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Improving Home Value

Take a look around. How does your home look? Is everything functioning perfectly? Does the garage door take a couple of tries to close all the way? Maybe the backyard is in need of a little landscaping love.

There are countless things a homeowner can do to increase the equity in their home. The term ‘sweat equity’ comes up often when people are discussing the little projects they've done around their house. Planting some shrubs along the front of their house can increase curb appeal. Adding an in-ground swimming pool in the back is sure to add valuation during the next appraisal. Certain parts of the house get targeted more frequently than others, and since home renovations have become a serious science, there are different schools of thought on what nets the biggest return for each renovation buck.

Kitchens: The central hub of any bustling household. While the nuclear family of the 21st century may no longer eat dinner together, they will still congregate in the kitchen a couple times a day. So, a kitchen with up-to-date furnishings and stainless-steel appliances that also manages to boast an open and inviting layout will help bring a great return on investment when it comes time to sell.

Bathrooms: A bathroom with just a single shower stall and dank lighting can make the most comfortable home feel cramped and uninviting. Renovating a bathroom or adding a new one will add loads to the home’s value. Also, depending on the options, fixing up or even adding a bathroom is often significantly cheaper than changes to a kitchen.

Adding insulation in the attic may not be as visually stunning as granite countertops in the kitchen, but it will absolutely add value to the home and attract buyers.

Home Systems: Does your home have central air? If not, it’s a costly addition after the fact, but trying to sell a home without it could spell a deal breaker for many in the warmer climates. How’s the plumbing? Any leaks in the line? Has the sump pump been acting up? Consider some small investments to the electrical system. Maybe the wiring in a certain part of the house has been a bit faulty because of that silly sump pump. Adding insulation in the attic may not be as visually stunning as granite countertops in the kitchen, but it will absolutely add value to the home and attract buyers.

Landscaping: Curb appeal is a real phenomenon and it pays dividends to beautify the front yard before selling a house. An appealing landscape with well-manicured flower beds and a tree or two says to a prospective buyer that since the owner cares enough about how their home looks to others that they have probably taken great care to keep up the inside as well.

Renovations can become addicting. Finishing a large project like redoing a bathroom or installing new cabinets can lead precipitously to the next big investment. But, it is important to remember the state of the surrounding neighborhood as it’s possible to over improve your home. Consider the amount that nearby houses are selling for. Sometimes it ends up being more advantageous to move than to continue improving the house you're in.

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