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Increasing the Value of Your Home

How to Increase the Value of Your Home

Increasing the value of your home is something almost everyone wants to do. However, you need to know that not all home upgrades are created equally when it comes to their perceived value. Some home improvement projects will make your home more appealing to buy but won't actually increase the value of your home. Others will likely increase the value but won't be able to increase the value of your home more than the money you invested in them. In fact, the average return on home improvement projects runs roughly 70% of your investment. Given that labor on most improvement projects accounts for approximately 30% of the cost you may be able to break even if you do the work yourself.

Before you begin any project remember to budget according to the values of the homes in your neighborhood. Your home's value should not exceed the neighboring home values by more than 20% or you run the risk of not getting top dollar when you sell. If the houses in your area average $250,000 it will likely be difficult to sell your home for $350,000 no matter how nice it is.

Best Bang for Your Buck

The projects that are most likely to offer a positive return on your investment might not dig deeply into your pocketbook if you're willing to use ’sweat equity’ to make them happen.

Mow the lawn
  • Clean up any garbage outside the house
  • Rake up the leaves
  • Mow the lawn
  • Wash the windows and siding

What the above suggestions do is inexpensively increase your homes curb appeal. Curb appeal is simply what a potential buyer might see from their car while driving by or someone on a jog in the neighborhood. When the house looks nice from the outside, it will often propel that potential home buyer to take a look through the inside. When it comes to projects or maintenance make your time and money well spent by choosing those areas that are most easily seen. If you need a new roof, but you'd also like to add an extra room for a den or an office, replace the roof first. Most home buyers don't relish buying a house they need to make major renovations on.

Good Return on Investment Home Improvement Projects

After improving the outside look of the home you might want to look at the kitchen. Major kitchen renovations usually give one of the best returns on Investment. Major kitchen remodels may include replacing counter tops to a more expensive material, replacing cabinets even replacing outdated appliances. A newly remodeled kitchen gives your home that modern living experience.

Additions of living space are a good way to increase the value of a home as well. This could include finishing a basement, creating living space above the garage, or even in the attic.

Changes to the bathroom can also increase value, especially if the remodels taking place in the master bath. Remodels in the master bath will also increase selling appeal as well as it is usually the home buyer that will get the most use out of it.

Regular home maintenance will go a long way when trying to get the most out of your home value. It's like blue book value on a car, well maintained vehicles that are in mint condition are valued higher than vehicles not maintained. Its the same with your home. Keeping up with regular maintenance like cleaning the gutters, re-painting peeling trim etc... will go a long way in preserving your homes value

Homes that are upgraded to save on energy can significantly increase its value. Adding green value could be anything from buying energy star approved appliances in the kitchen, energy saving water heaters, or replacing your old aluminum windows with more efficient fiberglass windows. Most of these will take years to pay for themselves through energy savings, but are usually worth it as they also increase the value of your home. On average, for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills your homes value increases $20 according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Think Twice Before Starting These Projects

If your only concern is to increase the value of your home for re-sale, there are certain projects you should avoid investing in.

  • Putting in a pool is probably one of the bigger gambles in increasing home value. While to some potential buyers a pool might make them think of family oriented fun, sun, and relaxation. To other buyers it is nothing more than maintenance and upkeep costs. As nice as a pool can be, a lot of buyers want nothing to do with having a pool and the cost that goes with it.
  • Adding an outdoor full basketball court might make perfect sense if you have active teenagers but the value will likely be lost on the retired couple interested in buying in your neighborhood. At best the court would be wasted space and at worst it will create additional expenses having the court taken out.
  • When improving and remodeling your home avoid making the house fully conform to your tastes. Everyone has different tastes, and the more people your home can appeal to the better chances you'll have of selling it.

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