Bang-for-Your-Buck Home Improvements

Written by Posted On Friday, 08 August 2014 10:44

Even if you aren’t thinking of buying a new home in the immediate future, chances are that at some point you may want to sell the home you’re currently living in. Whether you’ll be relocating, upsizing, or downsizing, most people move into a new home at some point in their lives.

If you’re lucky and the real estate market has been healthy, when you do sell, you’ll stand to make some money on your initial home investment. Most homes, when kept up well, appreciate over time, and you could stand to make more money (perhaps even much more) on your home sale than you paid for it in the first place.

You’ve probably heard that there are certain large-scale renovations that might never pay you back what you spent on them. Some people opt for huge, expensive additions or kitchen or bathroom overhauls as a lifestyle choice and don’t bank on getting a full return on their investment. But if you’re looking to spruce up your home without spending a lot of money, there are a few cost-friendly updates, repairs, and minor facelifts that won’t require you to spend a lot but could make your home much more marketable in the future. Here are just a few:

Boost your curb appeal.

The outside of your home is the first glimpse a potential buyer will have into its appeal. It’s not difficult to keep gutters clean and repaired or paint your front door. Keep siding looking nice, and replace it (and your windows) if you need to. Older exterior fixtures can be more porous than new vinyl siding and windows, so you’ll likely end up slashing your utility bills if you opt for a more energy-efficient variety. It’s a no-brainer to keep your lawn neat, trees and bushes pruned, and even add a few flowers for a splash of color to make the outside of your home welcoming.

Convert existing space.

For less money than you might think, you can turn an attic or unfinished basement into a bedroom or home office. Turn a bonus room into a media room for at-home entertainment. Or swap out closet space for a pocket office if you work from home upon occasion or just need a handy place to manage your household business. Be creative with your space – it can be much cheaper to knock out a wall or enclose a porch than to put on an expensive addition.

Modernize with minor updates.

An involved kitchen or bathroom remodel can cost a small fortune. But these are rooms that become dated quickly, especially if they followed fad trends when your home was built. Consider replacing or painting cabinetry, and changing your countertops for an attractive and durable (but not necessarily expensive) alternative. Replacing lighting and plumbing fixtures can also give a room a facelift. And never underestimate the power of a fresh paint color.

It’s easy being green.

Today’s new homeowner is likely to appreciate eco-friendly appliances and materials that lend sustainability and money-saving energy efficiency to your home. At some point, most homes need a new furnace or water heater, so when that time comes, consider some of the newer, more energy-efficient options. Adding insulation in your attic can also help keep utility costs down. And something as simple as installing low-flow toilets and faucets can cut your water bill. It’s relatively simple – when appliances fail, trade them in for energy-efficient versions. Not only will this changeover save you money, you can reap tax benefits as well.

By considering remodeling trends and keeping an eye on your local real estate market, you can make home repairs and upgrades that make financial sense and prepare you to make some money when you sell your home in the future. And in the meantime, you can enjoy the new look and feel of the home you are living in.

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