Home value experts agree that making improvements that count is the key to raising the value of your home. Whether you are planning to sell, purchasing a fixer-upper, or want to make improvements before tapping into your home’s equity, read these tips to give you the biggest return on your home improvement dollar.

  1. Making improvements to your bathroom is one of the best ways to increase your home’s marketability. Consider replacing or refacing your tub or shower. Replace a single unit vanity and sink with a dual unit or simply update the faucets. Replace linoleum with tile and update light fixtures. Improve or increase the amount of storage space in your bathroom by adding an enclosed cabinet unit to a bare wall.
  2. A gleaming kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, stone countertops, cork or hardwood flooring, and abundant storage space can sell a home the instant a buyer sees it. Replace the faucet with one that has a built in sprayer, replace a noisy garbage disposal or add a new one, and place LED puck lights in dark areas. Outdated flooring and poor lighting in the kitchen can turn a buyer more quickly than other any other room of the house.
  3. Replace air return filters and have a heating and air conditioning professional perform routine maintenance on your furnace and outdoor central air units. Have the air ducts cleaned to cut down on dust and give your home a fresher scent.
  4. Hire an electrical contractor or inspector to give your home’s wiring a safety inspection. Add outlets in areas that need them and replace switch and outlets plates that are outdated or broken.
  5. Media rooms are the latest trend in home improvements. Seek an expert to install surround sound with the speakers strategically placed and all wires concealed. Many home furnishing stores now carry theater seating in a variety of coverings and colors.
  6. Simple cosmetic improvements will do wonders for your home’s value. If you are planning to sell, paint the walls a neutral color or with subtle colors that are easily painted over. Use a concealing undercoating to hide areas that are darkened or have bold colors already painted on them. Have carpets, upholstery, and drapes professionally cleaned.
  7. Replace old or outdated ceiling fans and consider adding them to bedrooms and the living room. If you are unsure which styles are popular, check your local home improvement store and ask which models sell better than others.
  8. Outdoor living space has become one of the highest priorities for prospective home buyers. Adding a deck or sun room can significantly increase the value of your home. If your deck is dry, consider a stain or paint and sealant to revitalize it. Add deck lighting that is modern and appealing.
  9. Drive and walk past your home to view areas of landscaping that need curb appeal improvement. Add small trees and shrubs, perennials, or stone-wall flower beds. Rid your walkway and driveway of weeds that may be growing up through cracks. Place solar lighting in areas that you want to accent.
  10. Keep a file with all of your home improvement notes and appliance or fixture manuals. Potential home-buyers will find these very helpful in the decision to purchase your home. Real estate agents can also add the information to the description area on your home’s listing sheet. If you are looking to refinance, take your notes and receipts to the lender as proof of what you have done to increase your home’s value.

No matter what your reason, small improvements throughout your home will create return for your investment. Make sensible changes that will give your home an aesthetic charge and build equity.

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