The Most Bang For Your Remodeling Bucks
about making a change to your home? Be sure your remodeling dollars
are well spent.
should focus on making your home a place you (rather than some future
buyer) will enjoy living in. Still, it makes sense to remodel with
an eye to maximizing the return you'll get on your remodeling costs
when the time does come to sell.
1. Try To
Make sure your changes are consistent with the neighborhood. Don't
improve your home's value more than 20% above the average value
of homes in your area. If three bedrooms are standard and you are
adding two more, you are not likely to get a very good return on
your investment. Consider moving to a larger home rather than over-improving
your current one.
Take The Middle Path
Shy away from highly decorative (or expensive) fixtures and designs.
While a black-onyx wet bar and a mirrored wall might suit your fancy,
it may make your home harder to sell later on. Remember, trendy
colors and styles become stale all too soon (remember "harvest
gold"?). Classic styles and neutral colors, on the other hand,
stand the test of time. Express your individual taste with furnishings
that you can take with you when you go.
In Popular Improvements
Renovations with the best return include changes in the kitchen
or bathrooms and room additions accomplished by adding on or enclosing
a porch or garage. Tour similar homes that are for sale to see what
kind of renovations your neighbors have made. Take a look inside
some new homes, too. Builders know what today's buyers are looking
for; you may want to incorporate a few of the latest features in
your home remodeling project.
Look At Your Moving Timetable
Will you be moving in a year or two? If so, shy away from major
projects or personalized "luxury" updates such as saunas
or art studios. You could end up spending extra money to reconvert
the space if your buyers don't like the results. Don't start renovating
if you expect a short-term stay, because long-term remodeling loans
will deduct cash from your equity when you sell.
5. Find A
Look for a contractor with a solid track record doing the kind of
work you're looking for. Check for proof of insurance, licensing
and bonding. Ask for references and contact several. Make sure you
have a contract that spells out all of the details and possible
scenarios -- materials, periodic payments based on progress, completion