Thursday, March 28, 2013

Adding Value to Your Home

By: Lea France at Fannie Mae

I am frequently asked if all home improvements add value? The answer is no.
  
Certain types of home improvements can increase the resale value, but not all home improvements add value to your home. So if you are thinking about adding value to your home, first you need to take an inventory and decide what you actually can afford to do. There may be some improvements that you can actually do yourself, and some improvements may need a contractor. Once you get all your cost for the materials and labor, then decide which improvements will add the most value to your home.

Below are 6 great home improvements that will add value to your home, and make your home more enjoyable to live in.

Changing the Front Door
The front door of you home is a first impression, it is the initial part of the house that makes for one of the first impressions by visitors. Replacing the front door will add value and enhance the appearance.
Changing the Garage Door
Garage door replacement remains a great investment for homeowners because it's a relatively low-cost improvement that makes a dramatic impact on your home's curb appeal. By adding a new garage door, you will be adding value to your home.
Kitchen
Consider replacing your counter tops with materials like granite, and updating the appliances to a more energy efficient type. Upgrade the sink, and sink fixtures to an energy efficient type. Some of the newer faucets reduce water usage by approximately 30%. You may want to consider replacing the cabinets if they are dated, and also installing back splash for a final touch. You may be able to do some of this yourself. Kitchen improvements result in a good return and add value.

Ceilings
If your home has the "popcorn" ceilings, replace them. The popcorn ceiling is dated and it also could contain asbestos if the house was built before 1979. Popcorn ceilings give your house a very dated look, and affect the homes value downward.
Bathroom
Second to kitchen remodels are bathroom remodels. Adding new faucets, lighting, shower and tub, will add value. You may also need to consider changing the floor covering to a natural stone. Adding these improvements to your bathroom, will add value to your home.

Flooring
If your wall-to-wall carpet is old and needs replacing, consider upgrading to hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors are low maintenance and always in style. By adding wood floors, you will be adding value. Hardwood floors also make the home look larger and brighter. It is important to understand the difference between "adding value" and "routine maintenance".  Every homeowner will need to have routine home maintenance done, such as replacing the worn out leaky plumbing components and re-staining the wood deck. These types of home improvements are considered "routine maintenance" and will not add value to the home, but it will maintain the value of the home. 

Make a priority list, get the cost for materials and labor, and know which home improvements will add value. Again, you may be surprised at all the improvements you can actually do yourself. Add all these improvements to your list, and schedule dates for each project to start and be completed. This way you will actually have a schedule to work with. Adding value to your home, is a great experience.

You may also press here for photos showing how your property could  look.

Written by:  Lea France, Sales Representative at Fannie Mae

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