If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your home for resale, or you just want an updated look for your own enjoyment, there are a few things you must consider before beginning any costly project.
Examples of a few improvements that usually pay off – and some that rarely make a difference (no matter how much you paid for them) when it comes time to sell your home:
Painting –If you’re planning to sell your home in a year or two, a fresh coat of a neutral-toned paint could make the sale easier. A professional exterior paint job may also recoup close to 75% of its cost. Let’s face it – we all like things fresh-looking.
Kitchen –With just a few basic improvements, your kitchen can practically pay you back with interest! New paint, wallpaper and flooring are always appreciated; plus, you might even consider sanding, staining or painting worn-looking cabinets. Replacing old cabinet hardware is a low-cost improvement that makes a big difference in appearance.
Area Conversions- Generally speaking, increasing the functional space of your home holds its value longer than remodeling just to make a house look better. It’s also much less expensive than adding an addition to your home.
Extra Bathroom – You usually can’t go wrong by adding an extra bathroom. At an average cost of $14,200, a new full bath can recoup 81% of its total cost!
Deck – Adding a deck is a very cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house. Decks cost around $6,000 and generally recoup 75% of their value. Compared to other outdoor improvements (except painting), that’s an excellent return.
New Windows – Your utility bill savings may make up for the iffy resale value, however, a good set of standard windows should get you around 68% back. If you start getting too fancy with custom shapes and sizes, though, don’t expect to get as much in return.
Swimming Pool- In a word – don’t! Unless you’re putting it in for you and your family to enjoy, it’s commonly agreed that a swimming pool has no resale value at all. Reason #1? Sure, they sound nice, but pools are very expensive to maintain. Running a close second is the fear of pool accidents – that’s something nobody wants to experience.
Basic Is Better – It may not sound very exciting, but it’s the basic improvements you make to your home that may have the greatest return on its value: a beautiful new bathroom won’t make up for a leaky roof. So if you’re thinking of selling your house in the next year or so, be sure to address any problems the home may have before you, say, install those sunken gardens you’ve always dreamed of.
Selling it or Smelling It? – Pet odors can be a problem when you’re in the process of selling your home. If your house has an odor problem, you should remove any offending furniture or carpets or hire a professional to clean them. Be sure to check the cat box frequently and keep the litter fresh.
Written by Gary Bell.