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Top Ways To Add Value To Your Home

Apr 15, 2008
Even with the ups and downs of the real estate market, home ownership still produces the most return on your investment- with the national average appreciation on a house being somewhere between 5-6% annually. Maintaining your house is the easiest way to retain that value, but there are also some simple ways to enhance the value of your home through remodeling projects.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, Americans spent over $235 billion on home remodeling in 2007. That figure represents a 1.9 percent increase from the record $228 billion spent in 2006. This increase reflects the fact that fewer Americans were upgrading to larger houses and opting to add on to or modify their existing home.

But all home remodeling projects are not equal. There are definitely some projects that will offer a higher Return on your Investment (ROI) and allow you to ask more for your home when you are ready to sell. Here are some top ways to add value to your home:

Home Office Remodel or Addition
With the increasing number of Americans that work from home part-time or even full-time, a home office is now less of a luxury, and more of a requirement in today's market. With many companies cutting costs and becoming more aware of their carbon footprints, telecommuting has become a viable solution for many in the working world. Having a specific room in your house dedicated to the home office that is wired for all of today's business needs is an attractive feature to home buyers..

Renovate or Add a Family Room.
With open floor plans becoming more in demand, a family room is an excellent way to make existing homes more like new construction. By simply opening up the living room into the kitchen, it creates a wide-open space and will give your house the features that today's homebuyer is looking for. Remember, it's a good idea to keep in mind what homes in your area are like. People like to purchase homes that blend with other homes around them, so don't make the addition in a place that could make your house stand out (in the wrong way). Chances are you will find many of your neighbors are investing in family rooms as well.

Replace the Roof.
The roof is one of the first impressions people have of a home. With proper maintenance, a high quality roof should last a long time. A new roof won't add a lot of value to your home, but it will help prevent the types of repairs that can result from water leaking in. You can also change the character of your home by looking into architecturally styled roofing tiles.

Landscape Your Yard.
Along the same lines of thinking as the roof, landscaping can give a great (or not so great) first impression. Backyard landscaping can transform ordinary spaces into incredible entertaining areas by including elegant water features and lush plants. Consider your area's climate. If you live in an area that receives temperate weather year-round, you will find that your new landscaped yard adds value to your home and increases your living space.

Replace Old Windows.
Thirty percent of a home's energy is lost through its windows. Replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones signals to homebuyers that you really care about the house and it reflects on the quality of the house as a whole. While the investment for windows can be significant, there will be a resulting savings in heating and cooling bills, which will make the investment worthwhile.

Remodel Your Basement.
Adding additional square footage to your home can be expensive, so why not looks towards existing space that can be more efficiently used? Do you have unused space that serves as a black hole for all things without a home? Try remodeling your basement. Remodeled basements can make excellent game rooms or guest suites, adding value to your home without adding space.

Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint.
Whether on the interior or exterior, I fresh coat of paint can bring an older house to life. For larger jobs, especially exterior painting, it might be better to hire a professional. If you are planning on living in your home for years to come, than the bright red wall might be suited to your tastes, however, if you are planning to sell, that bright red wall may turn off potential buyers that don't like vibrant colors.

Remodel Your Kitchen.
Small changes can result in big value. Upgrading appliances, door handles and painting tired walls can add new life to your kitchen, and add value to your home. The kitchen is one of the few places where overdoing it is not a problem. On average, you will get a greater return on your investment from your kitchen than any other room in your house. Kitchens sell a home, and in this case, size does matter. But a kitchen remodel is a long-term investment; you will see payback 10 years down the road. And if you are a DIYer, know your limits. Sometimes doing it yourself can save money, but always bring in a professional for the big jobs.

Remodel or Add a Bathroom.
A bathroom remodel can often mean simply making the most of your current space, by upgrading fixtures, flooring and lighting. Anytime you can add a bathroom to your house, it is going to increase the value of your home. Look for existing space, maybe in the basement or extra space under the stairs, to add a bathroom without having to add additional square footage.

By focusing on these remodeling projects, you are sure to add value to your home that any potential buyers will be happy to see.
About the Author
I have been remodeling houses and rental properties for over 15 years. I have discovered the secret to saving thousands on the average kitchen remodel. Find out my secret to buying kitchen cabinets 30-40% below retail.
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