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Now, most of us know that there are plenty of things we can do in a home to bring an improvement, as far as our preferences go. But how many of these improvements actually bring in a return on investment (ROI) if or when an actual selling time approaches?
As our likes may not be the likes of others, improving according to our preferences doesn't necessarily give us more bang for our bucks, as some commonly say.
That said, our article below centers on what are some of the areas of improvement that stand a better chance of a high ROI once they get done. Let's start with the two most important and used rooms in average homes: the bathroom and kitchen area.
Small or Larger Bathroom Remodel or Renovation Project
Now, we're speaking about an upgrade or remodel job and not a full bathroom addition. Even small changes such as replacing or tearing down old, mildew stained wallpaper and using a fresh coat of paint will go a long way.
Replacing older lighting with a system that you can actually see better with, usually can be done without emptying your checking account. Adding a new vanity, a new tile floor and even something as minor as changing the hardware or fixtures can all be done today for less than $700.
Converting a walk-in closet into a powder-room with toilet and sink can really bring in about 15 percent for an updated bathroom area--not including plumbing expenses.
Concerning kitchens, you don't need to start by a massive overhaul–simply do one item at a time. For instance, removing a stained sink or old microwave or refrigerator for newer, energy-efficient models add big value to your home at selling time. Later, if needed, move on to new cabinets, back splashes or counter-tops. Generally speaking, you can expect to get back about 25 percent of a home's value for a new kitchen or a remodel project.
After a bathroom and kitchen remodel, nothing makes or breaks the ROI more than miserable looking flooring. Smelly, stained or torn carpets being the worst offenders.
Laminated floors, simulated wood flooring or even a tile job may do the trick. If you have budget constraints, then consider replacing the carpet and re-doing the floor covering--one room at a time, whichever is worse.
"Going Green" and Curb Appeal
Nothing is as attractive as a carefully sculpted shrub and colorful plants to present a certain curb appeal to buyers. However, if you're not thinking in terms of "green" or sustainable plantings, you've defeated your purpose in these green-oriented times.
Planning for the future is vitally important as you really don't know when or if you'll be selling in the foreseeable future. Planting shade trees can actually reduce your overall cooling expense by up to 30 percent, so be sure to buy greenery suitable to your region soil or weather requirements.
Replacing A Garage Door or Front Door
Replacing an older, two-car, steel garage door may give you a healthy ROI of 87 percent on a $2,500 investment. That being said, if you convert your garage into in-law living quarters or even an efficiency, expect an even higher ROI. Without having to add a ceiling, floor or walls, you'll be gaining valuable space that can further result in both a higher ROI and additional income--barring zoning regulations of course.
Your front door, especially if it has factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel and etched glass windows, will further blend well with your curb appeal and ROI as well.
Which Brings In The Highest Returns?
Front door replacement: 96.6 percent
Wood deck additions: 87.4 percent
Attic bedroom or efficiency garage conversion: 84.3 percent
Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent
Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent
Which Brings In The Lowest Returns?
Home office remodel: 48.9 percent
Sun-room addition: 51.7 percent
Bathroom addition: 60.1 to 85 percent
Backup power generation: 67.5 percent
Master suite addition: 67.5 percent
The list of high ROI renovation options is almost limitless. Moreover, if you make the upgrades intentionally, and don't allow yourself to do them on impulse or under coercion, you can expect rewarding returns every time. That said, choose wisely.