Vol. 4, Issue 3August 2012


Home Improvements That Pay Off

Home improvements can be expensive and a lot of hassle, so you want them to pay off when you sell your house. But some improvements pay off better than others in terms of appealing to would-be buyers. According to, the 10 best home improvements for adding resale value to your home are:

  • Front door. Curb appeal is very important in selling your home. You want potential buyers to love your house before they even come inside. A new, high-quality front door can spruce up the look of your house and give buyers the sense that you are committed to quality throughout the house. And, especially if your current door is old, a new door can make your home more energy-efficient.

  • Attic bedroom. If you have attic space that can be converted into living space, do so. Especially with boomerang kids and aging parents, many buyers are looking for extra bedrooms and bathrooms

  • Deck. A deck creates open space for entertaining, which is very popular with home buyers. There are several relatively inexpensive options for adding a deck; if possible, go for a low-maintenance approach. A deck can return up to 80 percent of its cost at the time of sale.

  • Siding. New buyers don’t want to have to put a lot of money into a house after the sale, and having new siding allows them to check one important thing off their list. It also improves the curb appeal of your house.

  • Kitchen. In most homes, the kitchen is a centerpiece, and buyers can be very picky. So do as much as you can afford here. Ideally, consider updating the appliances and installing granite countertops. New cabinets would be great, but even new cabinet hardware can make a difference.

  • Windows. New windows make your house look better on the inside and the outside. They also make it more energy-efficient, which is a major plus for buyers – and for you, if you are not planning to sell any time soon.

  • Basement. Again, buyers are looking for more living space, and your basement might be an answer. But buyers are not going to see it that way if the basement is dingy and dark. Make sure it is waterproof, and then brighten it up with some paint and new light fixtures so it can be used as an office, exercise area, entertainment area – or even an apartment for adult kids or older parents.

  • Bathrooms. Spruce up your bathroom with a new vanity and energy-efficient fixtures. If possible, make it handicapped-accessible.

  • Backup power generator. There is increasing concern about the reliability of the country’s electric grid. But a new, compact backup generator can put buyers’ minds at ease – and suggest that you are the kind of person who thinks about the details.

  • Additions. This is a big-ticket item, but it also can pay off big with buyers in search of space. Consider, for example, adding a second floor with a master suite. But be careful that the cost of the addition does not make your house too expensive for your area.