Home improvement can be a fun way to spend your free time, and it’s not uncommon for homeowners to take on projects that will boost their home’s value. However, not all home improvements are created equal – some can actually decrease your house’s resale value and make it difficult to sell in the future. To avoid making costly mistakes, be sure to choose common upgrades that will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers.
Some of the most common home renovations include painting, refinishing floors and upgrading kitchen cabinets and countertops. These projects can usually be completed on a tight budget. For example, a gallon of paint typically costs $30, but the results can dramatically improve your room’s appearance. If you have a lot of old furniture or outdated fixtures, repainting can be a cheap and easy way to give them new life.
Many homeowners take on DIY projects because they’re cost effective and offer a sense of accomplishment. There are a wide variety of books, television shows and online “how-to” videos that can guide you through the process. In addition, there are numerous hardware stores that cater to do-it-yourselfers.
A common mistake homeowners make is focusing too much on aesthetics, instead of function. For example, a bold color on the bathroom walls may look beautiful, but it could be off-putting to someone who prefers neutral colors. Similarly, a custom-built home theater may impress a movie buff, but it might not appeal to a family looking for space to play games or watch TV.
Another common mistake is spending too much on high-end upgrades. Although these improvements may make your home more comfortable, they won’t increase its resale value as much as lower-end upgrades. In addition, expensive renovations can deter a buyer from looking at your property, especially during tough economic times.
One way to tell if your upgrades will pay off is to walk around the neighborhood and see what types of improvements your neighbors have made. Also, consider consulting a real estate professional before committing to any major home improvements.
If you’re ready to begin your next home improvement project, consider applying for the Bergen County Home Improvement Program (HIP). The program provides low and moderate income residents with an interest free, no monthly payments loan for repairs and improvements that upgrade their homes, enhance the community and help maintain property values. For more information, click here. The program is administered by the Bergen County Department of Planning and Community Development.