Many areas across our country have been hit hard with declining real estate values. As a result, more and more people are looking at ways to stay in their current home and ride-out the decline. As I like to say, learn to “love the home you’re with”. By completing a few critical home repairs or improvements, homeowners can actually add value to their home by increasing its equity and marketability. Even better, there are many options that can be done yourself that won’t break your bank. When you can tackle smaller projects yourself, you save even more money.
Invest your time and money into wise improvements. Before tackling larger projects, consider the resale value of those improvements. Will you get all or most of your money spent back equally in the increased resale value? Renovating your home can also improve your quality of life. Any upgrade should reflect your style, but try to choose colors, building materials and furnishings that will bring you maximum marketability for resale. Even low cost improvements like painting can go a long way.
Will the renovation serve a purpose for your family? Does it fit into your lifestyle? Will it improve the use of a current space? Consider the size, location and layout of any addition to ensure it blends well into your current surroundings.
Let’s face it, with current tax credits available and all the buzz about carbon footprints and going green, this should be a very important part of your investment decision. Not only do energy efficient improvements save money on utility costs or take advantage of recycled building materials, they are becoming a hot selling factor in homes which increases your marketability resale value to buyers. Insulated windows, lighting, solar panels or other energy saving features are among the available options to homeowners. There are also a variety of building materials that are available in eco-friendly options such as flooring, natural fiber carpets, VOC free paints, recycled material countertops, etc.
Popular Options for Home Improvements:
Fresh Paint Inside and Out: By far, this is the least expensive and easiest way to get a lot of bang for your buck. Don’t overlook door trims, exterior paint, corners and doors. Chipped or dirty paint in a desirable color does nothing for resale value, but a fresh coat of paint says “welcome in”. Go over your home inside and out from a buyer’s perspective and ensure your paint is in its best condition and clean.
Landscaping/Outdoor Amenities: As families are getting back outside to enjoy time together and entertaining, patios and decks are a good option for any property. Decks and patio additions can recoup at least 75% of their cost in extra home value. Flower beds, brick walkways, fresh mulch and other landscaping add instant curb appeal. Curb appeal will be the first thing any real estate agent will look at when you go to sell your home.
Kitchen or Bathroom upgrade: These two rooms historically bring the best resale value to homes when updated in current finishes. You might be surprised that by doing even a budget kitchen makeover, it will go a long way on the value you get in return.
Survey your floors and cabinets to determine if they should be updated. Consider sanding, staining, or painting dingy looking cabinets. Replacing old cabinet hardware can add a lot of visual appeal for a low cost. Old and worn sinks and fixtures should be replaced.
For some budget kitchen makeover ideas:
For some budget bathroom makeover ideas: