Best Home Upgrades For The Buck

Whether you’re planning to sell your house in the next few years or you’re in it for long haul, if you’re thinking about renovating, it pays to put serious thought into which improvements to do. Since home values have plummeted (and may fall further still), you’ll want to be sure that any work you put into your place will provide a reliable return on investment.

First, consider which fixes and upgrades are absolutely necessary. Before adding a deck and hot tub, make sure the water heater, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and other mechanicals are functioning at top efficiency. Having the innards of a house in tip-top condition will give the homeowner peace of mind and a potential buyer will be reassured the property is well maintained.

Also paramount to consider is the location of the property. If a sits in an area where similarly sized and maintained properties sell for $300,000, splashing out $250,000 on a resort style pool, a temperature controlled wine cellar and a lavish master bathroom is probably not the smartest idea unless you’re planning to stay in the house for 10 or more years during which time property values can rise to meet the expensive upgrades. Here are 8 projects that will give a homeowner a big bang for their buck.

1. Paint. Paint. Paint. A fresh coat of paint (inside and out) acts like a really good facelift; Everyone will notice the house looks younger and better taken care of, but no one will quite be able to put a finger on what’s different.

2. Get A Green Thumb. It’s not always necessary to rip out an entire yard in order to give it a new look. A few new plants here, a small patio there is sometimes all it takes. If you’ve got extra bucks for an overhaul, consider xeriscaping – which is a way of naturally irrigating a property through landscaping. It will help conserve water and lower the water bill.