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The Top 10 Home Improvement Projects For Your Dollar

Every year, Remodeling Magazine and Realtor Magazine  come together to create a Cost vs. Value Report to detail the ROI of various home remodeling projects. According to this year's report, you should consider the following updates --- especially if you are planning to sell!


  1. Replace Your Front Door. You may not pay much attention to your front entrance, but it's one of the first things visitors, and potential buyers, will notice. Replace it if you are able - you'll recoup 86% of your investment upon the sale of your home. If you can't afford a replacement, try a new color, or replacing the hardware. Bonus: Replace your garage door for a 75% return on investment.
  2. Add a Deck or Patio. No matter what climate you live in, buyers want more outdoor living space. Replacing, or adding a new wooden deck will allow you to recoup up to 77% of your investment. If you already have outdoor living space, consider jazzing it up with a fire pit, built in seating or landscaping.
  3. Make Your Attic Functional. If your budget allows, adding extra bedrooms and bathrooms will always be appealing to buyers. Put extra space to work by turning your attic into a bedroom or functional living space. Doing so will provide a return up to 73%!
  4. Kitchen Renovations. Buyers are always drawn to kitchen  so it's a good idea to pay extra attention to yours. You'll be able to earn back 75% of money spent on minor kitchen remodeling and 60-68% of more major remodels. If you only have the budget for one or two things, try updating flooring, counters or appliances. Painting cabinets and replacing hardware is another inexpensive way to update your space.
  5. Replace Windows. Buyers are interested both in how your windows look and how energy efficient they are (or are not). You should expect to earn back 75% of your investment when you update windows in your home. Make sure to use new windows as a selling point -- buyers will take notice!
  6. Update LightingBuyers are looking for bright, airy rooms. If you have areas lacking light, consider having recessed lighting installed or changing outdated fixtures. Both options are relatively inexpensive and will make a BIG impact.
  7. Update Window TreatmentsIf your drapes are dark, outdated or blocking too much natural light, it's time for a change. Uncover windows for daytime showings and invest in modern, attractive window treatments.
  8. Update your Baths. It's easy to go overboard with bathroom remodels. Stick with the basics changes such as new crown molding, fresh caulking, new fixtures, mirrors and light fixtures for the most cost-effective results. If your budget allows, having your bathtub resurfaced is less expensive than replacing it and will make a huge difference.
  9. Re-Side. If your house needs more than a good power washing, look into having new siding installed. You should expect to earn back 72% of your investment.
  10. Organize Your Closets (Maximize Storage Spaces). You  can be sure buyers will be looking in your closets, cabinets, basement and garage for adequate storage. Make sure that these spaces are well organized and tidy to give the illusion of even more space. Investing in organizers will help make the most of your storage spaces.

If you decide to tackle some of these projects be sure to create a cost-effective budget. A Realtor can offer you more specific advice for improvements that will be appropriate for your particular home and neighborhood.

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