Sometimes, a new home is desired but moving just isn’t in the cards. Maybe you don’t have the money to buy a new house, or perhaps the market isn’t right. In situations like this, homeowners often turn to remodeling; it’s cheaper than moving and can provide that change of scenery that the homeowner desires. In situations like this, it’s important to know which improvements will increase the value of your home, enabling you to recoup some (if not all) of the cost when you decide to sell your home in the future.
The first, and most obvious change would be to repaint or replace the front door. Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value report indicates that 96.6% of the cost of the door will be added to your home’s overall value. Just make sure you get a new door that actually goes with your home. If you don’t, you may end up creating an eye-sore that reduces your home’s value.
Two of the most common remodels are to redo a home’s kitchen or the bathroom(s). Both are areas of the home where people spend a significant amount of time, and updating them can often pay off in both experience and in increased value to your home. When remodeling these areas, be very, very careful to ensure that the design fits in with the rest of the home. A rustic, “cabin in the woods” style kitchen is great, if you live in a rustic cabin in the woods. Installing a kitchen like this in a modern, suburban home would likely be weird, and turn off any potential homebuyers in the future.
No matter what additions or remodels you choose to make to your home, be aware of the cost of the remodel vs. the cost of the home. Just because you spent $50,000 remodeling your kitchen doesn’t mean it’s going to increase the value of your $150,000 house by that much. When your home doesn’t have the highest market value, making relatively minor cosmetic changes can make more sense financially. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars replacing your entire kitchen with high-end appliances and lavish tiles, try a smaller-scale renovation by replacing or repainting the cupboards and drawers.
Last but not least, one of the most lucrative improvements you can make to your home is to increase the livable space without adding on extra rooms. Is the attic large enough to be a bedroom? Great! Turn it into one. What about the basement? Most basements are unfinished (they have concrete floors, ceilings with exposed pipes/wires, etc.) and finishing them will greatly increase the square footage of habitable space in the home, which will be reflected in the overall value.