Making Home Improvements That Add Value, Avoiding Those That Don’t

You watch that TV channel. The one with all the stories about real estate and what improvements you can make to your home to increase its value. It all sounds great — simple even. Add a room, get better counters, slap down some hardwood, command top dollar at closing. Sorry to have to say this, but slow down. It’s not that simple.

Do Home Improvements Really Increase the Sale Value

The average return on home improvements will, of course, follow the ups and downs of the real estate market itself. In 2006, for instance, every dollar spent on improvements raised the value of the home by 76.1 cents. In 2007, the figure was 70 cents, and by 2008 it fell to just 67.3 cents.

Looked at in terms of recouping the expense of the improvement itself, the ratio is rarely 1 to 1. You’re not going to get $20,000 more for a home you’ve put $20,000 into. There are, however, regional exceptions to that rule. In San Francisco, the addition of a deck, the number-one-rated improvement for that city, often returns more than 100 percent the cost of the work. This raises an extremely salient point.

If you are making improvements specifically to increase the value of your home before selling it, talk to a real estate professional first and find out what upgrades the local market values. Even if you’re thinking of selling within five years, take the time to visit with a real estate agent. Some improvements are widely accepted as being of higher value than others, but each market may put a different emphasis on what constitutes “value” and what does not.

Kitchen Renovations Are Always a Winner

It’s difficult to go wrong with kitchen improvements since, for most people, especially families, that’s the room that is the heart of the house. At minimum, fresh paint, new or refreshed cabinets, and new flooring will go a long way. Higher end improvements might include granite counters or stainless steel appliances. On average, kitchen remodels return 75 percent of the amount invested.

Bathroom Makeovers Are a Close Second

Let’s face it. No room in a house has the potential for a bigger “ick” factor than the bathroom. No one wants to buy someone else’s dirt. Even the cleanest tub in the world is going to look dirty with peeling, moldy grout or rust stains around the drain. Most of us never look twice at our own bathrooms, but will recoil in horror at one in a listing we’re viewing.

At the very least, a bathroom in a home for sale should be so clean it sparkles. If there’s no way to get sparkle, then get new tile, a molded sink, marble vanity, and nice fixtures. So whatever you have to do to make the bathroom look pristine. You’ll easily see 75 to 80 percent of the cost coming back to you at the time of sale.

New Emphasis on Green, Energy Efficient Improvements

Especially in Texas and the Southwest where brutal summer heat saddles residential customers with astronomical electric bills, green improvements to a home can significantly add value to a property. This could be anything from insulating doors and windows to a roof with a radiant barrier, high-performance insulation, and potentially alternative energy systems. The latter are most likely to be solar panels or small, residential wind turbines. At present, these sorts of modifications appeal to a highly select clientele, but such additions are likely to grow in acceptance and value rapidly over the next decade.

Upgrades that Generally Don’t Add Value

Not all home upgrades are created equal. In picking things like counter tops, cabinets, and fixtures, try to match the overall “quality” or “range” of the home. Ultra high-quality upgrades in a fairly “normal” or “modest” home stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Avoid adding rooms that make no sense in terms of the basic floor plan. Always preserve the flow from one room to the next, and don’t do things like adding on a family room only to cut off any view from the dining room. Worse yet, don’t add on a room that can only be accessed by going through the master bathroom! You get the idea. If it feels “tacked on” to you, the potential buyer will experience that same feeling to the tenth power.

Finally, it’s best to avoid pools. Once seen as a premium enhancement to value, most buyers now perceive a pool as a home maintenance albatross. This is especially true in climates where the pool is only usable a few months out of the year. You might be able to make a case for a pool being a selling point in Florida. That likely won’t fly in South Dakota.

Stuck In A Rut – Enjoy These Home Improvement Ideas

Well, you’ve decided to improve your home. Good for you! However, there is so much information that you may not have a clue where to begin. Don’t worry, home improvement tips are here! Listed below are some tips that will help you get started and organized so that you can become a home improvement expert.

