Your home is probably your single largest investment. While the value of your home is largely determined by such things as location, size, condition and amenities, there are still steps you can take to maximize its worth.
First, you need to evaluate your plans carefully if you're improving your home to put it on the market. Cutting corners could hurt rather than help your prospects, but you don't want to go overboard either. Your home's value should be no more than 20% above the average. That means a $10,000 kitchen improvement project might be a better idea than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if no other homes in your area have hot tubs.
In other words, it's best to keep changes simple.
Here's a list of remodeled projects that buyers are likely to find valuable:
Add a bedroom: Three- and four-bedroom homes are most desirable.
Install a master bathroom: When a bedroom has a bathroom, it means extra value.
Install a new shower: A new shower says a modern home.
Change your fixtures: Get a faucet that adds a decorative element to the bathroom.
Re-grout the tile: If the tiles are in good shape a new grouting does wonders.
Install new kitchen cabinets: Even just a paint job and some new handles will give your cabinets a fresh look.
Improve functionality: If you've got the space, an island is the way to go. New appliances make a difference too.
Expose the floors: Remove old carpet and show off the original floor. If you don't have hardwood floors, consider new carpeting.
Install new doors: Doors set off a room and make a great difference.
Paint the interior: A new paint job speaks volumes. Good colors to use are white, off-white, and a light yellow.
Add new light fixtures: Replace any that are damaged or out-of-style.
Add a fireplace: Even if you don't plan on using it much, it adds great value.
Take advantage of unused or underused space: If you can convert a basement or attic into a useful room, do it.
Landscape: A few strategically located plants and a neat-looking yard will impress.
Add a deck: It's a great use of exterior space because it increases your total entertainment area.
Dress up your porch and entrance: A freshly painted door with a new door handle can bake a great first impression.
Replace the windows: New windows not only give your home a new look, they can also lower your energy bill.
Remember, when it comes to your home, it's important to keep pace with your neighbors. Don't let your home become the most expensive on the block - but don't fall behind either. This is a case where it's best to be right in the middle!