Home improvement is the process of renovating or making additions to one’s home. It can include projects such as painting, carpeting, drywall repair or installation, electrical work and plumbing upgrades. Home remodeling and improvement projects can increase the value of a home, make living spaces more functional, or simply enhance the appeal of a house. In some cases, a new roof or deck may be required to bring up to date a home’s style.
Those who take on their own home improvement projects often do so with the goal of increasing the home’s resale value. While it’s a great idea to improve a home for its own comfort and enjoyment, homeowners should be wary of jumping into renovations without first checking with a real estate professional to see what upgrades will really add value.
Some improvements are more effective at adding value than others, according to the Cost vs. Value report published by RenoFi, a company that offers home remodel financing. While a new bathroom and kitchen are often the most popular improvements, they can also be the most expensive.
A new front door, on the other hand, is usually less expensive and ranks as one of the top five highest return projects. Other low-cost but high-impact projects that may help to increase a home’s value include adding a shed or building an outdoor patio, as well as replacing a driveway, landscaping and painting the exterior of a home.
Even a fresh coat of paint can instantly brighten up a home’s exterior and make it look like new again. Many homeowners take on home improvement projects as a way to improve the overall look of their property and increase curb appeal, which can be a great way to attract potential buyers.
Many people think that just because they love their home, other people will want it too and that the best way to boost their property’s value is to upgrade everything from the kitchen to the bathrooms. Unfortunately, that type of thinking is often misguided. In some cases, expensive upgrades actually decrease a home’s value because they can turn off potential buyers.
For example, a homeowner may decide to install marble countertops in their kitchen to match the decor of their neighbors’ homes, but this can actually detract from a home’s resale value because most buyers are looking for affordable upgrades that they can easily do themselves.
Likewise, if a homeowner chooses to build an outdoor oasis that includes a pool and a waterfall but the neighborhood is filled with modest yards, the backyard will likely be seen as an over-personalized feature and can deter some potential buyers. Another thing that can detract from a home’s value is going into debt to finance renovations. That’s because a person pays thousands of dollars for the project upfront, then pays thousands more in interest over time, and at the end of the day, doesn’t actually own all that they’ve spent on their home.