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Increase Your Home’s Value With These Renovations

increase home value

Written by: Erin Reynolds of | [email protected]

There are several reasons to renovate a home. You may want to make your house fit your family and lifestyle. Maybe you don’t like the color of siding, or want extra space or a fancy gourmet kitchen. Home improvement projects are costly, though, so it’s important to choose ones that pay off by adding value. Here are some renovations that will give you the best return on your investment, some that won’t, and some tips on how to choose the right company to do the work.

No matter if your neighborhood is a thickly settled suburban development or the rural countryside, its ultimate value may be limited by neighboring houses, or “comparables” in real estate lingo. When you go to sell your home, the local market will dictate your listing price. Homes comparable to yours that have sold recently will be the basis for your home’s market value. Over-improvement is a fairly common problem when someone sinks way too much money into a renovation, and no comparable houses are available to support a value that recoups the investment.

With the guiding principle of keeping improvements in line with the neighborhood, here are some of the best renovations for maximizing return on investment:

  • Kitchen remodeling: People spend a lot of time in their kitchens. These rooms are where meals are prepared and eaten and often serve as a central hub for the home. Potential buyers are looking for modern kitchens with upgraded countertops, cabinets, flooring and appliances.
  • Bathroom remodeling: Bathrooms are also popular renovations, especially in the case of a dated master bath. Buyers are looking for some luxury in their morning routine, such as modern sinks, faucets, and an enlarged shower or soaking tub.
  • Replacing vinyl siding: This is a must if your siding is old and worn, and it can give your house the facelift needed to attract buyers.
  • Roof replacement: An often overlooked remodel, but a common point of scrutiny for the building inspector who the buyer will likely employ. A roof replacement might not have the pizzaz of a new kitchen, but it will come with a warranty that will add considerable value to your home. A new roof can raise a house’s value and will provide a sharp look of newness to your home’s exterior.

Some renovations don’t add to your home’s value, and should only be undertaken if you are not looking to sell anytime soon or if you know that the improvements are for your sole enjoyment. These low return on investment repairs include:

Overdoing kitchen and bathroom renovations. We noted the excellent ROI potential of both of these renovations, but like any improvement, they can be overdone or can just not fit with the architectural style of the home.
Swimming pools (in northern areas of the country). Some might see a pool as a liability or a maintenance nightmare.
Not investing in quality workmanship. Bad repairs and unskilled work is evident to purchasers and building inspectors. It’s wise to invest in professional work if you are set on adding value.

And when you hire professionals, it’s important to know how to choose wisely and avoid home improvement scams. Roof repair, for example, is a source of potential shoddy work and sham fly-by-night workers. A common predatory tactic is for these unscrupulous players to approach those with a visible need for roof repair, such as after a storm. The scam artists ask for payment upfront for most or all of the estimate; then, the work isn’t completed. While most roofing contractors are reputable, some are not, so it’s important to know what to look for in a roofer or any proposed contractor.

Always ask for referrals and references from anyone bidding to do work. In addition to giving you peace of mind that the contractor is legitimate, it also shows that the contractor is familiar with the local building codes. You can also ask for proof of insurance. Lastly, ask the contractor how they handle safety. A reputable roofing contractor takes safety seriously and implements safety plans for their job sites.

Home improvements can add value to your home if they are chosen wisely and performed by qualified experts. By developing a plan based on comparable properties and ensuring that legitimate contractors do the work, you can maximize your investment and protect yourself from scams.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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