking on—and their answer might surprise you.

“Pools are usually not a great idea,” Jonathan says. “If you were to put a pool in today and you had to sell your house tomorrow, you’d only maybe get half of the value of what it cost to put it in. It’s one of those items that’s nice to have, but a lot of buyers see it as maintenance or a hazard for kids.”

Instead, the Scotts say you’ll get the most bang for your buck in these parts of your home:

Big Ticket Areas

“The one thing some people will do is just renovate a kitchen and bathroom, and they leave the rest of the house dated,” Jonathan says. “If you’re selling your home, people aren’t going to be blown away by just a kitchen and ignore everything else.” Instead of focus on one large area, Jonathan suggests doing a mild makeover on the whole house to keep it looking fresh. He does, however, recommend putting a few more dollars into rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, which “give you a bigger chance to add some wow factor.”

Technology

Smart home technology just keeps getting better and more efficient, so it’s good to invest in things like smart thermostats and energy-saving appliances, which can impress potential buyers. “These are the things you can brag about in the listing—and they really look great,” Drew says.

Flooring

“Floors can completely transform the look of the space, especially if you’re tying different rooms or areas together with the same flooring,” Jonathan says. If you have a lot of foot traffic, kids, or dogs, he suggests using a sturdier product than hardwood floors, which can get “trashed” pretty easily. “Make sure you use a product like vinyl that looks like hardwood or plain style porcelain that’ll last a little bit longer,” he says.

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