BUYING A HOME

7 home improvement projects to add value to your property

Need some extra cash for home renovation? A HELOC or cash-out refinance could help you get where you want to go.

7 Home Improvement Projects That Add Value

 

Home renovations can be fun projects that spruce up your home and make it more enjoyable. They can also help add value to your property.

But not all home renovations build equity. Some can actually decrease the value of your home.

Here are 7 home improvement projects that add value to your home, and 3 that don’t.

 

Projects that add value

These 7 home improvement projects can help add value to your home.

1. Kitchen remodel

Remodeling your kitchen to a modern, updated space can pay off in the long run. Many potential homebuyers are looking for the latest, state of the art kitchens.

Start small at first by replacing kitchen faucets, adding new cabinet hardware, and replacing old lights with energy-efficient options.

If you don’t have the time or money to replace the cabinets, you can simply paint them a new color. Hire a refacing company to refinish the cabinet boxes, install new doors, drawers, and hardware.

These small updates can help improve the overall look of your kitchen.

 

2. Upgrade appliances

If your appliances are mismatched, you could consider ordering new doors and face panels from the manufacturer. This will give your kitchen a more unified look without the high cost of buying new appliances.

Replacing older appliances with new energy-efficient models can save you money on utility bills, plus they’re good for the environment.

 

3. Remodel your bathroom

Just like remodeling your kitchen, you don’t need to go all-out in your bathroom. Keep it simple. Install new fixtures, brighten the room with a new coat of paint, and re-grout the bathtub.

New mirrors and energy-efficient lightbulbs are easy ways to upgrade your bathroom.

 

4. Look up and down

Remodeling the attic or basement is an easy way to add square footage to your home. Instead of trying to add on, focus on improving what you already have.

The possibilities for attics and basements are almost endless. New bedrooms, workout areas, family rooms, and so on.

 

5. Look outside

According to Houselogic.com, the cost of building a deck is fair outweighed by the value that it adds to your home. Decks increase your living area and have a low cost per square foot.

 

6. Turn heads with curb appeal

Jazzing up your home’s curb appeal can be as easy and simple as cleaning your siding or as intricate as adding a new walkway. Whichever you choose, remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

Installing a new front door, pruning scrubs, planting new bushes and trees, will not only add value to your home, it’ll make a good first impression too.

As with most of these projects, you don’t need to go overboard. A lush backyard paradise is nice, but it probably won’t add value to your asking price.

A well-kept lawn with some carefully placed shrubbery is all you really need.

 

7. Get energy efficient

A simple home inspection will let you know if your home lacks solid insulation or if you have drafty doors and windows. These little things can create big bills.

Start with small updates, like adding extra insulation to your attic. Seal cracks around doors, windows, light switches, and electrical sockets.

Energy-star rated windows can also help save money on your heating and cooling costs.

 

3 projects that don’t add value

Some home improvement projects can actually hurt the resale value of your home. The more customized the project is to your personality and tastes, the less likely it is to have a positive effect on the value.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do any of the projects below, if you really want the additions. It just means that they likely won’t have an impact on your asking price.

 

1. Swimming pools

An in-ground swimming pool in your backyard might seem like the perfect place to hang out on the weekends, but it could hurt your home’s value.

Families with small children might be wary of the potential dangers. And not all buyers will want to pay the extra energy, insurance, and maintenance costs that come with the pool.

 

2. Luxury upgrades

The highest quality upgrades don’t often have the same resale value as the mid-range upgrades, unless you live in a very affluent area.

Marble flooring in your bathroom may look exquisite, but a potential buyer might not be willing to pay more for it.

Invest in quality, energy-efficient appliances, solid flooring, and upgrades that appeal to a wide range of homebuyers.

 

3. Garage conversions

Converting your garage into a recording studio or extra bedroom will add square footage to your house, but the simple fact is that most homebuyers actually want a functional garage.

 

The bottom line

Focusing on small projects that make your home more appealing and energy-efficient is a great way to increase the value of your home.

Some projects may not add value to your home, but that doesn’t mean you should never do them. It’s your home, after all. If you really want that swimming pool, go for it! Just remember that it might not pay for itself when it comes time to sell your house.

If you have questions about home loans, HELOCs, or refinancing, check out the articles in the Buying a Home section of our Learning Center.

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