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It happens every spring: Homeowners everywhere start thinking of sprucing up, fixing up, and even more adventurous home improvement tasks. But in a challenging real estate market, what home improvement projects deliver the best return on investment?
Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects win hands down, real estate experts say, whether the market is up or down. When there are many houses to choose from, buyers can afford to be fussy and insist on high-end features like granite, tile and hardwood. And, fussy home buyers tend to steer clear of homes in need of repairs. In fact, in a buyer’s market, many home buyers look at the home inspection as a second negotiation phase, asking sellers to fix everything, because they can.
But, if your home is up to snuff before you put it on the market, you have a better chance of avoiding these costly negotiations, which can really hold up an agreement. Make sure your roof, heating and cooling system, and other major systems are in good order prior to listing.
No moving van in your future? Home improvements can still make a lot of sense. Instead of moving, many people choose to stay in their current home and upgrade. A lot of homeowners still have a lot of equity and the interest rates on home equity are very low. That makes renovating or expanding your current home a very affordable option.
But focus on “smart” renovations. In addition to kitchen and bathroom remodeling, basement renovations and additions are smart choices for adding value. These improvements often give homeowners a dollar-for-dollar return or even make money when homeowners go to sell their house. Plus, they make your home a lot more enjoyable for you.