5 Tips for Smart Remodeling

When it comes to home improvements, homeowners are counting their pennies and really thinking about what improvements are worth investing in.  Whether you are looking to sell your home this year or in a decade, making smart home improvement decisions now will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Below are 5 tips for Smart Remodeling:

Basic Home Improvements#1 Basic Home Maintenance Always Pays Off

While we all would love to have a chef&;s kitchen with granite countertops, this upgrade hardly seems worth it if the roof is leaking and the siding is cracked.  Basic home maintenance such as a new roof, gutter system, siding, windows, working appliances and upgrades to electrical, heating and duct systems are always important selling features.  Many buyers can look past an area of the home that is outdated because they know they can remodel to their taste when the time and budget allow.  A home that needs basic maintenance is something that needs to be addressed immediately and the cost can really add up quickly.

#2 Pay Attention to your Neighborhood

Your neighborhood is a great guide to what types of improvements will pay off.  Are you the only house on the street with cracked, faded siding?  This is an area that you may want to address.  Do all the other homes in the area have 2 bathrooms?  Then upgrading the half bath to a full or adding a bathroom to your 1 bath home is something that will add value.  Keep in mind; buyers are looking in certain neighborhoods because they are interested in those types of homes and the features that they offer.

#3 Home Values Should Guide your Remodeling Decisions

Understandably, you want your home to be a place where you enjoy living, regardless of whether you plan to sell soon or later in the future.  But, there is a line between making improvements that are simply for your enjoyment only (too taste specific) and making improvements that add value.
For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and most homes in your area are valued in that area, you don&;t want to price yourself out of the neighborhood.  Say you are thinking of adding a master bedroom suite complete with a steam shower.  This might sound like a great idea but in the end, will it really pay off?  Probably not.  It is an upgrade that the neighborhood cannot support and frankly something that buyers probably feel falls into the “take it or leave it” category, especially in a $200,000.

#4 Kitchens and Bathrooms Can Sell a House

Updating your kitchen and/or bathrooms can really add value to the home if you are smart about it.  Adding a $10,000 stove to a $200,000 is a cost that is not going to be recouped.  Smart kitchen updates include: wood or tile flooring, all wood cabinets, stone countertops and matching appliances.  You don&;t need to spend a fortune to have a nice kitchen that can be decorated to various different tastes.  Same goes for the bathroom.  If your bathroom is outdated but in good shape and functional, adding a second bathroom may be money better spent that upgrading the one you have to a spa like bathroom.  If you do need to update your bathroom, you can&;t go wrong with a new toilet, vanity, additional storage and fresh, neutral tile.

#5 Pay Attention to Curb Appeal

Curb AppealYour home should give off the appearance of being warm and welcoming.  While basic home maintenance (siding, roofing, windows, doors, etc) really help reflect this image, adding a little décor and style to your home&;s outdoor appearance can go a long way.  On a budget?  Simply planting some flowers, and/or adding some bushes to the landscaping can really make a difference.  Also, try updating the smaller items like mailboxes, outdoor lighting and adding a welcome mat.  These little touches can show that the person who owns the home really put some thought and care into it.

While you want to be smart in improving your home, you also want your home to be a place that reflects your style and is functional for your family.  Using the above tips as a guide will allow you to realize how the decisions your make when remodeling could affect your home&;s selling potential in the future.

What improvements have you done recently or are you thinking of tackling in the near future?  Do you have any additional tips on how to remodel smarter?

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