Whether you are updating your home or getting it ready to sell these links will offer valuable information that every homeowner should know.
Renovations That Pay
Renovations around the house are a great way to increase its value. However, not all renovations are beneficial in the long run. The return on your investment depends on several factors, including the current state of the real estate market, the scope of your renovation and how attractive the change is to potential buyers.
The following is a list of the smartest home renovations and their potential payback.
Add a new bathroom
Adding a second or third bathroom to your home is always a wise investment. It'll pay off when you decide to sell.
A new bathroom is a big project: it entails adding new plumbing, walls, tiles, counters, a toilet, and a shower. It is wise to put in a shower stall or bathtub (if your hot water tank can handle it) because this gives your a house another complete washroom.
Cost: $4,000 to $12,000
Estimated Payback: 92%
Remodel your bathroom
If there is no space for a new bathroom, consider remodeling a current one instead. Simple things like cleaning up the floor tiles or adding a fresh coat of paint can go a long way.
Cost: $200 to $8,500
Estimated Payback: 25% to 77%
Remodel your kitchen
As with bathrooms, kitchen renovations are also worthwhile. Improvements can be minor (adding new linoleum, installing marble countertops) or major (adding an outdoor patio/eating area, changing the layout). In particular, installing built-in kitchen appliances, like a dishwasher, and an island benefit homeowners in the long run.
Minor Work Cost: $150 to $4,500
Estimated Payback: 94% to 102%
Major Work Cost: $4,501 to $25,000
Estimated Payback: 90%
Add a new family room
Older houses often have rooms that act as both a place to watch TV and entertain guests; this leaves no room to just sit and relax. To remedy this, renovators have hollowed out garages, extended the rears of houses and rearranged rooms in order to create a comfortable family room. Depending on your home, the work involved can get quite serious. In some instances, you will need to knock down walls, extend the exterior walls of your house (laws permitting) or sacrifice current space, like storage rooms. The costs will be very high, but the payback can be quite rewarding.
Cost: $18,000 and up
Estimated Payback: 86%
Add a garage
Not all homes are suited to have garages -- the driveway setup has to be just right.
Cost: $100 per square foot and up
Estimated Payback: 65%
Finish your basement
Covering the cement floors, redoing the walls and converting your basement into livable space offers loads of possibilities.
You can turn the basement into a TV room, use it as storage space or add a kitchenette and bedroom, and then rent it out. Therefore, the work can go from minimal (i.e. installing some carpeting) to extensive (adding walls and lighting). Basements with a lot of natural light and direct outdoor access generally bring in more return than ones that simply have a few dark rooms.
Cost: $150 to several thousand dollars
Estimated Payback: 15% to 25%
Improve the landscaping
Good curb appeal is important and can be achieved with the help of a local landscaping company or do-it-yourselfers can add a rock garden, stone path, pots of flowers, and anything else your creative mind can think of. In fact, a few small touches can increase your payback considerably.
Cost: $200 to $15,000
Estimated Payback: 30% to 60%
Add a new heating or air conditioning system
The changes you make to your house do not always have to be aesthetic. Functional upgrades, like installing a dual electronic/oil heating system or central air conditioning, can do wonders for the value of your home. You can expect to see almost a full "refund" when the house is sold.
Cost: $2,000 to $8,000
Estimated Payback: 100% for heating system, 75% for air conditioning