New wallpaper can transform a room. Before you add wallpaper, you need to find out what type of wall is under the existing wallpaper. Usually walls are either drywall or plaster smoothed over lath. You can figure out what kind of wall you are dealing with by feeling the wall, plaster is harder, smoother, and colder than drywall. You can also try tapping the wall, drywall sounds hollow while plaster does not.

If you are looking for home improvement, don’t forget the outside areas of your home too. If you love fish, you may want to consider putting in a Koi pond. They look beautiful, and they can be customized to match the look of your backyard or be made the focal point.

If you have a small bathroom and not enough space to store your items, you can easily create some space yourself. Buy some wooden shelves and install them on your bathroom wall. Display your lotions, perfumes and other beauty items on the shelves as well as your smaller towels or toilet paper rolls. This will not only give your bathroom a decorative boost, it will also organize it.

Before beginning a home improvement project, make a list of the actions you think will need to be taken from start to finish. Obtain a second opinion from a trusted source to see if there are any steps you missed or anything you didn’t take into account. Plan to set aside plenty of time for your project, as it might take longer than expected.

The shingles on your roof will at some point need to be replaced. As asphalt shingles get older, they start to lose the bound granules and curl up on the corners of the sheets. If you are experiencing leaks that have gone through the ceiling, then it is definitely time to lay down a new roof. Otherwise, if your roof has lost several shingles, this is a less drastic but firm indication that it’s time to replace the roof.

When you are getting ready to deep clean your deck, make sure you have all of your materials ready before hand. Some of the things you will need to get together are a pressure washer, a nice sturdy scrub brush, commercial deck cleaner, a hose, and a hefty broom you can use outdoors.

Before beginning home improvements apply for the appropriate building permits. Any home improvement that involves plumbing, electricity, or structural changes can require a permit. Check your local laws. If you proceed without a permit then you can be fined or it could make the house harder to sell in the future.

When it comes to home improvement, be sure that you are not causing your home to awkwardly stand out from the rest of the neighborhood. This will ensure you will be able to resell it and also, that you will not receive scorn from your neighbors. Be creative, but try to lean toward conservative with colors. With additions, keep your the total size of your home somewhat near that of your neighbors.

If you live in an older home with a wooden floor that is beyond sanding and staining, add a few coats of oil-based paint over the planks. Choose a paint that is intended for outdoor use on decks or porches; this ensures that it will be able to withstand the occasional wet spill and light traffic. It can also hold you over until you have the resources to replace the floor altogether.

If you want to make your house shine then look to the curb appeal. First impressions are important with people, and they are just as important to your home. Consider repainting if your color is fading or is dated, and choose colors and other details that fit into the era of your house.

You should feel better after reading those tips when it comes to home improvement. That was a lot to think and read through, but at least you should have an idea of what to do and where to begin with improving your home safer and smarter. In addition, you can always come back to this list.

Tips to Make Home Improvements Affordable

If you are like many homeowners, your house is among the most significant investments that you own. In addition to being your largest asset, it is the place where you live, entertain and more. By keeping your home well-maintained and making improvements as needed, you can easily maintain or improve its value while also enjoying increased pride of ownership. However, many home improvement projects can be costly, and you may be looking for a way to make improvements to your home more affordable. By following a few key tips, you can enjoy the benefits associated with improving your home without paying more than necessary for those improvements.

Affordable Materials and Equipment
One of the key factors that contributes to the cost of home improvements pertains to the materials and equipment needed for the project. Many homeowners commonly head down to a local home improvement store to buy the items needed for their projects. While these stores are a convenient source for materials and equipment, they may not be the most affordable source. You can consider looking for used equipment in local online classified listings. In some cities, you may find wholesale materials and supplies stores that offer a great selection of steeply discounted materials. If you must shop at local home improvement stores, be sure to look for sales, coupons and special offers that can save you money.

