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Which Home Improvements Really Pay Off?

If you are thinking about tackling a home improvement project this summer, you might be wondering which up-dates will give you the highest return on your investment. Contrary to what you may see on HGTV, you can generally recoup the most value on projects that improve your curb appeal. Remodeling your kitchen and adding granite countertops and stainless steel appliances can improve the salability of your home but the percentage of return on your investment is relatively low.
According to Remodeling Magazines 2014 Cost vs. Value report the best return on your investment dollars is replacing your front door. Installing a steel entry door with a glass panel and new hardware can yield up to a 96% return on your investment. Other projects that increase your curb appeal and have a high return on investment include adding a deck, replacing windows and siding and installing a new garage door.
At the bottom of the list for projects that have the least return on your investment are roof replacements and back up generators. Obviously, if your home needs a new roof you will have to replace it but buyers look at this as a maintenance issue and you only recoup a small percentage of your expense when it comes time to sell. Similarly, a generator can provide necessary piece of mind for the owners, but most buyers do not consider this to add significant value to the price of a home.
Somewhere in the middle are interior improvements such as kitchen and bathroom remodels. Both generally yield about a 67% return on your investment. Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes so if your is out dated and you plan on selling, you should probably consider remodeling them before you put your house on the market. Small cosmetic changes can make these rooms more desirable to buyers and donít have to be costly. New hardware, glass tile backsplashes and modern faucets can all add value to your kitchen and bath without breaking the bank. If you do plan on taking on a major remodel, keep in mind you will probably not get back dollar for dollar what you spend. If you spend $10,000 upgrading your master bath, you may see a $6000 increase in the value of your home.
Some other popular up-dates with buyers include installing hardwood floors and upgrading to new, modern light fixtures. When deciding to take on any home improvement project, consider how long you plan to live in that home. If your goal is to make improvements to make the property more saleable, then you may want to pick some of the projects mentioned here that have the highest return on your cost. Investing in projects that increase your curb appeal on the exterior as well as cosmetic up dates on the interior will both increase your appeal with buyers and add the most value to your property in the short term. If you are planning on staying in your home for longer than 5 years, pick projects that will increase the function and aesthetic for your family now. Adding a second bathroom or finishing the basement are expensive projects to take on, but if you are planning on staying in the home for a while, the cost will be justified in the increased function and enjoyment of your home.
The bottom line on any home improvement project is you make the decision on what makes the most sense for your situation. One of the benefits of owning a home is the freedom the make improvements that you want to make. If you have a understanding of what projects will yield the most value, you can make an informed choice based on your current needs and get the maximum enjoyment of your home.

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