Home Improvements That Give a Lot of Bang for the Buck

With many homeowners unable to move because of the fallout from the housing market crash, remodeling is a popular alternative. Homeowners can achieve the house of their dreams without packing a single moving box. An added benefit? In addition to enhancing your quality of living, many home improvements — including these top five picks — deliver a high return on investment when it’s time to sell.

Get Cooking
Even a minor kitchen remodel yields a significant return on investment come selling time. New counter tops, fixtures, hardware and appliances completely overhaul the look of a kitchen while floors and cabinets remain unchanged. Think of it as the equivalent of a facelift: all of the original components are still there, but enhanced by replacement upgrades. While an extravagant splurge won’t pay off, a mindful remodel delivers.

Clutter Busters
Some beneficial remodeling tactics don’t cost a thing. Clearing away clutter has a huge impact on prospective buyers who appreciate clean, spacious rooms during open houses. If you can’t find storage space in your basement or attic for items worth keeping, consider renting a storage unit. For a minimal monthly fee, you can vastly enhance the appeal of your home.

The Power of Paint
While it may not seem like a big deal, a fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change the interior of your home. Don’t just repaint, though; while you’re at it, patch and repair chips and cracks for a more appealing appearance. Keep in mind that most house hunters prefer neutral colors; forego that eye-popping lime green if you want to see more green when you sell.

A fresh coat of paint and attractive landscaping may mean the next knock you hear is a prospective buyer.

Create Curb Appeal
Enhancing curb appeal is a popular remodeling trend because of its return on investment. After all, if a home doesn’t catch a prospective buyer’s eye, the chances of a sale are negligible. Replacement projects, such as new windows, siding, and front doors, deliver immediate results and are reasonably inexpensive. Swapping out these elements also lets you take advantage of environmentally friendly options, such as low emissions glass, as well as architectural features, including simulated wood-grain trim. And don’t forget the garage: While replacing the door may not top your list of “must do’s” it is a perk to prospective buyers.

An inviting foyer welcomes guests…and prospective home buyers.

Enticing Entryways
Entryways and foyers are your home’s first impression, and an excellent investment improvement. Upgrading both the form and functionality of your entryways — including garage and mudroom entrances, enhances livability as well as resale value. A new door adds life to a space, while entryway furniture, such as hinge-top benches and wall-mounted shelving, provide storage for everything from car keys to kids’ backpacks. By focusing on aesthetic functionality, you make changes that appeal to prospective buyers.

When remodeling with investment return in mind, focus on choosing projects that support necessary home maintenance as opposed to personal splurges. Your bank account — and your home’s next owner — will thank you for it.

Joanna Hughes writes about everything from beauty, fashion and style to budget living.