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The Home Depot

5 Best Returns on Home Improvement

Pro Referral > Home Guides > General Contracting > 5 Best Returns on Home Improvement
5 Best Returns on Home Improvement

Remodeling to increase resale value has always been a tricky business, and current housing trends have made this task even more difficult. Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost Vs Value Report for 2010-2011 only bolsters the idea that increasing resale value is becoming increasingly hard, but if you have the right mindset, there are definitely projects out there that will be likely to make your home sell faster and fetch a better price, too.

  1. 1.Avoid Trendy Enhancements

    Properties that are brimming with potential are far more desirable than those that seem static.

    What's hot today often turns ice cold quickly, and while there are certainly some improvements that are attractive to today's property-seekers that will likely continue to be desirable (increasing a home's energy efficiency, for example), most "trendy" remodeling projects are more apt to fizzle than to dazzle in decades to come. Where resale value is concerned: A tried and true project is almost always a better option than the hottest trend.

  2. 2.Put Function First

    Prospective homeowners will have a number of reasons to like or dislike a particular property, and many of these are completely subjective. Some may prefer one color to another; others might find a specific feature to be too good to pass up. As the remodeler, you have no control over the very broad tastes potential buyers will have, but you do have the power to keep things in your home from being off-putting. One of the most effective ways to keep homebuyers from viewing your property as a poor investment is to make sure that the major systems and components of your home are in good working order. Often, these types of improvements are affordable and easy to perform. Quiet that loud garage door, fix that leaky faucet, and replace that dead outlet. It may be very helpful to invite a friend or coworker who has never been to your house over to help you spot areas where function can be improved, as we often become so accustomed to our own environment's little eccentricities that we miss things that will stick out like a sore thumb to others.

  3. 3.Great Exteriors Make Great Impressions

    Few elements of showing a house are as important as the first impression a prospective buyer gets from your property, and since the landscaping and exterior of your home are responsible for making that impression, it is important that they look their best. In many cases, upgrades to these areas are also relatively affordable, meaning you can perform several for the cost of a single interior improvement. A fresh coat of paint, a few trimmed shrubs, and a handful of other simple tasks later, your home will be much more attractive to potential buyers right from the get-go.

  5. 4.Offer Buyers More Versatility and Less Specialty

    Properties that are brimming with potential are far more desirable than those that seem static. If you plan on living in your home for years to come, the improvements you make should reflect your specific needs; if you want to add resale value, however, versatility is the key to getting prospective buyers' attention. Instead of spending money creating the kitchen you always knew was possible, focus your resources on a few functional items in the kitchen and use the difference to finish your basement. This allows those who view your home an opportunity to daydream about what can be done in two different areas of the home rather than focus on specific elements that they might want to undo in the future.

  6. 5.Consult a Home Inspector

    Anyone who is serious about buying your home will have a professional inspection performed, and if that inspection returns with an enormous list of potential problems, it will no doubt be off-putting. However, if you have the inspection done first, you may be able to shorten that list significantly without spending a lot of money in the process. Even if you are not able to fix the most expensive items on the list, fixing the numerous smaller items that may be identified will reduce the number of things the buyer's inspector will say require attention, which will leave the buyer with that much better an impression of your property.

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