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Boiling Spg Lks, NC Value of Performing Home Improvements

Boiling Spg Lks, NC Home Improvement Guide

Value of Home Improvement
Home Improvement; Home Repair & Maintenance; Remodeling & Repairing Building Contractors; Architects; General Contractors

For most people, a home is the largest asset in their investment portfolio. With so much invested, it is important to ensure the home’s value continues to increase exponentially over time. This is especially true during tough economic times when the value of real estate is lower and housing values are stalling or dropping.

Even during a slower real estate market, there are significant advantages to owning a home such as deducting the interest on tax returns, building equity as it is paid off, and benefiting from the increase in property value over time. A priceless emotional value is also gained knowing you can hammer nails into any wall, paint a room the color of your choice and truly make your castle your own. Additional value also becomes available as equity increases, providing the opportunity to borrow against it for future investments or necessary upgrades. Interest payments on new loans are also tax deductible.

Continuing to make desired or necessary home improvements also increases the value of the home. Three major factors drive home improvement and as you consider a project, determine the type of value that is driving you to make the improvement and develop a plan accordingly. It is important to research in advance which improvements bring the biggest value as the return on investment will not be recovered dollar for dollar.

1. Increase Property Value
Remodeling & Repairing Building Contractors; Home Repair & Maintenance

With the completion of every home improvement project, the overall value of the home increases. Whether you are looking to add an additional story to the house or repaint the living room, each upgrade contributes to the overall value of the property.

Boost Equity
The amount of equity gained through home improvements varies by project. As you evaluate projects, like a building a deck versus a swimming pool, consider their long term value as some projects bring more overall value to the home than others. According to, a wood deck addition on a midrange home in the Pacific region of the U.S. boosts the equity 91.5% of the cost of the deck. A swimming pool however, does little to increase the equity. Depending on where you live, most swimming pool additions benefit the homeowner alone and costs are rarely recouped once the home sells. Research homes in your neighborhood and city location to see which home improvement projects will provide the greatest return.

Regardless of location, there are a number of projects that continue to build equity no matter where you live.

    Siding: Replacing or updating the siding will generate the largest return on investment. According to, on average you can expect to recoup 80% of the cost for vinyl siding and 84% for fiber cement, based on national averages. In addition to increasing value, replacing the siding also beautifies the appearance of the home. This creates a strong first impression which is critical in establishing or maintaining the property value.

    Kitchen: Over the last few years, the kitchen has become increasingly valuable as the hub of the home, where more entertaining and general living takes place. Regardless of the size and scope of the project, renovating the kitchen always garners a strong return. The latest survey indicates you can expect a 72-78% return on the investment.

    Bathroom: Like the kitchen, due to its importance in everyday living, remodeling bathrooms continually generates a strong return on investment. Whether the bathroom is older and needs a major replacement from flooring to pipes, or simply updating the cabinets and hardware, bathroom upgrades significantly update a home and create a valuable impression. indicates that 71% of bathroom remodeling costs can be recouped.

    Landscaping: Developing a good first impression is essential, especially if you are trying to sell a home. Keeping the yard neatly manicured with a groomed lawn, trimmed shrubs and a clean and clear drive-way make the home look more attractive and preserves the property value. Planting flowers around the house and mulching flower beds demonstrates a quality of care for the home that will impress any potential buyer.

    Outdoor Living: A growing trend is to maximize living space and create a kitchen or living area outdoors. Developing this area can be inexpensive and does not need to resemble a full room addition. Establishing a general area with casual furniture and a few amenities can expand living space and increase overall home value.

General Maintenance
Maintaining a well running home ensures that the property’s value continues to increase and the home stays modern and efficient. Keeping up on small repairs and general maintenance can also save thousands of dollars on major repairs. Taking care of problems when they are small keeps the problem manageable and eliminates the need for full scale replacements. It also enhances personal comfort and ensures a greater return when it comes time to sell. Maintenance improvements that generate the largest return are as follows:

    Windows: Replacing windows increases a home’s value in a couple of ways. Equity value increases as the upgrade creates a modern and beautiful look. Additional long term savings are earned as well, as new windows make your home more energy efficient. If the windows don’t need replacing, ensuring they are clean and clear keeps the home looking updated and attractive. Value can also be gained by adding strategically placed skylights or larger windows increasing natural light in the home.

    Paint: Ensuring the paint inside and outside the home is clean and well maintained adds significant value. This demonstrates you care about your home and make the effort to keep it looking nice. It impresses neighbors as well as potential buyers when it comes time to sell. Updating the paint is an inexpensive improvement that keeps your home looking modern, establishing a warm, cozy feel.