The Cost of Labor
The other main factor associated with home improvements is the cost of labor. Some homeowners have a real knack for completing home improvement projects. Others, however, may require several attempts at a task before completing it right, and this can result in wasted supplies and materials. If you lack the skills and experience necessary to do the job or are not comfortable with the processes involved, it is best to utilize the services of a contractor. Some specialized contractors will charge you a higher rate than other contractors who may have an equal ability to perform the tasks you need completed. A professional handyman, for example may be a jack-of-all-trades, and he may perform services at a lower rate than a contractor who offers only a specialized skill.

Making home improvements is a necessity if you want to keep your home in great condition and improve its value more significantly over time. By keeping the costs of your improvements low, you can enjoy a greater return on your home improvement project. These tips can help you to save money on your projects for years to come.

Increasing Your Home’s Value Through Home Improvements

There are many home improvements you can do to boost your property value. Though not every homeowner agrees with the value of home improvements, most agree that you will get a better price for your home, in the event of a sale, if you make a few changes.

Home improvements will not only get you a better resale value, but will give you a more pleasant living environment while you are there. So don’t underestimate the value of making a few improvements to your home.

Making improvements to your home can also increase your homes overall safety. This is considered a big benefit. There are many factors to consider when deciding what improvements to make.

First, plan your budget and decide what you want to do. Having a clear plan before you get started can make the process go much smoother. If you are making big home improvements and upgrades, hiring a contractor may be your best bet.

As a tenant, you may or may not have the right to make improvements to the property so check with your landlord. If you own the property and are unsure where to begin, there are professionals that you can hire to help you decide what improvements to make to get the most for your money.

Making outdoor improvements may require that you check with your homeowner’s association, if you have one, and your local governments to ensure your improvements are allowed. Some improvements may require special permits so be sure to file the necessary paperwork ahead of time.

If you have a limited budget and can only concentrate on one area, renovate your kitchen. Replacing old countertops and floors can make a drastic change and be relatively inexpensive. You can also consider upgrading your appliances or adding a splash-guard.

There are many improvements that you can make to your house that will increase its value. So make a clear budget, develop a plan, and get started. You won’t be disappointed in any improvement you make.

Home Improvement: Upgrading Your Home

If you are a home owner then you should know the importance and benefits of home improvement. First let us define what is home improvement. Home improvement is the process of making changes into one’s house and thus improving its level of comfort, aesthetics and safety. Home improvement is usually done by hiring professionals such as handymen and contractors but the home owner can do it personally if he or she knows what she is doing. As we all know properties are subjected to depreciation over time. But with proper maintenance and improvement you can keep your property’s real estate value up. So if you are planning to sell your house someday, maintenance and home improvement is very important.

But home improvement is not all about increasing the real estate value of our home. Improving the home is also important for those who are currently living in the property. If you want to make your home a better living place for you and your family, home improvement jobs are a must. If you perform maintenance checks for your home, you can detect and anticipate structural damage to your home which could be a potential threat to you and your family’s safety. Utilities such as heating and cooling systems, smoke detectors, ovens and many others also needs to be subjected to regular maintenance checks to prevent them from malfunctioning because they may cause accidents. Maintenance checks will also address the common problems associated with insect infestations such as termites which as we all know can cause great damage and deterioration over time.

Aside from maintenance checks, improving your home also means remodeling or renovation. Over time it is very possible to be bored with the decor of your home, so a renovation is certainly a great way to spruce it up. Home remodeling can be quite simple. From a fresh coat of paint to the house’s as well as new furnishings to changing the curtains or the carpet in the living room, it all counts as remodeling efforts. A good example of renovating your home is to install UPVC French doors into your home. French doors are ideally installed in doorways that leads to the house’s exterior locations such as the patio or the poolside. French doors does a great job of enhancing the looks of your home as well as providing other functionalities such as being an insulator. If you cannot handle the tasks of remodeling and renovation, then you can always hire a profession to make the job easier for you. You’ll be surprised at just how a remodeling or renovation, may it be simple or complex, can change the overall mood of your home.

Unfortunately there are still those that treats home improvement a necessary expense, but such notions would cost them in the future. Home improvement is a necessity because it does not only increase the value of your home but also make its living condition favorable. Like you what you are doing with your other properties and possessions, treat it as a way of taking good care of your home.