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» How to Determine Which Home Improvement Project is Right for You

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Many young homeowners have made plans to start renovations this summer, according to a recent study, with some improvements more beneficial at adding value to the home than others. According to the Home Summer Improvement Trend and Spending survey conducted by the home design website Zillow, 71 percent of homeowners between the ages of 18 to 34 have home improvement or addition plans for this summer compared to only 51 percent of homeowners over 55.

The survey also determined that 40 percent have plans to work on their home’s exterior, while 17 percent plan on bathroom improvements, such as installing new shower enclosures and improving light.

In total, home improvement experts estimate that 60 percent of American homeowners have planned some type of renovation this year, and expect to spend $1,200 on their project. Sixty-five percent of homes with children have three projects, on average, planned compared to 57 percent of home without kids.

However, while homeowners seem to have their hands full this summer, not all projects offer the kind of positive impact on home values, according to the Appraisal Institute, an organization of real estate experts.

According to the home improvement magazine Remodeling, some of the projects that offer the highest return on investment include garage door replacement, minor kitchen remodeling, bedroom additions, front door replacement, and siding repair. On the flipside, projects that significantly exceed what buyers could find in other homes within the community, such as swimming pool or hot tub additions, contribute very little to a home’s value as they are often considered excessive.

So before you start creating your summer to-do list, take the time to consider these tips prior to beginning any home improvement project.

  • Schedule a feasibility study with an appraiser for an unbiased view of your home. Feasibility studies conducted by a licensed appraiser will help you determine your home’s value before and after any improvements are made and what the potential costs for needed repairs may be.
  • Consider adding green, energy-efficient renovations to your home. Not only will homeowners be able to recoup the cost of Energy Star marked appliances and additional insulation through lower utility bills, these types of improvements also help to raise your home’s value.
  • The longer you plan on staying in a home, the more opportunity you’ll have to see a return on any investment you make on improvements. If you have no plans to sell your home in the foreseeable future, you can feel better about making big renovation plans, which you might otherwise want to hold off on if you’re planning on selling soon. Don’t anticipate being able recoup all of your home improvement costs when selling. Occasionally it makes more sense to lower your asking price and let the future owners of the home make more expensive repairs.
  • Gather ideas about home improvement projects online, in magazines, television, and any other medium you can think would offer quality ideas. Finding out about hot home improvement trends will help your home stay current and fashionable in an every shifting market.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of APS/AMS, a CNC machining Portland shop.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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