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Housing studies estimate that the amount of money Americans will spend on home remodeling projects this year will approach $340 billion. But do they all pay dividends at resale? Unfortunately not. The key is knowing what upgrades can be done inexpensively, yet still make a difference on the bottom line and lead to a higher price and a quicker sale.

Homeowners would do well to keep track of every remodel and update they do over the years. They should also be made aware of the types of projects that can provide the best return when it comes time to sell. The average return on investment for home updates or improvements is about 64%, some do better, some do worse

Updates That Add Value
Interior Painting – painting the interior of your home will add freshness and style. You should choose neutral colors, shades of beige or one of today’s favorite colors, light gray. If you have painted baseboards, a fresh coat of glossy white will enhance that new color on the walls.

Front Door Touchup – Paint the outside of your front door a charcoal, smoky black, or jet-black color. Reports say that houses with doors painted those colors often times sell at a premium.

Replace the Garage Door – the average cost is about $3,600, which may seem like a lot, but on average you will recoup almost 98% of the cost when you sell.

New Light Fixtures – especially in the kitchen over a peninsula or island. Also in bathrooms over the vanities. Bright, new lights can make a small room appear larger.

Small Bathroom Updates – besides the vanity lights, change out the one large mirror with one or two individual mirrors. Replace cabinet knobs and pulls. Also by just re-caulking the shower and/or tub will give the appearance of freshness. In bathrooms, think more along the lines of functionality and less about glamour and luxury.

Ceilings – if you have popcorn ceilings have the popcorn removed and if it is cost effective leave the ceilings smooth and not textured.

Kitchen Appliances – you don’t necessarily need to buy “new”, just newer. Many homeowners will be able to accomplish updating by finding used appliances in excellent condition.

Smart Thermostat – programmable thermostats are the “thing” for today’s buyers. The National Association of Homebuilders says that this ranks among the three most wanted home technologies.

Carpets – no great surprise here, just have them professionally cleaned and deodorized.

Things That Don’t Necessarily Add Value, But Look Impressive
Swimming Pools – they may “complete” a backyard oasis, but not every buyer wants one. At least make sure the water is crystal clear and the filter is working.

Home Theaters – home theater projectors and screens are outstanding features for any home, but they don’t necessarily add to the overall value. Many times the sellers will state that the components are not included in the sale of the home.

Take Time to Consider
Be strategic when you look around your home to decide what projects you want to take on. Buyers must see your home as somewhere they want to live. Some buyers just don’t have the vision to see what living in your home could be like. Even little things can help buyers say, “This place is great! We don’t have to do anything to this house but move in.”

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