Home Renovation and You: Making the Most of Remodels

Posted by Chris Clothier on Wed, Nov 20, 2013

home renovationThe property you just bought, hoping it will be a successful real estate investment, probably needs some work done. Naturally, if there are major problems with the property, those should be addressed first. Things like electrical work, major systems replacements, foundation work, roof replacement or anything that compromises the safety of your property need to be addressed before anything else.

But what about other remodels? You likely don’t have the resources to renovate everything. So what should your priorities be when it comes to home renovation. You’re looking for a return on your investment here. Those renovations need to count.  And, even when you do have the money to go hog wild on your renovation, it still makes sense to put your money where it will have the biggest bang!

So let’s talk about some remodeling work that will go a long, long way.

Remodeling a House the Smart Way

Replacement Projects
You’re probably not going to knock out a ton of walls and completely overhaul the kitchen unless you just really like burning money. Sometimes a simple, smaller replacement can immediately up the value of your property. Update the appliances or get a new front door (curb appeal! curb appeal!). Replace the exterior siding with high-fiber cement. Get a new garage door. REplace the ceiling fans and the blinds!  Maybe adding knobs to kitchen and bath cabinets will make a HUGE difference in the way those spaces look to a buyer or renter.  Replacement projects take less time (and thus, less money) to execute when you’re remodeling a house.

Kitchen face lift
Don’t worry about making your kitchen a chef’s paradise. It’s good to upgrade your appliances, of course. Take care of sinks and faucets and give the counter tops an update. But unless there is a major problem with it (or it is 1970's linoleum), you can leave the floor alone. Use what’s there, and save your pennies for more pressing projects.  The kitchen is always a major selling point in a property, but putting the money in the wrong areas of a kitchen can be a major dollar drain.  Instead concentrate on the lighting and items in the line of sight such as back splash behind cook top surfaces.  Spend your dollars on items that make a room jump out at a buyer.

Add-Ons
Now we’re talking. Because of an influx of 20-somethings returning to the nest and senior citizens living with their kids, consider the benefits of turning part of that unfinished attic or basement into an extra bed and bath. While this is a more intensive home remodeling project, it’s still the cheapest way to add space to a house. In your quest for high-return renovations, consider adding a wood deck in the backyard. Tenants appreciate usable outdoor space and a deck gives them a good place to entertain and enjoy nature.

Remodeling a house to rent out is a little different from taking on the same tasks for your own house. Your top priority is to find ways to boost value. Keep in mind energy-efficient projects and changes, as they have great long-term value, too. There are plenty of ways to increase curb appeal and value without going all-out with your home renovations. Take them one at a time and look into cost versus value to see what improvements are most appropriate and effective for your property and area.

Happy with the return from a remodel? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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Topics: real estate investing, home remodeling, property renovations