Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Remodeling projects that PAY OFF

In my previous life, I was a Real Estate Agent. Consultant. Realtor. Whatever you want to call it. I honestly miss it. Will I ever go back? Possibly. But for now, I like to stay up to speed on the housing trends. Interest rates. The current inventory. Tips and tricks to get the most bang for your buck.

A majority of Homeowner's, due to our unfortunate current economic crisis, are choosing to stay in their homes and do small home improvement projects with any spare cash. The problem is; most homeowners don't have the slightest clue on where to spend their money wisely. Here are some remodeling projects that will increase your home's resale value, improving chances for a speedy, attractive offer when you decide (or have) to sell. Do them now and enjoy the fruits of your labor while you're still in the home. Kitchen Improvements: As the hub of the house -- and its hardest working room -- the kitchen deserves special attention. New appliances and refinished or refaced cabinets can pay off handsomely.
Fresh Paint: Few other fix-ups can give you so much improvement for so little money and effort. Use a unified color scheme of neutral shades.
Simple Landscaping: Flowerbeds, foundation plantings, paths, and borders can make a huge difference in your home's appeal. If you buy small plantings and let them grow into their role, you get a particularly high value per investment.
Spruced-Up Front Door: Adding a new front door -- or simply painting an existing door and installing new hardware -- makes a great first impression and increases your home's curb appeal.

Additions and Outdoor Living Spaces: Additions that suit your home's style, scale, and traffic flow generally add value -- as do well-designed outdoor living areas such as porches and decks.
Added or Upgraded Bathrooms: Generally, adding a bath to a home that has only 1 or 1 1/2 baths will pay off at resale. Elements that prove most popular include ample storage, natural light, and ceramic tile on the floor and tub and shower surrounds.Updated Faucets and Fixtures: Add allure to baths and kitchens with good quality, stylish fixtures and faucets. These changes are relatively easy and inexpensive.
New Knobs, Pulls, and Light Fixtures: As with new faucets, these easily installed off-the-shelf items boost style and have a big impact with relatively little cost and time.
Renewed Surfaces: Worn flooring and chipped, scarred countertops turn off buyers; refinishing or replacing these surfaces with good quality upgrades provides instant appeal.

Wondering what projects DON'T pay off?

Not every remodeling project will increase your home's value. Some, in fact, can really turn off potential buyers. Value-reducers include:

~A built-in pool that takes up most of the yard.

~A super large garage.

~Strange room layouts, such as a bedroom that can only be accessed through another bedroom.

~A poorly designed addition that looks "tacked on."

~Too much white marble.

~Any upgrade that prices a house significantly above those in the neighborhood. Ask yourself; "Does this neighborhood warrant this type of upgrade?" A potential buyer isn't going to pay more if you feel you've over-done it for the neighborhood.

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