Home Improvements That Can Increase Your Home's Value

home improvements

Home Improvements

Picking the right home improvements will enable a homeowner to get back the money spent on the improvements and increase their profit when they come to sell.

By: Katherine Watkins

With the new housing market continuing to struggle, the home improvement market is likely to continue to see increases. Baby boomers are expected to lead the way since they generally have lived in their homes the longest and so have built up a great deal of equity. As that generation continues to age and move toward retirement, many will look to continue to improve their houses with an eye toward increasing their value. Knowing which projects add the most value to a home is important to recouping some of the expense.

The Right Projects:
While long-time home owners tend to regularly invest in their homes, the money tends to be spent more on upkeep and needed repairs rather than on improvements that will increase the value of the home. At some point, it may become necessary to include projects that will add to the home. Not all home improvements are equal so choose wisely.

Green Projects – Whether the home is going to be sold to younger buyers or the current owner is going to stay, it is a good idea to improve the efficiency of the house. Replacing windows with modern versions can help lower heating bills in the winter, while installing low flow toilets will save money on water usage.

Decks – Installing a deck can be a relatively inexpensive way to add square footage to a house, increasing saleability and adding value.

Kitchen – There are a variety of ways to update a kitchen, from simple to extravagant, and nearly all of them have will provide excellent returns on the investment. Modest projects include changing the hardware on cabinets, painting walls and changing the flooring. More extreme steps could include laying tile on the walls and installing new countertops. Opening up the living space by combining the kitchen and dining area into one can also help.

Bathroom – After the kitchen, bathrooms are the rooms that are most important to buyers. Remodeling a dated bathroom is a good way to add value to a home. Try to choose a timeless style with a broad appeal and focus on functionality by maximising storage space.

Paying for the Projects:
Since baby boomers tend to have more equity built into their homes, using a home equity line of credit can be a good way of funding one or more home improvement projects. The credit is based on the equity built up in a home and is basically a pot of money from which a home owner can draw to pay for just about any expense. The interest from the loan is also tax deductible.

Another option is to use credit cards pay for the materials. Many of the large home improvement stores will offer discounts on purchases if their card is used and the total reaches a certain dollar amount.

In order to add value to a home certain projects are better than others. Picking the right ones will enable a homeowner to get back the money spent on the improvements and increase their profit when they come to sell.

About the Author:
Guest author Katherine Watkins recently gave her bathroom a makeover by re-tiling and adding extra storage cabinets. She writes for a site that provides an online equity loan calculator to help homeowners find out how much they could borrow to pay for home improvements.

Photo: James.thomson