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How to's and money-saving tips from resident homeowner and mortgage professional, Cathy West

Renovations that add value to your home

If you are thinking of doing home improvements, there are a few things to consider. Recent research indicates that certain upgrades increase the value of your home over others. Additionally, for an overall-makeover, there are inexpensive things you can do to beautify your home. Raising the value of your property without spending a lot of money seems too good to be true, but it is possible.

Some home improvements improve resale values
Remodeling research looked at 36 popular remodeling projects and their direct correlation with property values. The study spanned resales in 102 U.S. markets and provided guidance on which home improvement projects add the most value. Accordingly, replacing a front door and replacing siding offered the best return on investment in property sales. Considering the cost of renovation as a percentage of total resale value, both improvements offered homeowners the opportunity to essentially make their money back – approximately 100 percent ROI. Replacing windows and adding a wooden deck to a home gave owners 80 percent of their investment back, and remodeling bathrooms, basements and attics provided ROIs in the 70 percent range.

It is important to note that some renovations in the study had an ROI less than 50 percent. Sunroom and office remodeling projects did not make owners the majority of their money back. However, given that both projects would be considered "luxury" improvements, compared to more essential renovations, for the most part, home improvements do in fact pay off when trying to sell your home.

Projects that do not require significant investment
With respect to home improvement projects that do not require a lot of money, some take precedence over others. The BayNet pointed out that applying fresh paint and trimming are projects most people can do themselves. Homeowners can give their place more warmth and appeal by using earth tone colors instead of white paint. The BayNet also advised against replacing old furniture as that could be very costly. Instead, homeowners can cover existing furniture with slipcovers and apply decorative throws to sofas, loveseats, chairs and other items to achieve the desired look. Additionally, wood furniture can be stripped and painted, or sanded and re-stained. Purchasing new furniture is not essential.

Improving and decorating your home does not have to be expensive. You can also consider things such as mirrors, rugs, vases, sconces and art prints to beautify your place. Perhaps a visit to a nearby garage sale is all that is needed to achieve something suitable to your liking. If your goal is to sell your home, spending a little money can increase your property value and most of your renovation costs may be recuperated in the end. Perhaps the time to think about your next home repairs project is now.  

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