Springtime is just around the corner, we can almost smell it. Maybe it's because it has been so warm this winter that we've seen some confused trees and plants almost ready to begin budding. This time of year is also a great time to reconsider that home remodeling project you have been putting off.
Some people update their homes out of necessity to meet their changing lifestyle needs or even bring an older home up to code, while others upgrade with resale in mind. It's a well-known fact that home improvements have the potential to increase the value of your home. But 'be warned', not all home remodeling projects have this positive effect. In fact, some are downright bad investments that won't net you any return down the road when/if you decide to sell.
We'll explore some tips when it comes to remodeling to help you make the most of your investment. Here's the breakdown by category:
Kitchen & Baths: Kitchen and bath remodels are sure-fire investments, often returning more than 100% of the cost. These are the most used areas of the home and future buyers will be looking at these two rooms to see if money has been well spent or not. To get the most out of a kitchen or bath remodel, it's better to use traditional materials like all-wood cabinets, natural wood or stone floors and countertops in neutral tones. Choosing tones that are too unique to taste can turn off buyers even if they are made from high quality materials. Also, it is best not to remodel a bathroom if it is the only one you have. Adding a second bathroom will get you a better return.
Home Maintentance: That amazing new chef's kitchen and spa retreat bath will quickly lose their "wow factor" if the basement has a foundation crack, the roof is leaky or the furnace is 20 years old. Your first priority should be to keep the existing structure sound first before investing in luxuries. Consider upgrading old heating and cooling systems with more energy efficient models which may cost more up-front, but the energy savings will really add up. Know when to say "no" to a DIY project. It's best to hire a professional to fix or repair any major structural problems in your home. They will have the skills, expertise and equipment to handle these issues better than you can.
Curb Appeal: People who drive by your home and are not impressed are not likely to want to walk inside no matter how amazing the inside might be. Making a strong statement with your curb appeal can help create visual interest in the exterior of your home and can help convey a welcoming and inviting atmosphere to come inside. Try updating worn and outdated siding with more modern, maintenance-free materials like vinyl or aluminum. Downsize any overgrown landscaping around your home to really allow your home to shine. Conversely, no landscaping at all will make your home appear like a deserted wasteland. A few shrubs and flowers will go a long way to help make the front of your home more inviting.
More Space: Adding a room can be a good investment. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, every 1,000 square feet added to a home boosts its sale price by more than 30%. Bathroom additions return the most bang for the buck with on average returns of 86.4% on investment. Remember not to add too much that you price yourself right out of your neighborhood. A good rule of thumb is that your home should never go up more than 15% to 20% higher than the value of other homes in your area, otherwise buyers start to look at cheaper options.
The Bells & Whistles: For some homeowners, it's not about a return on investment, but rather about making dreams a reality. In this case, make sure your investment is actually something you are going to use. Since you won't get much of its cost back, you'll need to get your money's worth by enjoying it. A home theater room for instance can be a nicely added bell to your home. It's a unique add-on feature that could potentially set your home apart from the competition. Adding a five car garage is not. While you might need it for all of your rides, it's not practical for the average homeowner. A new buyer will likely look at it as a waste of space they don't need and don't want to pay for.
Whatever home improvement project you are considering, the best investment you can make is trusting Bank Mutual to help finance it. We are now offering an attractive home equity line of credit rate to help you make those dreams a reality.