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The Best Remodeling Projects to Raise the Value of Your Home

Jul 25, 2008
If you are like most homeowners, you probably view your home as your most important investment. Diligent homeowners often treat their homes like stock portfolios or savings accounts and always try to add value to their properties. While there are many ways to increase the value of a home, one of the most utilized methods for homeowners is the remodeling project. However, despite the remodeling successes of many homeowners, remodeling a home is not always a guarantee of added value or increased interest from potential buyers. Hence, homeowners may want to take care in how they renovate their homes, especially when there is volatility in their local housing markets. With that in mind, there are few remodeling projects that are more likely to add value to a home and allow the homeowner to recoup the costs when selling.

Based on numerous studies of the real estate market, here are the best remodeling projects to increase the value of your home and generate the most interest from prospective buyers:

Kitchen - As one of the most used rooms in any home, upgrades made to the kitchen are always appealing to prospective buyers. Studies show, however, that the homeowners earn the most value when performing modest upgrades including new cabinets, countertops, floors and well-priced appliances. Hence, homeowners often don't need to worry about including luxury products when remodeling the kitchen.

Bathroom - In many cases, remodeling an existing bathroom can raise the value of the home as much as any other project. As bathrooms can typically be remodeled very affordably, this has long been a favorite project of homeowners looking to increase the value of their homes. Though the eventual recouped value seems to be contingent on region, most homeowners who remodeled existing bathrooms experienced better return on their investment than those that added new bathrooms to their homes.

Windows - Though not as visible as remodeled kitchens or bathrooms, there are few remodeling projects that improve the overall quality of a home better than new windows. For instance, smart home buyers will recognize that new windows will not only make the home more comfortable and attractive, but will also save on heating and cooling costs.

Siding - Though new siding and other exterior improvements may not be possible or necessary for some homeowners, no other remodeling project generates a better response from prospective buyers. Nationwide, the value recouped by homeowners that installed new siding is matched only by successful kitchen remodeling projects.

On the other hand, there are also some remodeling projects that may not provide the best value for homeowners. Real estate experts typically point to expensive additions - such as home theatres, swimming pools and wine cellars - as the riskiest remodeling projects. The key to determining if such luxurious projects will add sufficient value to the home and allow the homeowner to recoup the value lies in assessing what is right for the neighborhood. For instance, a home with two bathrooms could gain significant value when a new bathroom is added if all the surrounding properties have three or more bathrooms. Likewise, if you reside in a region where swimming pools are an expected luxury - such as the desert southwest - prospective homebuyers probably won't see your addition as an unnecessary liability.

Most importantly, keep in mind that renovations and remodeling projects may not be as simple as they seem. It is wise to weigh the risks and to consider what is best for the local market before starting any project. If you are unsure what types of remodeling projects would add value in your neighborhood, you may want to consult a real estate agent to get a better understanding of what local buyers are looking for.
About the Author
Greg Gagnon writes select articles about important topics related to real estate for the Coldwell Banker Corporation. For more information about buying a home or selling your current property, visit Coldwell Banker.
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