Nearly all home improvements add value to a home, but not all of them add equal value.
Go for improvements that have a high return on investment and add functionality that your family really needs.
How am I going to pay for this?
Before you commit to making improvements, look at your budget. If you are a working professional with a reasonable income, a home equity loan may be a good way to leverage your existing equity in order to enhance your home’s resale value. If you have questions about our home equity loan products, feel free to call Belmont Savings Bank at (617) 484-6700.
- Start small. Make low-cost improvements that will make your home look more modern and attractive. A fresh coat of paint (buyers prefer neutral colors), fixing obvious defects such as broken doorknobs or cracks in the walls, installing recessed lighting or sun tubes for natural light, repairing damaged floorboards, and sharpening up your landscaping will get you a lot of bang for your buck. To save even more money, consider doing some of the labor yourself.
- Renovate your kitchen and/or bathrooms. These are two of the features homebuyers care about the most. Not coincidentally, they also get a better return on investment than most other home improvement projects.
- Install an energy-saving heating system. Buyers want to know they are buying a house with manageable costs. A solar hot water heater (powered by just one solar panel) can cost as little as $5,000 and will slash your hot water bills by about 80% (HGTV)
- Convert under-utilized space into additional bedrooms or living space. Under-utilized space could be a patio, attic, basement, or under-used garage. According to a Remodeling Magazine 2011 survey, converting your attic into a bedroom will give you a better return on investment than almost any other major investment you can make in your home.
- Give your exterior a facelift. Replacing aged siding, windows, and doors will give your home a fresh, new look that will go a long way toward selling your home. The recent Remodeling Magazine survey found that, for homeowners in the Boston area, garage door replacements, front door replacements, deck additions, siding replacements, and window replacements give a higher return on investment than any other improvements.
The Remodeling Magazine survey provides a very helpful list of average costs and returns for a wide range of renovation projects. Also, if you are planning on putting your home on the market, check out this list of small improvements that will help bump up the sale price, from the HomeGain Real Estate Blog.