For most people, the family home is more than a financial investment. It’s the centerpiece of their lives – the one thing they buy that’s supposed to increase in value over the years. So it’s not surprising that most folks spend a good bit of their disposable income on home improvements. But what projects are likely to pay off in both objective and subjective terms? This is a crucial factor for anyone on a budget to consider. In this article, we’ll examine which improvements offer the most bang for the buck. For even more information on what home improvements to make to increase the return on your money, check out this infographic from Angie’s List.
Start With Substance, Not Style
Lots of new homeowners dream of luxury upgrades like granite countertops and heated bathroom floors, only to end up investing in less glamorous but more practical priorities like updated gutters and roofing repairs. Is this an unwise use of funds? No; not at all, especially if you intend to resell your home within the next few years. That’s because nothing scares off potential buyers like the prospect of major repairs. You might have a kitchen that looks like a million bucks, but if your roof leaks when it rains, then forget about people beating down your front door with offers. Begin your home improvement plans by focusing on essentials; then and only then can you worry about getting fancy.
Start With the Kitchen
The kitchen is the first room you should remodel, according to Realty Times. This is true for many reasons. For one thing, there’s something primal in human nature when it comes to storing, preparing, and eating food. No experience (other than sex) brings people closer together. For another, homeowners expect visitors to judge their home based on how the kitchen looks and performs. Your mother-in-law might forgive a cramped toilet or dimly lit guest room. But not having enough cabinet space to store her son’s 12 favorite types of breakfast cereal? That’s a crime worthy of death. So start with the kitchen once you’ve got the most essential improvements out of the way.
Know What You’re Getting Into
Remodeling costs and times vary based on many factors. The average price to remodel a kitchen is very high and can take up to two months to complete. The exact tab and project length will depend on a variety of factors, and the figures could easily escalate. The type of improvements you select, the additional issues that arise during the project, and any extra items the contractor needs (e.g. pipes, electrical cables, etc.) should all be factored in. Carefully consider the ‘what ifs’ before moving forward with a big remodeling project.
The days when people couldn’t care less about the environment are long gone. Anything you can do to make your home more energy efficient will up its value, according to Consumer Reports. Added insulation, solar panels, and simple steps like caulking windows can help you to get the best possible price when selling your home.
Today’s consumers want a home that’s bright and cheerful, according to the experts at This Old House. Adding lighting fixtures in corners and hallways can transform a home’s vibe, taking it from a cave-like atmosphere to a little slice of homeowner heaven.
Subjective value is one thing.But, when it comes to dollars-and-cents, just-the-facts-please equity increase, there’s no substitute for adding square footage. All else being equal, a bigger home is worth more than a smaller home. So make some elbow room if you want to impress the bankers, not to mention the buyers.
Using the tips in this post will help you to get the most value for every penny you sink into your house. That’s the kind of common sense investment that will pay off, not only down the road, but here and now. So set your sights on home improvement, but temper your enthusiasm with a dose of real-world practicality for the best results.