    Roof: Maintaining a well structured, updated roof is critical to preserving the value of your home. Fixing problems when they are small eliminates the need to replace the full roof later and the potential for a problem to spread. Potential buyers are fearful of roofing issues and will walk away even if they love everything else about the house.

    Flooring: Modernizing your home with popular flooring materials increases the value. Flooring beautifies any room and establishes a foundational ambiance. As you consider upgrades, use products that are in style and ideal for the living space. This will increase the value of the home when you are ready to sell. Staying within the style of the times offers personal enjoyment today as well as excitement for any potential buyer tomorrow.

2. Improve Quality of Living
Home Improvements; Remodeling & Repairing Building Contractors; Home Repairs & Maintenance

Value in your home extends beyond a conventional dollar amount. Maintaining home improvements also significantly increases your quality of living. Physical enjoyment is created by replacing drafty windows, repairing a leaky roof, or replacing worn out carpet. Emotional enjoyment is created as you choose the style, color, and design that suit your individual taste. As you contemplate projects that best fit your lifestyle, consider the following to ensure the maximum value is gained both personally and financially.

Simple Fixes
Not every home improvement project requires a complete remodel or transformation. Oftentimes, the look and feel of a room can be established by simply changing the paint color, artwork, or window coverings. Other simple projects keep the home looking modern, clean and up-to-date and become a financial value should you look to sell the home. Whatever project you attempt, consider the long term value of the home before you start. You never know when you’ll need or want to sell and keeping things simple will save time and money if you leave the home. A few simple projects that add value immediately are as follows:

    Caulking: This inexpensive material can make any dingy bathroom look new. Over time, caulking deteriorates and pulls away from surfaces. Sealing everything up again not only makes things watertight, it also gives it a fresh, new look.

    Hardware: Replacing old door knobs, light plates, and electrical plates dramatically changes the look of your home. This simple procedure takes years off a home and makes it beautiful and functional. Changing out kitchen and bathroom cabinet knobs and hardware can create the same affect. These changes are very inexpensive and significantly update any home.

    Doors: Changing out old doors also makes a home look newer. This is a quick and easy way to bring additional style to your home. You’ll be amazed at the dramatic difference new and updated doors can create.

Small cosmetic home improvements quickly beautify your home and make it appear remodeled without the extensive work and expense. More fully enjoy your home by implementing a few simple fixes.

Add More Space
As the family grows, you may find the need to increase the overall size of the house. Significant value is gained by adding a second floor, refinishing a basement or building rooms onto a home. The quality of family life can be greatly improved as older children receive their own room, kitchens grow larger, bathroom quantities increase or a home theater is added.

Before beginning, consider the neighborhood you live in. Make sure that homes in the area are similar in size after the finished addition. Creating a home that is dramatically larger than those in the neighborhood can be problematic when it comes time to sell. The additional square footage may not be recouped if it is considerable higher than other homes in the area. If the desired build out appears too large for the neighborhood, consider moving into a bigger home.

Avoid Overbuilding
When considering personal quality of life improvement projects, be careful not to overbuild. Just as additional square footage costs may be difficult to recoup, overbuilding inside the home can bring a negative return as well. Creating a dance studio in the basement for the advancement of your ballerina daughter may help her career but it can become problematic when you sell the home. Buyers want a home that is move-in ready and extensive changes to certain rooms may turn them away.

Also, avoid trying to fit too many rooms in a limited amount of space. Creating smaller bedrooms to increase the quantity will make the house hard to sell. The same is true for smaller bathrooms. Again, evaluate average home sizes in the neighborhood and make sure your home is similar in the number of rooms and functionality.

The quality of finishes added to the home should also match the neighborhood. In a modest neighborhood, recouping the cost for granite countertops and maple hardwood floors will be difficult. While the additional quality personally benefits your family for a time, carefully consider the upgrade if it is significantly overbuilding for the neighborhood.

Fixing a Disaster
Essential Home Improvements projects need to be tackled to ensure a higher quality of life. Occasional problems occur within a home that create health hazards or damage the value of the home. Eliminating mold, lead and asbestos are necessary and guarantee family health while maximizing the overall value of the home.

Take care of problems when they first occur to save money and eliminate long term damage. Yearly cleaning of clogged rain gutters keeps them from becoming blocked. If ignored too long, blocked gutters hold pooled water which can eventually allow dampness to seep into walls. This in turn creates mold issues and rots dry wall pushing the problem into the interior of the house.

