…Not to Mention a Few Light Fixtures, a Screen Door, and Maybe a New Deck

When the housing market’s hot, it seems like just about any remodeling project is a good investment and adds value to your home. But when the market’s tight, you want to be more selective about which projects you undertake…and what you expect to gain in return.

If you’ve been thinking about boosting your home’s value or just making your living space more comfortable, the ideas below can help your prioritize your list. So before you start knocking out walls and renovating your roofline, consider these ways to make a difference…cost-effectively!

First Things First. Buyers often decide whether to look at your house before they even get out of the car. Before you spend a lot of time and money remodeling the inside, you may want to look at the outside. Washing windows, repainting trim, planting flowers, and fixing screen doors can make a big difference.

For even more impact, you may want to consider replacing your siding or even adding a patio or deck. The added value for these bigger projects won’t yield as high of a return on investment, but may help your house stand out. So, weigh your options and ask your Realtor® for advice before starting a big project.

Come On In…Make Yourself at Home. Making a cozy first impression is critical. To make sure your entryway invites people to come in–not turn away–try adding a fresh coat of paint to your foyer or a wicker chair and table outside the door. For even more impact, replace those old light fixtures and update the floor in your entryway.

Sparkle Up That Old Bathroom. Remodeling an old bathroom can make a big impact. For very little money, you can add a new faucet to your sink, a new medicine cabinet on the wall, and even new paint or wallpaper. For a little more, you can update the bathtub, add a double sink, or re-tile the floor.

Even Better: Add a Second Bathroom. Perhaps no improvement makes a bigger impact on your family’s comfort and your house’s appeal than adding a second bathroom. The number of bathrooms is always a big sticking point for potential buyers, especially families with two or three children. Although adding a bathroom costs more than simply fixing up your old one, it also increases the value of your house more. Plus, having that second bathroom may help you sell your house faster than if it only has one bathroom…an important point to consider in today’s market.

Make it Hot in the Kitchen. Renovating an outdated kitchen is practically a sure thing…as long as you don’t splurge on extravagant items like hand-painted Italian tile or built-in espresso machines. Instead, focus on the basics: installing new flooring, adding a backsplash and a new coat of paint, re-facing existing cabinets, installing new countertops, and possibly installing new appliances. These go a long way to making a new buyer feel at home.

Remember, start small, work your way up, and always plan ahead. You don’t want to get halfway into a renovation only to find that you have to update your entire electrical system or that you forgot to apply for a permit. So, check your local zoning codes before starting any remodeling project. But with a little planning and prioritizing, you can make your house more comfortable and valuable with very little time…and money.

Source: Mortgage Market Guide by Harold Smith