Remodeling Investments That Will Pay You Back

If you're considering doing some remodeling to your home, one of the important questions to ask yourself is, "Will this project pay me back if I decide to sell my house?"

When it comes to remodeling, there are big projects that pay small dividends when you decide to sell, and there are small projects that are worth their weight in gold. And there is all manner of projects that fall somewhere in between. Meanwhile, as a bonus for you, it's a good idea to pick and choose projects that you can enjoy before you even list your home.

If you can do some of the work yourself or get your hands on a good contractor with reasonable rates and a sense of pride in his or her work, you can make some changes to your home that are bound to pay off when you decide to put your house on the market. Here are just a few:

• Make some replacements. Updating your home in minor ways is almost never a bad idea. If you have dated fixtures or finishes, it's becoming easier to locate replacement materials at low cost. With an interest in green building on the rise, there are many recycled and repurposed materials to choose from as well as sturdy, durable finishes that don't cost a lot to purchase and will hold their value because they are low maintenance. 

Bonus: A sleeker, more modern look to your home.

• Update your kitchen. Complete kitchen remodel? Forget it! The new trend is to update your kitchen without necessarily replacing floors and cabinetry. By changing your countertops, faucets, drawer and cabinet pulls, and even a few key appliances, you can give your kitchen the illusion of a more significant makeover. 

Bonus: Less inconvenience than a complete overhaul of your kitchen.

• Add attic or basement living space. This might seem like a big project, but you have to consider how far you're willing to go. Depending on how polished you want the area to look, you can put in a bedroom and even a bathroom, if there is existing plumbing, for less than you might expect. A little insulation, a little drywall, a floor of some sort, and voila – you've just added some square footage to your home's living space. And if it's a teen lounge or media room you'd prefer, your options are even broader. 

Bonus: Additional flexible living space.

• Replace your windows. If you own an older home, replacement windows are often a good investment due to the associated savings. With a range of window types and glass available, your home will look fresher and look "newer" when it goes on the market.  

Bonus: Immediate energy savings.

• Knock it down. Remodelers are increasingly opting to knock down walls to turn smaller, compartmentalized rooms into larger, roomier spaces. Taking out a wall or widening a doorway can open up your floor plan and eliminate the wasted space of rooms you don't use. 

Bonus: The illusion of more space – without building an addition.

If you're considering making some renovations, shop around and get a few estimates. Ask who friends, family, and co-workers would recommend for a remodeling project. Create a budget and share it with your contractor so there aren't huge surprises when the project wraps up. And above all, be creative. With an eye toward both your current needs measured against potential future dividends, you're sure to choose the projects that offer the best chance of paying you back.

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Leigh Young

Leigh Young

Realtor - Veteran Specialist
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