Raise Your Home’s Value With Home Improvements

With home values on the decline throughout the country, many are turning to remodeling and home improvement projects to boost their home’s value. The following are a few of the projects homeowners can undertake to help raise their homes’ values.

With the economy slumping, buyers aren’t as interested in real estate bells and whistles as they are in home improvements that can lead to lower repair and utility costs in the future. Upgrading from traditional low cost vinyl siding to fiber-cement siding or foam-backed vinyl, while expensive, can lead to utility savings where owners will male back 80 – 88% of the siding’s cost in the home’s value. Even just replacing old vinyl siding with new, which can usually be done for just under $10,000, can raise a home’s value by around $8,000.

Replacing your homes windows can also substantially lower heating and cooling bills while increasing a home’s value. Replacing old windows with new more efficient ones can bring back a return of investment of nearly 80% as well as attract prospective buyers.

Bathroom remodels are a slightly higher cost project to undertake, sometimes upwards of $50,000, but owners can usually recoup about 70 percent of the cost in the home’s value.

Major kitchen remodels are perhaps the most time consuming and costly of home improvement projects, averaging anywhere from $100,000 to $125,000, but, as kitchens are generally the most used room in a home, it can also lead to the largest rise in a home’s value. Owners who remodel their kitchens typically see their home’s value rise about 70 percent of the cost of the project. Minor kitchen remodels are less expensive projects, and can usually lead to an almost 80 percent recoup of investment.

Adding a deck to a home is another way to improve a home’s value, especially as the slumping economy forces many families to cut their entertainment spending and spend more time at home. The average price of installing a composite deck is about $37,500, 62 percent of which can be recouped in the value of a home. A lesser expensive wood deck can be added for around $10,000, and owners can typically expect to recoup more than 80 percent when the home sells.

Adding a bedroom to a home is a sure way to increase the value, whether by expensive room addition, or by converting an attic into a bedroom. Owners who go the attic-conversion route usually see a return of their investment of 75 percent.

Many homes in areas that allow basements are sold with the basement serving as little more than a storm shelter. The walls are unfinished and flooring is basically the concrete-top of the foundation. Refinishing these basements into usable rooms is usually not that expensive as there is typically no demolition and repair needed. Owners can expect to see a return of investment around 70 – 75 percent when they finish a basement, depending on what type of room it creates and how extensive the work.

Before undertaking any home-improvement projects, owners should always take their time, shopping around for any financing they may need, carefully selecting a reputable contractor, and, perhaps most importantly, speaking with real estate and tax experts to determine the impact the improvements will have on property taxes.