Boost your Home's Value

by Groshan Fabiola - Date: 2007-03-05 - Word Count: 639 Share This!

Whether you are one of the many people looking to sell your home in today's "buyer's market," or just want to spruce it up a little, any sort of remodel or renovation will require a lot of work and planning.

But if you are looking to sell right now, any improvements you make to your home will not only most likely raise the overall selling price, but help it to sell quicker as well.

So how do you have the best chances of boosting your home's value?
A recent article on by Maya Roney of Business Week, "How to make your home worth more in 2007," discusses some ways to boost your home's value without going crazy or breaking the bank.
"Boosting the value of your home is never an easy task. It takes time, money, and - when your kitchen's covered in plastic tarp - weeks of pizza delivery. And with home prices still sliding in many parts of the country, getting a return on your investment is now tougher than ever. Luckily, there is a secret to smart remodeling in a buyer's market: Do as much as you can with as little as possible."

Doing this, of course, involves careful planning and preparation in advance. If you start buying materials in advance you can look for sales and bargains. Also, you won't have to worry about paying one huge lump sum to a home improvement store because you have gotten most of your supplies, tools and materials ahead of time.

The goal of home improvement projects is to get the most return on the investment as possible when you go to sell your home. But this amount has actually been declining.
"According to Remodeling Magazine's 2006 ‘Cost vs. Value' report, prices for most remodeling projects increased last year while their resale value decreased. Major, mid-range kitchen remodels, at an average cost of $54,000, returned just 80.4% in 2006 vs. a 91% return on $43,862 in 2005."

Your best weapon of defense to avoid not having your project boost your home's value is to do your research and first start by looking at other homes in your neighborhood.
"Ask your real estate agent for a list of homes for sale nearby so you can see what is being offered, and take advantage of open houses. ‘You want to make sure you can turn apples into apples before you make any improvements,' says Sid Davis, author of Home Makeovers That Sell: Quick And Easy Ways to Get the Highest Possible Price. ‘If you put in granite countertops and everyone else has laminate, your house could end up overpriced.'"

Also, focus on the areas that are most important to the buyers which is generally the kitchen, bathrooms and exterior of the home. The most unprofitable projects that homeowners complete are home-offices, sun rooms and master suits.
"Once you have narrowed down your options, stick to minor improvements. While major upscale kitchen projects, costing an average of $107,000, recouped just 75.9% of their cost in resale in 2006, minor kitchen remodels, costing $18,000 on average, did much better, with an average return of 85.2%."

Think about little ways to make your home look better such as putting new tile in the bathroom or kitchen (which can often times be found for deep discounts), or by painting a few of the main rooms a fresh, neutral hue.

All in all, the ultimate value of your home and return on a project depends on your market's current conditions.
"‘Real estate will always be a safe investment,' says Rizzo. ‘If you can hold on to your property during the market's current state of softened appreciation, you will see the market turn in favor of sellers in the not-so-distant future.'"

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