4 Home Improvement Projects with High Long-Term Return
When you're making improvements to your home, you're not just making your life better in the short term. You're also making an investment in your future. Ideally, the increase in the value of your home will exceed the cost of the improvement. It may not always work out that way, and it can take some time, so it's important to be strategic.
Calculating ROI can be difficult because the data is based on national averages. For instance, in drought-afflicted parts of the country, water-efficient fixtures, rainwater collection facilities and low-water landscaping will pay long-term dividends. In places with lots of solar exposure and high utility costs, solar panels will make your home more cost-efficient and attractive to buyers. Keeping that in mind, finding out what works for your market therefore depends a lot on trends and local conditions.
If you're looking for more universal approaches for getting the best increase in value for your home improvement dollar, there are a few simple rules to follow. Seek relatively low-cost improvements that require little to no maintenance. They should immediately distinguish your house from similar homes and, ideally, they also improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Here are four home remodel projects that can improve the resale value of your home. They're excellent uses for your home equity line of credit (HELOC) and you may be able to save money by doing part or all of them yourself! You may also want to consult your tax adviser to determine if these improvements qualify for tax deductions.
1. Replace the front door
There's an old adage in real estate that suggests the features get tours, but the front porch gets sales. People make decisions on home-buying all the time by starting with a gut reaction and finding reasons to support it later.
Why not start your home remodeling project with the first thing you interact with on your house: the front door. Upgrading an old, poorly-fitting front door with a newer energy-efficient model is a cheap, quick project that can instantly improve your home's efficiency and aesthetic appeal. Best of all, hanging a door can be done in an afternoon!
2. Minor kitchen remodels
Replacing major appliances and installing new flooring is a difficult, time-consuming and expensive task. Being without a kitchen for weeks on end can be a nightmare, and the number of professionals needed to install new lighting and other features is mind-boggling.
Minor kitchen upgrades, like new cabinets, counter-tops, and energy-efficient cook-tops, are comparatively inexpensive. Just like with the front door, the changes are mostly aesthetic. People perceive a more modern-looking kitchen as being a better fit than a more "retro" look.
This is also a chance to customize a place where you spend a remarkable amount of time. Having a kitchen laid out just the way you like it can make it easier and more enjoyable to cook. This will encourage you to eat more meals in, and energy-efficient appliances can lower your electric bills for the life of the home.
3. Wooden decks
Outdoor space is one of the hallmarks of the current iteration of the American dream. Wooden deck additions were unpopular for years, as consumers see them as luxuries. During a recession, remodeling dollars tend to focus on needs, like kitchen and bedroom updates. Now that the economy is improving, more people are looking at decks as valuable extensions for their living space.
4. Convert an attic space into a bedroom
For most houses, the attic is an afterthought. It's a place where unused craft projects and abandoned hobbies go to die. Consider turning that dead space into a living space with a remodeling project!
Turning an existing attic space into a spare bedroom or office, complete with its own bathroom, can be done for a slightly steeper price. In some instances, this remodel provides a 77% return on investment in resale value, with the potential for more. If you have adult children or relatives visiting from out of town, an attic room can be a wonderful guest room.