Remodeling: An Investment that Pays Back
Remodeling can make your home more valuable, as well as more livable. Although cash spent on home improvements seldom yields a dollar-for-dollar return when you sell your home, it helps to know which remodeling strategies will produce a greater return on your investment.
- Keep the value of your home within 15% to 20% of the others in the neighborhood. Buyers who can afford higher-priced homes will shop in more expensive neighborhoods.
- When remodeling, pay attention to mass appeal. Buyers prefer neutral, mainstream design. Play it safe with colors and materials: Avoid wild colors, bold patterns and kitchen schemes built around out of date hues.
- Keep additions and improvements compatible and consistent with the existing design of the home. Additions and improvements that look "tacked on" may detract from a home's appeal. Choose materials and design elements that match or blend in with what's already there.
- Remodeling of kitchens and baths generally offers the highest percentage return on initial investment, while energy saving projects (insulation, heating systems) give smaller returns but require a substantially lower initial investment.
First impressions are lasting impressions. That's why the appearance of your home's exterior and landscaping -- its “curb appeal” -- is so critical in marketing your home and attracting buyers.
- Painting pays off. A lot of scraping and a little paint go along way in beautifying the outside of your home. Once again, choose colors that are neutral and consistent with the style of your home and neighborhood. And be sure to consider the color of your roof. A top-quality painting job is a sure way to increase the value of your home.
- Enhance the landscape and spruce up the lawn. A well-manicured lawn and attractive garden also enhance your home's curb appeal. Simple, inexpensive planting projects and regular lawn maintenance are often all it takes to perk up a landscape.
Both interior and exterior remodeling add beauty and value to your home. If you don't have the necessary time or money for these improvements, general upkeep will maintain the splendor of your home, and it will require a much smaller commitment.