Address major and minor problems as they occur to prevent them from creating long term damage to the value of the home. This will ensure your family stays healthy and the home maintains its optimal value when it is time to sell.

3. Sell a Home Quickly
Real Estate; Real Estate Consultants; Bathroom Remodeling; Kitchen Designers; Landscaping Contractors; Painting Contractors; Remodeling & Repairing Building Contractors

If looking to sell a home, it is important that you do it quickly. Homes that are on the market for a long period of time often have difficulty garnering the full asking price. Therefore, it is vital that your home is in optimal condition, with limited hurdles that distract potential buyers. Making a few minor home improvements prior to placing it on the market can significantly increase the total value. The majority of home buyers are looking for a home that is live in ready. That is, they can move in immediately without requiring extensive improvements. Ensuring your home is live in ready will not only ensure the maximum value is achieved but help it to sell quickly.

Solidify the Structure
Before any cosmetic repairs begin, make sure the structure and systems within the home are solid. This includes the roof, furnace, electrical, foundation, plumbing, exterior paint, and windows. Most buyers will not remember a beautiful kitchen upgrade if they discover the master bathroom has a leaky shower. Most home purchases require a home inspector who will find and identify structure problems. Not correcting them prior to showing the house will hurt its ability to sell.

Make a Good First Impression
Start cosmetically preparing your home for sale by fixing up the exterior. In order for the home to sell quickly, it will need to make a good first impression. Potential buyers turned off by the initial curb appeal will keep driving past the house and never look inside. Once the exterior is in great shape, move inside and work to create a strong interior impression as well. A beautiful home generates an emotional connection with the buyer, making it a place where they can see themselves living. Prior to placing it on the market, make sure the following areas are covered.

    Landscape: Make sure the lawn is healthy, edged and lush. If it contains large amounts of dead areas or unhealthy grass, consider replacing it with new sod. The value of the home diminishes with each project a potential buyer realizes they need to complete. Plant colorful flowers around the house and mulch each flower bed. Trim shrubbery and clean off sidewalks and driveways.

    Eliminate Clutter: This is an inexpensive way to make a huge impact on the sale of the home. Limit the number of appliances on kitchen countertops, the amount of furniture in a room and reduce the amount of items sitting on dressers and floors. Store the extra items with friends and family or rent a storage unit. Don’t overload closets as buyers will look in these areas as well and be turned off by the amount of clutter.

    Clean It Up: A solid cleaning is an inexpensive fix that will take years off a home. Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than seeing dirt, mold, mildew, stains, or rust. Clean fabrics and furniture and wash every window in the house to make them sparkle. The house should be thoroughly cleaned including walls, baseboards, carpets and cabinets. If necessary, update dingy walls with new coats of paint or buy new bed linens. The amount of money you spend upfront on cleaning the house will mean thousands for you at the final sale. If time is limited, hire someone to come in and clean it for you.

    Keep It Bright: Make sure the house is well lit and inviting. Increase the wattage of light bulbs, staying within the maximum specifications to increase brightness. Upgrade outdated lighting fixtures and install modern light switches. If the day is overcast, turn on the lights and open curtains to maximize the amount of light when showing the home. Ensure there is a generous amount of warm light to create a lasting impression with buyers.

    Kitchens and Bathrooms: These rooms have the greatest impact on the appeal of the home. Buyers today want kitchens that are spacious, open and up-to-date. Bathrooms should be modern, functional and clean. If major renovation is required, update these rooms prior to placing the house on the market. These rooms have the strongest return on investment and will help ensure the maximum home value is maintained. Make sure appliances, cabinets, fixtures, lighting and flooring are well maintained or replaced. Choose natural materials that are popular and in-style. Granite, ceramic tile, and hardwood floors are impressive and appeal to a large percentage of potential buyers.

Keep Things Neutral
If painting takes place prior to the sale, select neutral colors. Not every color appeals to every buyer and opposition to a strong, bold color could prohibit a sale. Potential buyers want to limit the amount of work required after they move in so a hideous color could diminish the overall value. This is true for both interior and exterior colors.

Cabinet, carpet, tiling and flooring colors should remain neutral as well. Don’t limit sales because the existing buyer’s furniture clashes with the color. Mute any unique touches such as a purple and gold dining room. It may have sentimental value to you and your family but potential buyers may not find it so charming. For the purpose of selling the home, remove emotional, personal touches and future buyers will feel a greater connection to the home.

