Home Improvement Basics
There are questions homeowners must ask themselves when making improvements to a home:
1. How long will we be staying here?
If the answer is indefinitely then you have the freedom to make changes that will cater to your personal
taste or needs without much concern for resale value (i.e. a retro style kitchen or home studio)
Improvements like these can be great, should they appeal to your wants and needs; however, the more
specific a style or function, the smaller the pool of potential buyers becomes. If you think there is a
chance you will be moving within the next five years, it is always better to stick to the classics: open
floor plans, neutral living spaces & proper maintenance and repairs of flooring, the roof, etc. will rarely
steer you wrong.
2. What improvements should we make to positively affect value?
Structural improvements typically will provide the best return on investment. For example, replacement
siding can provide as much as 89% ROI. Another wise improvement, especially here in New England,
is window and door replacement. Upgrades such as these increase energy efficiency in a home and
therefore reduce heating costs. For aesthetic improvements, updated kitchens and bathrooms are the
most sought after features of a home and the return on investment for kitchens is roughly 81% and 85%
3. Consult with a professional
There are many home improvement projects that weekend warriors can undertake, but don’t make
the mistake of committing to a big project when your home’s equity is on the line. There is no harm in
getting a second opinion even if you decide to DIY!
Last but not least, don’t end up like this guy: