If you’re thinking of investing in some home improvements, chances are you want to make sure you get the best value for your money. After all, a house is one of the biggest purchases you make in life. With a little thoughtfulness, you can make improvements that boost your home’s resale value, earning a good return on your investment.
Kitchen upgrades are generally seen as a “sure thing” when it comes to remodels that increase resale. Some experts feel replacing appliances with stainless steel is a must-do, along with installing engineered stone or granite countertops. For smaller but noticeable upgrades, install new cabinet hardware and replace a tired looking sink or faucet with a new, shiny version.
While improving the kitchen is a smart choice, one school of thought suggests you should draw the line at upgrading too much. Installing a commercial grade, upscale kitchen in a traditional or modest home can actually detract from sales. It’s also important not to overreach the grade of the rest of the house or the rest of the neighborhood. Any improvements you make should feel natural and appropriate to your home, and not be so fancy they become out of place.
Toilets, tubs, and vanities that are outdated, cracked, or worn are off-putting to potential home buyers and should be replaced. You can install a recessed vanity to add storage without restricting floorspace, and reglaze a worn bathtub if a replacement it is out of your budget.
Bright lighting is appealing to buyers. If you decide to improve lighting by installing new fixtures, steer clear of ornate styles and opt for recessed lights or clean, simple fixtures instead.
If you decide to add new windows, go for energy-efficient ones. Not only will you save money by using less energy while you live in the home, you’re likely to recoup a fair portion of your investment when it’s time to sell. On top of that, there are tax credits available for installing Energy-Star rated windows.
Decks and patios are attractive to potential home buyers and are likely to give you a good return on your investment. The cost of materials and installation varies widely, and oftentimes homeowners can do the work themselves.
Simple, tidy, low-maintenance landscaping is attractive to buyers. Also, DIY Network notes adding well-maintained shrubbery and colorful blooms will boost your curb appeal.
A worn or damaged roof can alienate buyers, so if yours is in need of replacement, you should go ahead with it. It’s not likely to increase your home’s value, but buyers will often pass by houses in need of expensive repairs like new roofs.
If you are considering replacing your roof, beware of scammers. The professionals at Angie’s List note there are a number of scoundrels out there who may take your down payment and run, bait you with fraudulent roof “damage,” or change their pricing midstream. Do some research, get local references, and hire a contractor who is licensed and insured.
When deciding on what improvements you should make, it’s important to take into account how long you plan to remain in your home. If you don’t expect to sell within two years, enjoy a little indulgence when making your decisions. Time says the longer you stay, the less important it is to get a significant return. Along those same lines, if you plan to move soon, choose improvements that boost curb appeal over interior upgrades.
Choosing to put some money into home improvements can boost the resale value. Consider what options are appropriate for your situation, and spend your dollars wisely. It’s the best way to enjoy a good return on your investment.
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