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    Seven of the Best Home Improvement Investments

    Seven of the Best Home Improvement InvestmentsAll home renovations are not created equal in terms of cost of return on investment. If you’re like most people, you want to get the most value from your remodeling dollars. And by spending your money wisely, you can add value to your home and command a higher selling price. According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, here are seven of the best renovation investments you can make:

    1. Update your kitchen. A “modern/updated kitchen” topped the list of ideal home features in this survey. You don’t have to completely overhaul your entire kitchen—small investments can have a big impact.  Add a new suite of stainless steel appliances, a new countertop, and update your flooring to create afresh, coordinated look. Breathe new life into the space by applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls and cabinets, and by updating the hardware.
    2. Let in the light. When it comes to real estate, you want to avoid dark, cramped rooms at all costs. You can greatly increase the appeal of your property by opening it up to create a better flow and enhance the natural light. An open floor plan will also make your home feel much larger.
    3. Finish your basement. If your house is lacking in space, consider finishing your basement. A basement space can easily be turned into a playroom for the kids, a bar, or media room. Consider adding a bathroom to increase the value of the remodel even more. Most homeowners spend between $10,000 and $25,000 converting a basement, depending on the size of the space and the options selected.
    4.  Invest in the exterior. When it comes time to sell, curb appeal is incredibly important .Some statistics even indicate that a having good first impression of a home can add five percent to its value. Make sure your exterior paint is in good shape, the driveway is paved properly, and the lawn is well-maintained.
    5. Create a home office. With more companies giving employees the option to telecommute and the growing self-employed sector, a home office can really add value to a home. If you have some extra space, consider converting it into a home office. Make sure there’s ample work space and adequate light, too.
    6. Improve your home’s energy-efficiency. Lowering your home’s energy costs will save you money for as long as you live there and will likely be major selling point down the line. Invest in high-efficiency windows and LED lights to make a big dent in your energy bills. And don’t forget about water heating, which accounts for 16 percent of energy costs in the typical home. Spending $1,800 to $2,400 on a new unit is great way to impress efficiency-minded buyers.
    7. Update or add bathrooms.  Bathrooms are an important part of any home. If there aren’t enough bathrooms or if they are very outdated, it’s bound to be a big turn off to potential buyers. Updating bathroom amenities and fixtures, or adding an additional bathroom if you have the space, can significantly increase your home’s appeal.

    Regardless of the size of your budget, you can carefully select which home features to enhance so that you get the most bang for your buck.

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