Fix What Needs to Be Fixed
The majority of future buyers want a home that is ready for them to move in immediately. They don’t want to spend the time or the money renovating rooms, remodeling kitchens, changing out fixtures or selecting new carpet. They expect the seller to do all of that for them. For every potential fix they encounter, the price of the offer will be reduced. Therefore, in order to ensure the maximum value for the home, make sure it is in pristine condition prior to the first open house.

If carpet is stained or the floor has water damage, they will need to be replaced. Don’t assume you can leave fixes for the buyer because they will want to personally select the color or material. Buyers will choose another house requiring less work or will expect the price to reduce twice as much as it costs to repair it. An offer may come in $10,000 less than asking price because the carpeting needs to be replaced. However, the cost to re-carpet is only $5,000. Potential buyers will deduct thousands off just because they’ll have to do the work themselves.

Take a walk through the house and fix everything that is easily seen. Fixing what is visible is the first priority in terms of home improvements, creating a better appearance to attract potential buyers to the home. It demonstrates that the owners took care in their home and kept it in good condition. This will be rewarded when it is time to review the offer.

Please the Senses
Remove strong odors from the home prior to selling. Buyers are often attracted to a home based on how it smells. Scented candles, fresh flowers, potpourri and baked goods make a home more inviting and leave a lasting memory on the minds of potential buyers.

Eliminate strong smells such as pet odors, cigarette smells or exotic foods. These types of smells can linger in a home for a long period of time. Prior to an open house, have neighbors, friends or families walk through the house to ensure offensive smells have been eliminated. If odors still persist after everything has been cleaned, pay to have the carpets replaced and remove existing furniture. Replace the furniture with staged furniture until the house sells. The costs to re-carpet and stage will be returned as the home will garner a greater final value.

Renovation Projects Offering Highest ROI
Home Improvements; Bathroom Remodeling; Kitchen Designers; Landscaping Contractors; Painting Contractors; Remodeling Contractors; Deck Builders; Patio & Deck Builders

Significant home improvement projects require a sizable amount of money to complete. If you do all or a portion of the work yourself, a good portion of the total amount can be saved. It is important to know, before starting any project that the majority of home improvements won’t increase the value of the home equal to how much they cost. This doesn’t mean however, that the project should be avoided as it could be critical to your family’s health, enjoyment or selling the home quickly. And while you won’t recoup one hundred percent of the value, expect to gain between 60-90% of the investment dollar. These strong percentages will pay off in the added equity when it comes time to sell.

Remodeling Magazine provides a yearly report indicating the average return on investment for home improvement projects based on region. Their latest 2009-2010 survey information for the Pacific region is outlined below. Prior to initiating a project, check to see what can be expected in terms of a return. If funding is limited, focus on projects that garner the highest overall return or are most critical to selling a home.

Home style: Mid-range, 2009-2010

Project NameJob CostResale ValueCost Recouped
Minor Kitchen Remodel $23,210 $21,991 94.8%
Basement Remodel $74,974 $68,648 91.6%
Deck Addition (wood) $12,838 $11,744 91.5%
Window Replacement (vinyl) $12,760 $11,328 88.8%
Window Replacement (wood) $13,804 $12,175 88.2%
Attic Bedroom $60,135 $52,749 87.7%
Major Kitchen Remodel $63,803 $53,923 84.5%
Deck Addition (composite) $16,956 $13,922 82.1%
Siding Replacement (vinyl) $13,114 $10,674 81.4%
Two-Story Addition $184,839 $143,073 77.4%
Bathroom Remodel $18,864 $14,517 77.0%
Roofing Replacement $24,712 $18,829 76.2%
Garage Addition $69,912 $51,882 74.2%
Family Room Addition $100,023 $73,551 73.5%
Master Suite Addition $124,579 $90,616 72.7%
Bathroom Addition $47,052 $32,057 68.1%
Backup Power Generator $16,351 $9,462 57.9%
Home Office Remodel $31,479 $17,801 56.5%
Sunroom Addition $83,463 $45,245 54.2%

Home style: Upscale, 2009-2010

Project Name Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped
Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) $13,759 $12,674 92.1%
Window Replacement (vinyl) $16,589 $14,634 88.2%
Window Replacement (wood) $20,559 $17,554 85.4%
Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) $15,960 $12,873 80.7%
Major Kitchen Remodel $120,379 $89,764 74.6%
Deck Addition (composite) $41,428 $29,687 71.7%
Roofing Replacement $45,875 $31,235 68.1%
Bathroom Remodel $59,456 $39,648 66.7%
Bathroom Addition $88,000 $58,557 66.5%
Master Suite Addition $257,770 $164,278 63.7%
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