Whether you've recently closed on your home, are planning to sell, or intend to stay for the long haul, everyone is looking to boost their property value.
While it is hard to recoup 100% of the cost of a home improvement project, there are a few economical upgrades with generous returns on investment – some which may even realize a profit.
Some of the most cost-effective jobs involve “curb appeal” – improving the parts of the home that can be seen by you or by people driving by. Here’s a few prime examples:
• Front and center: Improve landscaping with bright flowers, shrubs, and clean walkways. Lush, healthy greenery and regular lawn care recover an average of 267% of the cost of improvement and maintenance.
• Open up: A new garage door can open a few eyes as well. A dilapidated door or non-functional automatic opener are automatic turn-offs to potential buyers. A beautiful door is a window to higher asking prices, returning an average of 93.7% on investment.
• Head in the gutter: Gutters play an important role in protecting your home and new or well-maintained, they look great. Loose gutters or downspouts should be re-secured, and leaks sealed. Mesh gutter guards can cut down on debris. Call a professional if the problem looks too severe for DIY. New gutters are an investment of $2,000 to $8,000 and return about 83% on investment.
• Take sides: New siding can protect your home investment. Both fiber-cement (70%) and vinyl (68.3%) bring a decent ROI. And over the long haul, protective siding reduces energy bills, as well as providing resistance to fading, chalking, cracking, and peeling. Choose from classic whites, earth tones, bright and colorful shades, or bold, darker hues.
• Online appeal: If you are selling, the quality of your web presentation will go a long way toward making a first impression. Hire a professional photographer, and perhaps even a professional web page designer to put your best online foot forward. Real estate agents often suggest professionally staging and cleaning the home while it’s on the market.
• Let someone else show the house: Make yourself scarce when potential buyers come to view your home. Let them imagine themselves in the space, free from the distraction of meeting and talking to you.
Making necessary improvements to a home pays off in the end and serves as a long-term savings plan. The more improvements you add, the more of the investment you retain, and in time, may even realize a profit.