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6 Smart Home Improvements for Your Dollar

By Kat de Long

Home Improvement

While some homeowners think that any money put into the home is a good investment, not all home improvements are created equal. Homeowners who spring for the wisest improvements generally get the most return on their investment, so make sure youfre among the lucky ones and look to the long term when deciding how to spend your money.

One thing to remember: Don’t overdo it. Check around your neighborhood for clues about what will help your home hold its value until you decide to sell. For example, you may want an inlaid marble entryway, but put one in a neighborhood full of modest bungalows and you may not see the return you hoped for on that particular investment.

Qualified Intermediaries

The exchange hinges on a qualified intermediary who facilitates the exchange. This person holds the funds from the sale of the original property in an exchange account so that the taxpayer isn’t in actual receipt of the funds. Once an exchange property has been identified, the qualified intermediary acquires and transfers the replacement property to the buyer within specified time limits.

Home Improvements that Pay

There are some places in your home where money is almost always well spent. Check out these six ideas for smart home improvements this year.

Kitchen improvements. Again, be conservative when you spend, even in this popular home improvement venue. An out-of-date kitchen can benefit from new cabinets and appliances, but if your kitchen is already up to the neighborhood standard, avoid the temptation to furnish it with bamboo floors and a Wolf range. While you may enjoy them in the short term, you probably won’t get your money back when you sell.

Master bedroom. Now more than ever, people view the master bedroom as a retreat, and improvements here can increase your comfort as well as your bottom line. Upgrades such as walk–in closets, fireplaces and vaulted ceilings can set your home apart from others in the neighborhood while still keeping your investment sound.

Bathrooms. If you don’t have one, consider adding an attached master bathroom or improving the one you have. Simple things like a new vanity, lighting or mirrors can go a long way toward making your bathroom an inviting place.

Paint. Nothing shows a home’s age faster than peeling paint and dings in the baseboards. Painting the inside and the outside can make an older home look new again and give everything a finished look. As a bonus, this is one improvement that is easy to do yourself.

Flooring. If your carpets are worn and cleaning no longer gets out that wine spill from the 1999 New Year’s Eve party, new flooring is a great investment. Replacing old flooring with neutral carpet or hardwood makes your home seem fresh from the ground up.

Yard. Buyers will often make a decision on a home as soon as they pull up outside. Putting money into landscaping and hardscape features such as driveways and walkways is inviting to guests and potential buyers alike. Homes in warm climates can benefit from installing drought-sensitive landscaping and water–saving irrigation systems.

Even if you plan to stay in your home for years, keeping resale value in mind when you undertake home improvements is the smart way to go. A new home loan or line of credit is a great way to improve the home of your dreams.

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