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Home Improvements: Dos And Don’ts For Increasing Resale Value

By Editorial Staff

There is no doubt that home improvements can increase the resale value of your home.  However, you should know that not all types of home improvement projects will add to the value of your home – lots of research has been done on this.  Here we discuss which home improvements generally increase resale value and what type of home remodeling does not recover its money back after a sale.

ServiceMagic, Inc.

Home Improvement Dos:

  • The first thing that home owners need to do to increase the resale value of their homes is to beautify the façade/outside of their homes.  Home improvements such as landscaping your front lawn, adding some plants and shrubs in your yard, and cleaning up the exterior of your home do not cost a lot of money but can make a huge difference to the way your home is perceived by buyers.  After all, first impressions are everything, aren’t they?

  • Adding a fresh coat of paint to the interior and exterior of your home can increase its value considerably.

  • The main rooms of a home that buyers pay close attention to are the bathrooms and the kitchen.  These areas demand the bulk of your home improvement budget.  Adding a new full bathroom to your home (but not if you’re going to end up a bedroom short!), or adding new appliances to the kitchen can add to the resale value of your home.

  • A garage can add considerably to a home’s value.

  • If your home does not have a fireplace, think of putting in at least one.

  • Bringing the laundry room up from the basement also adds to the resale value.

 Home Improvement Don’ts 

  • New windows do not add much to the resale value of your home, regardless of how good they look or how energy efficient they make your home.  Don’t spend money on window remodeling unless they are literally falling apart or busted up.  Clean them up and make sure they are well-oiled instead.
  • Swimming pools may be the ultimate luxury but if you’re thinking of adding one to increase the resale value of your home, don’t bother.
  • Central air conditioning is also very comfortable, but this home improvement does not recover its value.
  • Laying new floors such as marble, wooden floors etc is another home remodeling project that will not get you more money on a sale.
  • Luxuries such as a tennis court will make your home more high end but will not increase its value more than what you spend on the remodeling.
  • Spending money on cosmetic changes inside the home is fine up to a point, but if you expect to recover the all money that you spent on those antique decorative pieces, Taj Mahal like décor, and fancy branded appliances, then you are wrong.

The main rule to remember when undertaking home improvements to increase the resale value of your home is that the expected value of your home should never go up more than 15% to 20% higher than the value of the other homes in your area, otherwise buyers start looking at the cheaper options.

When You Decide To Remodel, Do It Right

When starting on any home improvement project, make sure you look around to find the best home improvement contractor.  Ask for references, ensure that the contractor has all the necessary permits and licenses, and that s/he is a qualified contractor.  Request bids from at least 3-4 different home improvement contractors and then choose the best one.  Sites like Angie's List and ServiceMagic can help you here.  Make sure you have a written contract that clearly specifies the agreed upon price for the home improvements, the exact nature and scope of the home remodeling, the time in which they will be completed, and what happens in case of delays, etc.  Also, insist on checking their relevant licenses and for adequate insurance coverage (workmen’s compensation and general liability insurance).

If undertaken properly and done right, home improvements can indeed add to the resale value of your home.


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