Does your home need an economical “house-lift”?

An Economical House-Lift

As homes sit on the market, many homeowners are finding themselves staying in their current residence for longer than originally expected. As a result, now is a perfect time to make those home improvements that you’ve been putting aside. But how do you know you’ll get your money back when the housing market finally stabilizes?

Certain home improvements will achieve a higher percentage returned than others. You want to focus on functional investments such as upgrading your kitchen rather than lifestyle home improvements like a pool.

The following home improvements will get you the highest return on your investment:

Give your kitchen and bathroom a face-lift
A minor kitchen remodel–painting, refinishing surfaces and upgrading appliances–will return more than a full revamp. Consider cosmetic upgrades in your bathroom such as new plastic laminate counter tops and new toilet seats. Kitchens and bathrooms should have modern lighting as well as new faucets, cabinet hardware and cabinet door faces. These key spaces should look bright and clean.

Add a bedroom or bathroom if necessary
These additions should be done in relation to other homes in your neighborhood. For example, if houses in your neighborhood have an average of 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths and you have 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, adding a ½ bath will definitely pay off. If all the homes in your neighborhood have at least 3 bedrooms and you only have 2, it will put your home at a disadvantage. If you can work this into your budget, adding another bedroom will translate into a higher return on investment.

Paint a fresh coat
A freshly painted home–especially exterior–is more inviting to potential buyers. Definitely paint the front door and window shutters, and try to repaint any rooms inside the home that have cracks or stains. Painting the interior of your home is quicker than painting the exterior, and is a faster way to increase the value of your home than a full room remodel. Clean walls and trim make a house look sharp.

Buy new windows
New windows can drastically change the look of a room and replacing single pane windows for high-end double pane windows not only looks better but will save you money on heating bills. If you decide to keep the current ones, however, make sure window panes and windows are clean and shiny. Dirty windows make a home look messy.

Restore the siding
Vinyl siding is popular, because it is low maintenance and lasts a long time. In neighborhoods where vinyl siding has become more common, shiny new siding can add value to your home. If you don’t think it’s necessary to re-do the whole house, keep in mind that it is possible to replace a single vinyl panel of siding.

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