Ten Home Improvement Projects That Add Value

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Anxious for a new view? Or are you tired with your old outdated home, and wishing for some improvements, but not sure where to start? Or are you just looking for a quick update in order to make your home more re-saleable?

Your renovation priorities will differ depending on your motives. If all you want to do is quickly sell your property for the highest possible prices, the projects you select will be somewhat different from those selected if all you want to do is improve your family’s quality and stay put for several more years.

To make your home more re-saleable, it is advisable to focus primarily on renovations that a buyer would be most likely to do, not those that you may be wishing for. Forgo those fanticiful personal improvements you have been dreaming of, for updating a twenty year old kitchen or bathroom. The kitchen is where people spend most of their time, so updating here is the most likely the best place to start renovating. Buyers generally look for ample overall living and storage space, along with the quality of the kitchen and bathroom. Because these projects can be the most disruptive of renovation undertakings, buyers tend to be especially appreciative of upgraded fixtures, appliances and general décor in these rooms.

Below are listed ten worthwhile home improvement/renovation projects along with the percentage of cost typically recouped at resale (in a seller’s market) at the end of each suggestion. (For more ideas on financial and physical health, herbal remedies/cures, etc and so much more, please check the ‘category’ sections of betweenclosefriends.com blog)

1. Painting
If there is only one thing you are going to do: paint. This is the simplest and quickest way to update and renew your home. With either interior or exterior painting, this is one of the very few improvements on which you are most likely to realize a profit. But you must be sure to choose tasteful, current, and neutral colours, and ensure that the work looks very professional. Payback: As much as 300%
2. Kitchen remodelling
This can be and usually is, typically one of the most expensive home improvement projects. With only a few improvements, if you are not careful you can quickly run up a huge price tag. Therefore, it is necessary to plan and shop carefully and smartly especially with kitchen renovations, in order to help minimize the costs. As with any remodeling, it is important to remember to keep your project in line with the style and quality of the rest of your home and the neighbourhood. Just as there’s no point in putting a pricey granite countertop on dated-looking 1970s cabinets, there’s no point in installing a $50,000 kitchen in a $200,000 house. Payback: 68-120%.
3. Bathroom addition
A bathroom addition should be a top priority if your home has 2 bedrooms or more, and currently only one bathroom. If your home presently only has 1 or 1 1/2 bathrooms, and your neighbours all have 2, 3 or more, then this is obviously an area where you should upgrade, definitely increasing your property value. Payback: 80-130%.
4. Bathroom remodelling
While we are on the topic of bathrooms….. upgrading a nondescript dated bathroom will most certainly enhance your home by adding to your daily comfort and enjoyment while definately increasing the market value. The simplest, safest and timeless choice here is always white porcelain. Payback: 65-120%.
5. Finishing unfinished space
Unused space, whether an upstairs attic or downstairs basement, becomes a no-brainer as a relatively simple home improvement project. By finishing either of these spaces, you not only significantly increase the livable square footage (and market value) of your home, but you also eliminate many headaches because you don’t have to build on an addition to reap these rewards. Payback: 50-90%. livable space
6. Window/door replacement
This is one area where energy conservation comes into play in addition to the asthetic appearance. Replacing and updating energy-wasting and decrepit looking windows and doors are excellent uses for your home improvement dollars. Be sure to stick to standard styles suitable to your home decor however, as highly customized and/or odd shapes can actually depreciate the resale value. Payback: 50-90%.
7. Deck addition/improvement/expansion
This is one of the few outside home improvements, besides simply painting, that will show any kind of a significant return. So plan well, and make it the best you can afford enhancing your home’s exterior. Payback: 65-90%.
8. Additions of bedrooms, family rooms, sunrooms, conservatories, garages, etc.
Although Increasing the square footage of your home is almost always an excellent use of your remodelling dollars, caution needs to be exercised so that you don’t go overboard with the expansion by encroaching too much on your outdoor space. Balanced usable space inside and outside is required. Payback: 50-83%.
9. Home office remodelling
With more and more people working from their homes, this is becoming an increasingly popular home improvement project. In our fast-forward high-tec world, it is advisable to make sure you plan to include plenty of well-placed electrical and cable outlets in your design to adequately accommodate all of the necessary machines and techy gadgets your home office may require. Payback: 60-73%.
10. Energy efficiency retrofits
One must proceed with extreme caution, if your only purpose for renovations is to see a return on your investment towards a quick sale. Improvements such as high-efficiency furnaces and increased and better quality insulation will pay for themselves very quickly. But other fad and/or expensive retrofits, such as solar panels, wind turbines, heat recover ventilators, tankless water heaters, etc, will take several years (or a lifetime), to pay for themselves. Payback: Highly variable

Depending on the climate, location, and popularity at the time, there are two home improvement projects that rarely repay themselves during resale of your home.

1. Although excessive landscaping can present a breathtaking invitation to prospective buyers, few will want to pay the extra thousands of dollars that it may have cost you, no matter how inviting or how much they admire it.

2. Swimming pools come in and out of fashion. But, even with more and more households wanting to ‘cocoon’, a new swimming pool can actually adversely affect your property value as not everyone will see their own pool as an advantage. Pools generally require a lot of work to maintain, and this is one area where most people do not want to take on, especially if they have never had a pool before.

A third thing to remember, that is extremely important: Any home project that has been poorly done will end up costing you more than double. First: you had to pay for the project—labour and the materials. Then second, when prospective buyers see a remodeling/renovation project that has to be redone, they may just pass on your home entirely, or request a reduction in price to amply cover the cost or correction.

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