Boost Your Home’s Selling Price: 5 Pro Secrets | Consumer Reports
Boost Your Home's Value
With the real estate market so uncertain these days, many people are choosing to renovate their current home instead of buying a new one. "People are thinking about how they can get the most value out of their living arrangement," says Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). What will give your family the most value depends first and foremost on your needs, but if you want to earn back your renovation costs when it comes time to sell, read on.
COST RANGE*,793 – ,563
For bigger projects, save with what Casey Noble, host of HGTV'sDesign on a Dime,calls the "mix and match" method: Spend more on features thatmatter most, less on other areas. "For instance, cover the walls with ceramic subway tiles that cost per square foot, but do the vanity in marble," says Noble. An NAHB survey shows that buyers want a linen closet and a marble or granite double vanity in any bath; a stall with multiple showerheads plus a tub, and a separate toilet area in the master.
*Source for all cost ranges:Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report 2011–12, National Data.Cost ranges are for midrange projects; amount recouped figures are national averages.
COST RANGE,024 – ,586
Security and energy efficiency are big musts for buyers, and replacing old doors addresses both in a snap. Go for steel doors—they shout "safe" and cost a third of what fiberglass doors would cost. Another plus: New doors add to your home's curb appeal, which is one of the first things buyers scrutinize when buying a home.
COST RANGE*,384 – ,026
Ditching drafty windows is another slam-dunk energy saver. You can even install Low-E (low-emissivity) ones that deflect heat in hot weather and keep it in when it's cold. They cost 10% to 15% more, but cut energy loss by 30% to 50%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. And you'll likely make back most of the cost when you sell.
COST RANGE*,321 – ,109
When it comes to renos that pay you back, the kitchen is a no-brainer. But a walk-in pantry and island aren't automatic must-haves, reveals the NAHB survey. For a bigger payoff, put your money toward a double sink, recessed lighting, breakfast bar, special pull-out drawers (such as for spice racks), and space for a small eating area. On a tight budget? Rather than a custom job, get an IKEA kitchen, says Noble. It can cost ,000 or less.
COST RANGE*,591 – ,962
The family room is the only area of the home expected to increase in size over the next three years, says the NAHB survey. A great room (combo living/kitchen/family room) is what people are looking for. But you'll likely need to knock down walls and deal with lighting; both are costly. If you do go for it, install a built-in desk or bookcase, advises Noble. Both are relatively inexpensive, but create a custom look.
Other ways to manage costs:
· Get multiple bids from contractors
· Do some things yourself (painting cabinets, replacing hardware)
· Try chains like The Home Depot and Lowe's for lower-priced help
DAISY CHAN is a personal finance writer who lives in New Jersey.
Video: What Improvements Increase The Value Of A Home
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