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Home Improvements That Pay Off

Whether you’ve just moved into a new house, or you’ve been settled for several years and you’re planning to sell, there are a number of ways you can breathe life into a worn-in property, give yourself some extra space and comfort, and ultimately add a little more value to your home to help boost the asking price. While home improvement is the most effective way to ensure a good price when it's time to sell, some people invest their time and money in things that offer little return, or that even bring down the overall value of the house. Obviously, you want to make sure the money and effort is going to be worth it, so here are a few suggestions for home improvements that are certain to add value to your home.

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Attic Conversions
If you want a good return on your investment, consider an attic conversion. It's a safe investment, and can be carried out with relative ease and little disruption to your daily life. For most homes, this is the easiest way to add an extra bedroom, perhaps with an en suite. Extra bedrooms typically add between 10 and 15 percent to the value of any property, and can be a very practical addition for young couples with a growing family. The only drawback to an attic conversion is that it takes a large initial investment, which can be hard to cover for many people. A new staircase, and a large bedroom with skylights or dormer windows can typically cost close to $50,000. Although it can be a little nerve-wracking to pump this amount of money into your home, the immediate increase in value makes the investment well worth it!

Fine-Tune the Presentation
While this is a home improvement that usually comes closer to the sale, it’s still something to bear in mind when you’re trying to add value to your home in the long run. You only get one chance to make a first impression, especially when the people you’re trying to charm are indecisive home buyers! Curb appeal has a massive influence on the decisions of house-hunters and can make all the difference in how long your house is on the market before you get an offer.

When you’re looking to improve the presentation of your home to prospective buyers, one handy trick is taking pictures of the interior and exterior of the home, trying to make the images as appealing as possible. It’s easy to forget how your home appears to objective buyers when you’ve been living in it for so many years. This exercise can be helpful in opening your eyes to little tweaks and improvements you could make. 

Boosting your curb appeal simply by tidying up the front of your house is one of the most affordable, simple, and worthwhile home improvements you can make. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint, replace anything that’s broken, and consider investing in window boxes or potted plants. If your home is older than others in the local area, it can be a good idea to go for a bold, fresh paint job that will make it stand out, or replace door hardware and light fixtures to instantly add more appeal. You can find some more tips on upping curb appeal at http://www.popularmechanics.com/.

Fix Anything That Is Broken
While good presentation can cover up various problems from buyers, most house-hunters will want to know they’re getting decent value, and can’t be fooled that easily. Things like fixing leaks in the roof, preventing the possibility of mold, fixing the HVAC system and patching up any structural faults in the walls, should all be high on your to-do list. The total cost of fixing these kinds of problems can vary greatly, and can therefore be quite difficult to factor into your plans. You can make your plans a little more structured by contacting companies like https://www.assuredcomfort.com/ in advance, and getting some quotes on the work you want done.

On the subject of getting professional help, make sure you’re doing your homework on local companies in the area, checking reviews and making sure they don’t have any black marks in their history. If you cheap out or cut corners with these kinds of home improvements, it’s almost certain to come back to haunt you later. Making sure you get a good standard of work can be very expensive, but in terms of value, screening the traders thoroughly is absolutely essential to making sure you come out on top. Ask friends for recommendations. Word of mouth is often the most reliable source. Peeling paint, jammed or damaged windows, squeaky doors, and similar minor issues should all be attended to, but only after you’ve paid to fix the larger, more glaring problems.

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Rethink the Layout
While adding space through an attic extension or another new room will do a lot for the value of a property, you should also make a point of considering how you can improve the use of the existing space. It can be tough, but once again, try to look at your interior from an objective viewpoint. Does the space have a good flow to it? Is there some way for you to make the layout work better? Knocking down walls to open the space up, along with using the same flooring, running in the same direction through the entire home, can really help to open up the space. One increasingly popular design convention is using similar floor tiles both in the kitchen and the patio, ensuring that the inside and the outside feels nicely connected to anyone viewing the home. You should also look at your bathrooms, and consider rethinking the layout of the bath, toilet and sink, ensuring maximum space and privacy for anyone using it.

Another good way to bring in a great sense of flow is installing large glass doors or windows at the rear of the house, filling the interior with natural light, opening the property up, and creating an illusion of a larger combined space. Good storage is also important for keeping all the floors and walking space free of obstructing clutter.

Budget for the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home. While every buyer is going to be different, the state of the kitchen can make or break a sale in many situations. Kitchens can be given a major refresh by keeping the fundamentals, but replacing the doors, cabinet handles, and other details. Whatever you’ve been using the kitchen for, try to look at it from the perspective of someone who wants it to be versatile and multi-functional. Make it a space for kids to do their homework, for guests to be entertained, and obviously, for meals to be prepared. Don’t think that you have to spend a small fortune on a totally new kitchen. For $10,000, you’ll be able to replace the fronts on all your cabinets, install new flooring, and fit new countertops that will make the whole space feel as good as new. The one mistake you don’t want to make is getting a kitchen that’s significantly more modern than the rest of the house. This can suffocate an older home’s rustic charm, and turn off a lot of buyers who want to go with something more unique and dated.

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