Special offer

Seven Cost Effective Ways to Improve Your Home

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

Home improvement can be a tricky subject because it can either require a home equity line of credit just to finish one job or it can be done on a shoestring budget and still look great. Assuming you are pushing for the latter of the two and want to get the most home improvement for every dollar put in here are seven great (cost effective) home improvement tips that are sure to increase the value of your home when you put it up for sale.

Fiber Cement Siding - Fiber cement siding is becoming one of the most popular alternatives to vinyl siding because it inherits all of the attractive features of wood siding with none of the flaws. For example, fiber cement siding is low maintenance, fire and termite resistant and holds paint color for seven to fifteen years.

Add a Wood or Composite Deck - Wood decks tend to generate a better return on investment than composite decking but you can expect wood to be higher maintenance so it's worth weighing your options on maintenance versus initial price. Either way, adding a deck to your home will give you additional square footage outside of your home and increase the value of your home among potential home buyers.

New Vinyl Windows - If you have an older home one of the most promising home improvements is in your windows. Replace drafty or aging windows with vinyl windows which are cost effective, look great and are low maintenance.

Minor Kitchen Remodel - Sometimes a home improvement project doesn't need to be a full scale military project. Updating your kitchen can be as simple as replacing the countertops with a more modern surface like granite, changing cabinets with a moderately priced new set and upgrading your appliances to newer and typically more quiet stainless steel appliances.

Attic to Bedroom Conversion - Wasted space such as an attic can be a great way to expand your home's livable space without having to build beyond the home's original footprint. One of the most popular ways to convert an attic to living space is by turning it into a bedroom or master suite with bathroom and walk-in closets.

Finish Your Basement - Similar to an attic project, basements also span the width of most of your home and offer up a tremendous amount of space to use. If you have a basement with at least seven feet of floor to ceiling height you should be able to turn the dusty, underused part of your home into a recreation room or guest suite. Every town varies on how extensive they will allow a basement renovation become so check with your local town officials and get the proper permits before starting.

Add Landscaping - Landscaping is super simple and an inexpensive way to increase your home's curb appeal dramatically. Although you can go crazy with landscaping your home will benefit most from a walkway to the front door complete with plantings on both sides, fencing in the back yard and plantings that run the length of the driveway.

Home improvement is an exciting journey that will exercise your creative freedom and, with good planning, won't cost you an arm and a leg to do. Using the list above as a guide you can improve many key parts of your home that will give you a marked increase in your home's value the day you put your home on the market.

Joshua Ferris is an associate real estate broker in Orange County NY and specializes in both Monroe New York and Newburgh New York real estate. Be sure to visit Josh's Monroe New York real estate guide and Orange County NY Real Estate website.
Kristen Wahl
Re/Max Plus - Rochester, NY

Joshua, great post! Thanks for taking the cost vs. value report and breaking it down in layman's terms. I reblogged this to share with my clients. Thanks again, and have a fantastic 2009!

Feb 12, 2009 11:50 AM