How Home Improvement Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Home improvement may sound like an obvious way to make a house more livable for the current owners or to prepare it for sale, but not every project boosts value and some can even decrease the market value of a residence. Fortunately, there are plenty of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects that can increase the attractiveness and functionality of a property without running up debt or ransacking savings.

Before deciding to take on a new home improvement project, consider the level of complexity and whether it’s something you can handle safely and with ease. Also consider whether the project is worth it, from both a financial and time standpoint. For example, hiring a professional contractor can save money in the long run, especially if it reduces the risk of accidents.

Getting the right loan for your needs is essential, too. A personal loan can help you fund a small project or a larger renovation, and the repayment period typically lasts 12 to 60 months. Mortgage-backed loans usually have longer terms of 20 years or more. If you’re planning a major renovation, a fixed-rate mortgage or a line of credit may provide the best interest rate.

The cost of certain home improvement projects can quickly add up, so it’s important to understand how much a particular project will cost and whether you’ll get your money back when the project is complete. The best way to do this is to research comparable homes in your neighborhood, which will give you an idea of how much your house might sell for if it’s ever listed.

Some renovations can actually decrease the value of a property, so it’s important to think about the effect any change you make will have on your neighbors’ properties as well as your own. For example, adding a pool to your backyard might look beautiful but will likely detract from the appeal of nearby homes and could deter potential buyers. Similarly, a luxurious master bathroom might appeal to you but will likely turn off potential buyers.

A well-kept home is one of the most valuable things you can have, so don’t neglect exterior upgrades. A new front door, for example, is a quick and inexpensive way to boost curb appeal. Other simple ways to enhance your exterior include painting or staining the deck, trimming shrubs and bushes, power-washing your siding and adding a touch of color with a few flowerpots or a well-placed bush or tree.

A good rule of thumb is that any home improvement project that increases your living space should improve resale value, but the most common improvements — such as sparkling bathrooms, kitchens and basements — aren’t necessarily guaranteed to boost the value of your home. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, consult a real estate agent who can provide recommendations and insights on the most effective strategies for your particular area. They can also guide you in selecting the right contractor to complete the work.