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Renovation Projects That Add Value

There can be any number of reasons for carrying out a home renovation project. It could be to add a new feature, or to remove an element unwanted. A renovation could also take place to modernize a property, or to make it more energy efficient. The list of reasons for updating a home could go on and on. Before beginning any project you should ask yourself an important question: Am I planning on staying in this home for a long time? The truthful answer to that question will likely color the reasons for the project in the first place.

If you answered yes to the question, than just about any upgrade project you can afford would be justified, as the work is being done to enhance your enjoyment of your property for years to come. If the answer is no, and you intend to sell the home in the near or intermediate future than perhaps you should think about your reasons for the project in the first place. If you’re planning to fix up your home to enhance its resale value, you have to remember that not all renovation projects will add anything to what the home bring in once sold.

You also have to remember that there is a big difference between an investor and a home owner. Typically an investor will carefully choose their remodeling projects, focusing only on those areas that add to the home’s value, at the lowest cost and involving the least effort. If you are an investor thinking about fixing and then flipping your home, take a look around your neighborhood and see what the other houses are like. A renovation project that changes the character of your home, and makes it stand out too dramatically from its neighbors, might actually diminish its value when placed on the market. For example adding imported Italian marble counters or expensive crown moldings to a home, when no other property in the area has them, will likely not impact its sale price.

In contrast a home owner isn’t thinking about how others will view their home, but rather on how they will enjoy it in the years to come. As a result they might be willing to invest a lot more money, material and energy into their renovation project as they have no other motive but improving the livability of the property.

If you’re an investor there are a few things that are well worth shelling out the money for. There are some basic things buyers expect when they purchase a home, which includes a roof that doesn’t leak, functioning gutters and downspouts, a dry basement, a good furnace, solid floors, walls that are in good repair, retaining walls that work and all of the other principle things you’d expect to find in a home. If you need to attend to any of these core elements prior to the sale, then do so. The money you spend will likely come back to you once the sale completes. Not attending to them will either reduce the amount you receive from the home sale, or prevent the sale from going forward at all.

First impressions are important. Making the effort to enhance the curb appeal of a home is another renovation project that can be worth the investment. Curb appeal enhancing items could include a nice green lawn, attractive landscaping, fresh paint inside and out, new carpet and new appliances. But don’t go overboard. Spending big bucks on an in-ground sprinkler system or having a swimming pool installed are not by themselves going to balloon the sale price of your home. Take steps to spruce up the appearance of a home, but don’t dive into the deep end of Scrooge McDuck’s swimming pool of money to do it.

Another type of worthwhile investment is those upgrade projects that add legitimate value to a home. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in the United States stated that projects that offer the most bang for the buck include new siding, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, new windows, decks and the addition of living space. The NAR study showed that siding, kitchens and windows are some of the most beneficial projects, often recouping 80% or more of their costs during resale.

Finally, regardless of the project you’re considering, remember that your primary residence is not just a house, it’s your home. If you plan to live there for many years to come, add amenities that you want to have regardless of their impact on resale. When it’s time to sell, do the basics to get the property up to par for the neighborhood and add some curb appeal, but don’t bother undertaking an extensive array of projects strictly in an effort to increase the value of the property. Even with the projects that are known to add value, the chances are good that you will spend far more money than you will get back in return.

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