Everyone has different preferences on what makes their home more livable and last time we talked about general dos and don’ts as well as approaching home improvements as investments.
Below are the improvements most homeowners seek for their own comfort mixed with what buyers seek:
1) General outside appearance is your home’s first impression. People want to pull into their driveway and be welcomed back home. This one category consists of multiple factors including: garage, siding, front door, and deck. These are the things that maintain the most value in a home.
2) Moving inside, the first thing people notice is the kitchen. Food is virtually the center of everyone’s life. As such, the kitchen is the center of the house and the first thing most buyers prioritize and notice. There are countless ways to embark upon remodeling your kitchen but most agree making sure it’s user friendly, has storage, and creates areas for tasks are important.
Kitchen remodeling blog posts to get you started:
3) You might not think of how much time you spend in a bathroom but it is a room even most guests are going to use. While a new bathroom will recoup on average about 60% of costs, an improved bathroom can make a home much more user friendly (and appealing to buyers). Here are some bathroom projects that increase home value.
4) Energy efficient upgrades allow you to save money while living in it while also increasing your home’s value for sale. We suggest starting with upgrades that are the least visible as possible. What we mean is this: solar panels can be a very good long-term investment and save you money over time. Some buyers will love solar panels. But others will not. Other energy efficient upgrades that are less polarizing like improving insulation, upgrading to more efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems, windows (as well as doors and skylights), and eco-friendly toilets are ways to improve energy efficiency without detracting buyers. While these items–like all other home improvements–will depreciate in time, these are the home improvements that may actually pay for themselves over time and retain their value at a better rate than other remodeling options.
5) Finishing the basement basically creates more living space without having to add on to your home. Whether you make it a game room, a bedroom, a separate unit, or anything else will be based on what is right for your living situation as well as what the other homes in the area offer. For instance, some neighborhoods are not zoned for multi-family homes so making your basement into an apartment isn’t a great idea. You will want to familiarize yourself with local zoning laws and consider the environment of your neighborhood as you decide the best way to finish your basement but here are some ideas for investing in your basement.
6) Landscaping can actually potentially provide you a return on the investment. The right tree can actually appreciate in value (though most likely a very small percentage of your overall property) rather than depreciate, and can be seen especially valuable if they have some function like creating privacy or a natural wind barrier. Because trees take time to grow, you must consider how long you plan on living on your home. In addition, the right tree must be chosen as many trees can cause maintenance issues. Additional landscaping, including hardscaping (man-made structures like terraces, paths, and fences incorporated in landscaping) can augment the value of your home.
In addition to these top six remodeling projects, there are some other basic remodeling principles to follow. Here is another link we find helpful when considering what part of your home to remodel in relation to retaining value:: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/east-north-central/
No matter what kind of investment you are making, in home remodeling or otherwise, talk to your local community bank and seeing what finance options are available and what makes sense for your situation. Happy Home Improvement!