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Home Improvements that Add Value to Your Home

By Eleanor Boschert

According to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report survey conducted by Remodeling Magazine and the National Association of Realtors, the average return on home improvements was up to 60% vs. 57.7% in 2012. What determines how much certain renovations will increase your home market value?

  • The overall housing market in your area
  • The value of your home
  • The value of the homes in your neighborhood
  • When you plan to sell
  • The nature of the project and quality of workmanship

With this in mind, be aware that the longer you wait to sell after you spruce up your home, the less value you will recoup. Tastes change. Custom designs that are current may be yesterday's news in a few years. And, you don't want to do an expensive renovation that prices your home value out of your neighborhood market.

While you may think the surround sound hot tub in your bathroom is a good idea, here are home improvement projects that will help you recoup a good amount of the effort and cost you put into them.

  • Outdoor Space
  • Everybody loves an outdoor space that is functional and pleasurable, so add on a deck. Use high grade materials that will hold up well and make a good use of space by adding benches, lush greenery, a pergola, and extensive lighting.

  • Attic Bedroom
  • Adding any extra square footage of living space is a good idea. And, transforming an attic, or any room into a bedroom, one of the most-used rooms in the house, is a very desirable renovation that will add value to your home.

  • Kitchen
  • Any or all kitchen improvements are a good thing. Hardwood or tiled floors, granite counters, lighting, stainless steel appliances, new cabinets (or just re-finished ones) and decorative hardware all add value.

  • Bathroom
  • Whether you add another or just re-vamp an existing one, bathrooms are a good way to spend equity cash. Make the bathroom a spa oasis. Add ceramic or marble tiles on the floor, custom marble top vanity, or walk-in shower. New fixtures and sconce lighting can brighten up the space.

  • New Windows and Energy Efficiency Add-Ons
  • Quality, new windows are a win-win, adding equity value while saving you money on your energy bills. Adding energy efficient doors, solar panels, insulation, and a new roof can save you cash in the long run also. And, you could be eligible for energy efficiency tax credits.

  • Front Door

As the point of entry, your front door needs to make a good impression. It's part of the whole curb appeal updates that are money well spent. You can also landscape and plant greenery fairly inexpensively and recoup a good amount of the expenses.

If you're feeling you should forgo all these sexier renovations, know that you will do well to replace or improve fundamental home systems such as furnace, roof, or HVAC. Believe it or not, replacing siding will yield you one of the highest returns. Fixing up the bones of the home is always a smart investment. Nobody wants a home with fundamental problems underneath all the flashy improvements.

To top it off, investing in sprucing up your home could also earn you tax breaks or credit for certain improvements, Yet, in the end, its your home, so you might as well invest in renovations that you love, you're the one living in it.

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