Home Renovations That Pay  

By Jeff Tompkins

In my hometown of Denver, like most large metropolitan cities across the United States, homes are sitting on the market longer and longer because there is a glut of homes for sale. In a buyer's market then, how do you make your home more attractive, how do you make it stand out amongst the herd?

One way is to add renovations to your home that set it apart from your neighbors' homes. Yes, renovations can be expensive, but sometimes you can not only recoup your investment, you can also recoup over what you paid for the renovation! According to Money magazine, here are the top three renovations for making your home more appealing, along with some practical ideas of what to do in each:

Kitchen redos - 75% of homeowners rate a walk-in pantry as desirable or essential; kitchens need to be open, maybe get rid of a wall; wood floors; wine coolers built-in; nice wood cabinets; in major cities it recoups 90-130% of the cost to put it in when you sell; water-filtration systems; stone countertops with ceramic backsplashes; double-tub stainless-steel sink; islands; built-in microwave; custom lighting; garbage disposal; ventilation system over stove

Bathroom redos - Again, recoups 90-140% in major cities; multiple showerheads; whirlpool tub; double sinks; ceramic tile floor; skylights; walled-off toilet; glass encased shower

Decks - Recoups 100-250% of cost; nice built-in outdoor grill; storage cabinets; good landscaping; built-in bench and planters; outdoor fridge; hot tub; covered area of deck; porch swing; arbor.

Ok, but most of us don't want to spend the big bucks on renovating a major part of our homes. Here are some small things you can also do to make the home more appealing:

New front door - makes a great first impression; glass with side panels; a screen-door can also be a nice addition in those parts of the country where you can open your door a get a nice breeze

Crown molding - relatively inexpensive for parts and labor, and adds a nice finished look to dining rooms, living rooms, etc.

Hardwood floors - use a hardwood floor patterned laminate, it's cheaper and doesn't need waxing.

Built-in shelving - whether it's bedroom closet shelving (systems you can find at The Container Store, Organized Living, etc.), to built in bookshelves, buyers find these attractive and means they have less furniture they need to bring in or buy; you would be surprised how much worth people put on a well-organized master closet with lots of storage space!

(c) Copyright 2004 Jeff Tompkins.  All rights reserved.

Jeff Tompkins is owner and president of Teacher's Funding Group, LLC, a Colorado mortgage broker that specializes in providing home financing to those in the education industry and all those who need it. Visit http://www.teachersfunding.com/ for more information.

Read Jeff Tomkins article "What Your Real Estate Agent Won't Tell You."

For more information about renovations that pay using Jeanette Fisher's Design Psychology see Using Color Psychology to Sell Your Home   

Design Psychology Questions? Visit the New Design Psychology Blog

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