When it comes to home improvement, many people are under the false assumption that every dollar spent is a dollar gained, in terms of their home’s value. There’s a lot more to it, so it’s important to only spend on things that are going to get the most bang for their buck. Some projects that are the most likely to add value to your home are the following:
- Updating your Kitchen or Bathroom
- New Paint Inside or Outside the Home
- Replacing old Siding on the Outside of Your Home
Those projects involve using what you already have rather than creating something from nothing which costs more and often involves professional help. Projects that make it tough or even impossible to get your money back on usually share the same issues. They cost too much, they involve a space that is seldom used in the home, or they are dependent on your personal taste which may or may not be shared by others. Some projects that may not add value to your home are:
- Turning a Garage into a Family Room or Den
- Making an Office out of a Spare Bedroom
- Putting in Deluxe, and pricy, upgrades in your kitchen (only works if your home is an upscale or luxury home)
- Putting in a pool (may work in certain areas)
Before you spend any money improving your home, do some research first. This is especially important if the reason you’re improving your home is to add to the price you want to sell your home for. The last thing you want to do in that case is to spend $10,000 on improvements only to find it only adds $2,000 to the value of your home. After you get estimates on the cost of the home improvements you are planning on doing, it’s time to find the current value of your home as well as the expected value after improvements. The easiest way to get an accurate estimate on your home is to call the last person who inspected it. Look on your last appraisal and find the appraiser who did the report. Call that person first. He will be able to get on the computer and in short order have a good idea what your home’s value is now. Be sure to tell him of any improvements made if any, since the last time he inspected your home. You should also inform him of any issues in the home, like cracks in the foundation or a roof in need of repairs. Tell him of the improvements you are planning on making so he will have the complete picture. After a little work on his computer he should be able estimate a future value of your home with the improvements. Keep in mind, these are just estimates; they should be fairly accurate though. Most appraisers will be happy to do a little work for you in hopes that they will get your business when you do sell your home.
You never get a second chance at first impressions go, or so the saying says. While that was intended for people, it can also apply to your home. People are going to drive by before they’ll set foot inside. If the outside is unappealing, they will probably never get close enough to see the fantastic insides.
You may love to tinker with cars, or maybe you have a nice side business repairing the cars of friends and associates, but no one wants to see cars in various states of disrepair in your driveway or other parts of your lot. That’s a huge turn off. Before listing your home, before throwing up that for sale by owner sign, clear your lot. The only autos on your lot should be those in good working order that you use for your everyday life. You’ll have to figure out some other place to work on your buddy’s car, or just suspend that part of your business until the home sells and you get a new place.
First impressions are also why a fresh coat of paint can be a life saver. Do resist the temptation to paint your home deep purple. You may be thinking of a way for your house to stand out, and that’s fine. Just don’t turn it into an eyesore. A house that has just been painted will stand out enough on its own.
Your house may not need a major overhaul; it may need detailing; just like on a car. Rather than an expensive paint job you may be able to get away with a $300 detail job and your car will end up looking new. All your home may need is a fresh coat of paint and a little landscaping here and there, and all of a sudden your home looks 20 years newer. Just remember, only do the things that give you the most bang for your buck.
Vicki Marshall loves interior design especially plantation shutters in Perth, Western Australia