Improvements That Pay Back – There are many home improvements that build real estate value in the market, which will pay you back as an investment. As the housing market continues to struggle, there’s a lot of inventory out there for grabs at great prices. It’s a buyer’s market and an opportunity that will not be seen again in our lifetime.
Front entry doors: Curb appeal is the first step in a successful home sale, and installing a beautiful, high-quality entry door is a simple home improvement that delivers impact both in buyer drive-bys and online listings. A new entry door will also help lower home energy costs and stand up to weather extremes.
Decks: Building a deck is one of the least-expensive ways to extend your living space. Composite decking is a great low-maintenance option, and even building a deck from pressure-treated wood can bring a return on investment of up to 80 percent at the time of sale.
Kitchen: The kitchen is a major selling point for a home, and its appearance and layout can often be a deal-breaker. Improving your kitchen doesn’t have to be a huge investment, however: just replacing countertops, key appliances or cabinet hardware can transform a kitchen’s look and impact. (Also see Minor Kitchen Renovations Help Sell Your Home.)
Windows: Installing replacement windows is a pre-sale home improvement that pays for everyone, with the seller earning valuable energy tax credits and the buyer enjoying lower home energy bills. Says Tulloss: “Especially in older homes, buyers always seem to appreciate when new, better windows have been put in. People like the energy efficiency aspect now more than ever.”
Basement: Make the most of this bonus space by finishing it for use as an apartment, office or entertainment zone ─ more great ways to appeal to multi-generational households.
Bathroom: Along with kitchens, bathrooms tend to age easily, so neutralize potential design objections by replacing the vanity, installing efficient fixtures and choosing hardware that facilitates easy access for all.