5 Home Improvements Worth Every Penny

If you’re thinking of doing some upgrades, count on these all-star projects to add value to your home

You probably have dozens of home improvements that you’d like to do, but budget limitations prevent you from fulfilling every walk-in-shower or family-room-addition fantasy. If you’re looking to sell your home anytime in the next year or two, you should be selective in choosing which projects to do. You’ll want to pick those that let you recoup as much money as possible. Check out these five home upgrades that pay off big time:

Kitchen Remodel

If you’re going to overhaul any room in your home, it’ll probably be the kitchen. “It’s where people gather,” says Janet Painter, a real-estate broker/salesperson in Short Hills, New Jersey. “It’s also where the food is!”

Hungry buyers look for wood or high-quality painted cabinets and floors made of stone or a durable material that resembles wood. Stone or granite countertops, and high-quality stoves also top the list. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 annual “Cost vs. Value Report” the national average cost for a major kitchen remodel is $62,258, and you’d recoup 65.3 percent of that.

Bathroom Remodel

A sparkling new bathroom can make you feel like you’ve stepped into a spa or luxury hotel. Buyers will get the same feeling when your renovation includes a walk-in shower (in place of a tub). Also high on the checklist are double sinks, and showerheads that mimic a rainfall. Remodeling estimates sellers will see an average of 64.8 percent return on their investment of $18,546.

Window Replacement

Upgrading basic home fixtures will yield an even higher return on your investment than a kitchen does – new vinyl windows clock in at 73.9 percent according to Remodeling’s report. It makes sense. Buyers, especially those purchasing their first home, don’t want to deal with contractors or, if they’re new to the area, finding reputable ones. “They want the house to start out in good shape,” Painter says.

Other basics’ returns are a roof (68.8 percent) and siding (76.4 percent). While not necessarily a basic, it pays to insulate the attic with fiberglass. For an average cost of $1,343, you’ll get back $1,446 – a 107.7 percent return.

A New Front Door

Anytime you make a “curb appeal” improvement like a new front door, potential homebuyers will be attracted to your house before they even step inside. And, according to the report, you’d recoup a whopping 90.7 percent of what you paid if it were a steel model. Even replacing a garage door offers (financial) bang for the buck at 76.9 percent.

A Second Bathroom

If you get ready for work as the same time as your spouse or live with a teenager, having one bathroom can be pretty stressful – not exactly how you want to start the day. Those are just two examples of how adding a full bathroom can ease some of that daily anxiety.

“People are putting a second bathroom in the basement or turning a coat closet or mudroom into one,” Painter says. And it’s a smart investment. When you sell your home, you’ll recoup more than half of what you paid to build the bath.

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