There is nothing like putting the personal touches on a home after becoming the official owner. Whether it is a fresh coat of paint or a major kitchen renovation, there is a large array of home improvements consumers may opt to do, but some of them can actually reduce a home's value.
Although investing money on some home improvements such as fixing a leaky roof or dealing with plumbing issues can efficiently be used as a home sales marketing tool for a listing, other renovations can actually be considered a deal breaker for potential homebuyers. If you are debating between renovation projects and want to ensure that your decisions are wise ones, make sure that all renovations are done legally and with the necessary permits required by local law to avoid problems down the line.
Home Improvements to Avoid
When it comes to spending money on home improvements, consumers should follow the data, not their hearts if they are doing the move to increase home value. Some homeowners may consider converting a spare bedroom into a home office a smart move, however the reality is half of the expense will never be recuperated. The same holds true for swimming pools, as many homebuyers do not want the responsibility and costs associated with maintaining the project.
For seven years Remodeling.hw.net has been conducting a survey comparing the average cost of home renovations in relation to the added value to the final selling price of the property. According to the information released in the Remodeling 2009–10 Cost vs. Value Report some projects are no longer worth the investment and will actually recoup less than 50 percent of the original expense. To avoid huge losses some mid-range projects to consider skipping include:
- Home Office Remodeling: Since this renovation is only expected to generate 48.1 percent of the initial investment, leaving all the components of a second bedroom (door, closet and windows) intact and just using the room as an office is a smarter strategy. The average investment of $28,375 will add $13,648 to a listing price.
- Sunroom Addition: Only 50.7 percent of the initial investment will be recuperated. If you personal enjoy sunrooms, go for it. However if you are thinking of adding one on, as a way to increase home value expect to add $37,118 to the listing price despite paying around $73,167 for the work.
- Bathroom Addition: While a spare bathroom can certainly make life easier for a large family, only 59.5 percent expenses will be recuperated. To add a bathroom costs around $39,046, but only adds $23,233 to a listing price.
Smart and Affordable Home Improvements
If you have the spare cash to invest in your home and are looking for the most bang for your buck, then the cost-versus-value ratio of these specific mid-range projects will work in your favor:
- Steel Entry Door Replacement: Of any home improvement, this one is guaranteed to give the most bang for the buck. Not only will the new door improve curb appeal, the change is expected to garner a 128.9 return on investment as the average expense for the revision is $1,172 and the expected return is $1,470.
- Attic Bedroom: While every home needs storage space, converting an attic into a spare room can generate a 83.1 percent return on investment. The average cost for the renovation is $49,346 and that can add a $40,992 value to a home listing price.
- Solid Wood Deck Addition: Instead of wasting cash adding a sunroom, a wood deck can expect to recoup 80.6 percent of the initial expense or a total of $8,573 for an investment of $10,634.
How to Decide on a Home Improvement Project
Homeowner's interest in funneling cash towards home improvements should first weigh the cost-versus-value basis of a project. Simply put, consumers need to crunch the numbers and gauge the potential return of a home improvement based on the initial money invested.
However, the most important step is to stop treating your home as a bank and start enjoying it for what it is. While the American Dream of homeownership still lingers on, consumers need to stop focusing on using their homes as piggy banks. Instead, homeowners should start to cherish the property for the experiences and quality of life issues that can be generated from the source.
Before checking out houses and securing a mortgage, consumers need to focus on reality and imagine the perks of owning a home minus the potential for financial gains. Those who plan in living in their homes for the long haul can expect their home values to naturally increase over time despite current market conditions. By using the mantra "home is where the heart is" home improvements made to improve your living experience will be more valuable in the long run.