Increase Your Home Value the Smart Way. If you’re thinking about sinking some money into home renovation projects this year, it’s an investment that can seriously boost the value of your home. However, what you’ll get back on your investment depends on the value of your house, the value of houses in your immediate neighborhood, the housing market where you live, how soon you sell after making improvements, the type of improvements made and the quality of the project itself.
Where to Start
Don’t take basic maintenance for granted – every homeowner’s first priority should be getting the existing structure sound. Roof repair and exterior painting, are frequently more important than a new glamourous kitchen. When was the last time your furnace was replaced? How about your hot water heater or your air conditioning unit? These items have a high return on investment if you’re planning on selling your home.
For a home-buyer, knowing the roof needs to be replaced is a much bigger issue than living with a functional but dated bathroom. Most buyers have a limit on what they can spend for a house. If they know they don’t have to chew up a lot of cash on the upkeep of basic systems, then they’re more likely to buy the house and consider upgrading the kitchen or baths themselves.
Less is More
This is a good, general rule of thumb. Lower-cost projects generally reap bigger returns. The following projects average less than $5,000 and provide the best return on investment when you sell.
Kitchens and Baths
In a hot real estate market, springing for a kitchen or bath renovation is a sure-fire investment. Kitchens and baths are the areas in a home where you can tell if money has been well spent or not. They’re the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. And they’re where people spend time in their homes. So exactly what should you improve when you redo your kitchen or bathroom? Think traditional: all-wood cabinets, commercial-look appliances, natural wood or stone floors and stone countertops. Walk-in showers have replaced whirlpool tubs as the must-have cleaning machine in bathrooms. A lot of times you’re giving away all that square footage for a tub that rarely gets used. Floor-to-ceiling steam showers are also popular. However, you may not want to spend money remodeling the bathroom if it’s the only one you’ve got. Older homes lack a sufficient number of bathrooms. So if you’ve got a four-bedroom, one-bath home, it’s certainly going to pay to add a second bathroom. If you’re not planning to move in the near future, spend your money renovating in a way that you’ll most enjoy. If, you’re updating features of your home simply to place it on the market, it may be wiser to invest your money in other areas.
Replacing the siding on your home not only improves its appearance, but also can boost energy efficiency. Homeowners who replace their vinyl siding recoup on average nearly 80 percent of the project’s cost when they sell the home. New siding is going to make a house look brand new and it’s going to really change the way the house looks from the street. If you choose vinyl or other siding products with permanent color, gravitate toward neutral shades that will still be classic year after year. This is not for everyone, or every type of house. But if it works for you, it can be a way to improve your home’s exterior appearance that is less costly than stone, wood or cedar siding. The chief benefit is that it is easy to maintain and it won’t rot or flake.
Improving the Basement
Few things turn off buyers faster than the smell of a damp basement. If your home’s basement is prone to moisture accumulation, leaks or flooding, call in a professional. Perhaps a simple sealant or patch can solve the problem without a huge budget impact. However, if a new exterior drainage system is required, that could become pricey. Although a finished basement will help sell a home, the single most important improvement you can make to the basement is creating an environment that’s clean, dry and ready for further upgrades.
Replacing Old Windows
Replacing old windows improves the look and energy-efficiency of a home. New windows let potential buyers check off a major to-do from their home improvement list and can be a big selling point. Sellers should pay attention to the details when choosing replacement windows and honor the architecture, period and style of their home. Inside, vinyl replacement window finishes should complement existing wood colors.
Adding a Patio/Deck
The backyard is another space where your improvement dollars can bring a high ROI. Outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, especially since more people stay home for vacation. Potential home buyers often look for upgraded outdoor living space and entertainment areas when searching for a place to buy. If you make your deck and your backyard more appealing, your house will be more appealing to prospective buyers when you decide to sell. Decks provide an attractive transition between inside and outside. Especially for smaller houses, well-designed patios and decks can provide much-needed extra space for dining, entertaining and relaxing. The cost of adding a deck to your home varies widely. Everything depends on its size, and how many bells and whistles you want added, like built-in seating, multiple stairs, built-in flower pots, and the size of the deck.
Adding a room or two can be a good investment. Newly added square footage equals increases your home’s value. There are certain costs that will be associated with your addition regardless of the size. New square footage will require the demolition of existing exterior walls, a new foundation, a new roof, new exterior siding and probably new windows. If you are going to incur these expenses, it’s important to get some bang for your buck. It’s important that the added room is sized so that the space can be efficiently produced. and don’t add on so much that you price your house right out of the neighborhood. You don’t want to be the leading value for the neighborhood but it’s okay to be upper end.
When contemplating any home improvement project, consider the value you will receive from the project over any cost recovery that may be available from sale. However, when contemplating two equally useful changes, research local real estate guides to determine which projects are most likely to pay for themselves. Remember that bigger is not always better, and spending more does not always ensure a greater amount of value creation. Home prices will always reflect the tastes of local property buyers and the amounts that buyers are willing to pay in a particular neighborhood or subdivision.
If updating the home makes your agenda this year, contact Xtreme Home Improvement for a free estimate.