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Projects to Increase Your Home’s Value and Projects to Avoid

Written by: Suzie Wilson  Happier Home

Owning a home means repair projects are always popping up, from minor fixes to big upgrades. Making these home improvements is about more than suiting your own needs, though. You want to improve wisely so you can get top dollar when the time comes to sell. But how do you know which repairs are absolutely needed, which ones are worth the investment, and which ones to avoid?


Don’t Overlook These Repairs


While some people want a fixer-upper, these buyers are few and far between, and a home in poor condition won’t get the best resale value. If your home needs any major repairs, a potential buyer would likely buy elsewhere to avoid the hassle. Any broken appliances, broken HVAC systems, and a roof that is in need of replacement are all projects you don’t want to put off. If you’re replacing your roof, be aware of the most common roofing scams so you can avoid getting taken advantage of. When hiring a contractor, be wary of anyone who asks to be paid up front or who wants a large down payment, someone who goes door-to-door looking for business, or a bid that is so low it seems too good to be true.


Along the same lines, any obvious cosmetic issues need to be fixed. Not only will buyers clue in to anything unsightly, but these problems may make them wonder what else could be wrong with the house, and it’s likely they’ll lower their offer. The Balance recommends ten minimum improvements to make before selling, including replacing worn or stained carpet, outdated light fixtures, and old or worn window treatments.


Projects That Really Pay Off


Besides the repairs you absolutely must do to sell for top dollar, selling a home that is updated will always get you a better price. It’s still important to choose home improvements wisely because some projects consistently give the best return for your investment, while others usually aren’t worth it. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are always in demand, but that doesn’t mean you have to do a gut renovation. In some cases, a full-scale renovation can be worth the investment, as long as you keep the overall cost in line with what buyers are looking for in your area. If you overspend on luxury upgrades, you could easily spend more than you can expect to add to your selling price. As an alternative to a complete remodeling project, focus on kitchen and bath features that make the most impact. According to U.S. News, you can get the biggest bang for your buck by adding a backsplash or granite countertops, refinishing or replacing cabinets, and changing out a bathroom vanity.


Buyers also love upgrades that make a home more eco-friendly. These projects are a win-win because more people want a home that lowers their carbon footprint, and a green home also saves money on utility costs. Green updates can be small, like sealing leaks around windows and doors. When you spend a little more to replace windows with ones that are more energy-efficient or install a programmable thermostat, you will recoup that cost on your own bills as long as you live in the home, and buyers will appreciate the cost savings they can expect, too.


Understanding which projects aren’t worth the investment is just as important as knowing which ones are worth doing. Pools and room conversions are two of the riskiest projects to undertake. In some areas, a majority of buyers may really want a pool, but in general, the costs of installation and upkeep aren’t worth it if you don’t live somewhere a pool is highly desirable. You also want to avoid anything highly customized because you don’t want the style to be so personalized that it doesn’t appeal to a wide demographic.


Making home improvements should always strike a balance between what fits your needs and what is worth your investment. You should always hire a reliable contractor for big projects. Smaller projects can be done yourself, but always keep in mind the costs versus value added so you spend your time and money wisely.




Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.


Photo credit: Pixabay

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