According to real estate experts, homeowners can recover 80% to 90% of the funds they spend on some home improvements. But the key is knowing which projects will have the biggest return on investment — not all are created equal. Spending your hard-earned cash on entryway tiles custom made in Italy may not up your home’s value anywhere near what you paid for the materials and labor, but replacing your kitchen’s outdated appliances with stainless steel ones will, for example. In no particular order, here are the smartest ways to add value to your home.

1. Give Your Attic a Lift

At a nationwide average cost of little more than $50,000, you can expect to recover around 73% of the cost of adding an attic bedroom if you sell your home. More square footage means your home will be more attractive to buyers — especially growing families.

(photo credit to the owner)

 

2. Add an Extra Bathroom

An additional bathroom — even just a half bathroom — will add considerable value to your home according to the National Association of Home Builders. In fact, a half bathroom can add up to 10.5% to a home’s value. A full bath can add an additional 20%.

3. Update Your Kitchen

It’s no secret that improving your kitchen will add value to your home. Painting the kitchen should be first, whether you plan to completely remodel or not. New cabinets, kitchen sink fixtures, and modernized lighting — especially recessed lighting — will add value.

4. Create Space

If your home has small rooms that obstruct the flow of natural light, it’s time to knock some walls down and open up your floor plan. This usually involves margining your kitchen, living, and dining room areas into one large space. A small home will appear larger and create an inviting environment for entertaining, while allowing you to prepare meals and hang out with family and guests.

5. Home Office

Millions of Americans work from home, and that number is increasing each year. A dedicated home office not only adds value, it also makes your telecommute tax deductible. Renovating an unused sunroom, extra bedroom, or den is a fantastic way to do business from home and add value at the same time.

(photo credit to the owner)

 

6. Boost Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is what attracts buyers into your home — its importance should not be underestimated. If your landscaping needs significant work, hiring professionals is the best way to remedy the situation. According the American Society of Landscape Architects, curb appeal should do more than spiff up your front yard, it should extend to your backyard as well. A badly kept front yard can result in a 10% reduction in your home’s value.

7. Paint

Painting is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to add value to your home. Just stay clear of over zealous colors like neon green or egg yolk yellow. Looking for inspiration to increase your home’s value? Modernize provides ideas and upgrades for your home. Also check out this remodeling cost vs value guide for information on other projects not listed above.

This is a guest post written by Tim Smith.