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  • Home improvement tips


    Going ahead with home improvement plans can add value to your home, but you don't want to go overboard with too many projects. The more selective you are, the better chance you'll have of seeing a return on investment for your undertakings. It will also make it easier to see the project to completion, which real estate agent Nancy Burk told NBC affiliate WNDU is a growing problem for many homeowners [1].

    "There are a lot of times we'll meet with a potential seller and they'll say 'Oh and we just finished doing our kitchen floor, we've installed a new bathroom floor,' or 'We've put in a new shower enclosure,'" Burk said. "And my husband and I, who work together, hold our breath because typically the homeowner may start a project with great enthusiasm and fails to finish out the project."

    So what kind of projects should you consider?

    Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, told WNDU that homeowners must be able to balance their needs and their wants.

    "Maybe you want a new deck, but you need a new furnace and only have money for one," Hicks said. "Be sure you invest in those needs first because it will be a better return on your money."

    Don't over invest
    There's always a home in the neighborhood that just doesn't fit. Maybe it's because the owners revamped all the bedrooms, gutted the basement or added a few additional rooms and an extra 1,000 square feet, making it the monster home on the block, as it outsizes all the rest.

    According to Hicks, you shouldn't go bananas with all of your home improvement projects.

    "Remember kitchen and bathrooms are the best things to invest in because they get the best return on investment, usually around 85 percent," Hicks said. "But don't over invest here. The goal is to keep up with the Jones, but don't be the leader in your neighborhood. If your neighbors all have two bathrooms, don't put three in your house."

    Hicks said another major blunder that homeowners consistently make across the country is not doing enough homework. Home remodels take time and patience, and one of the most crucial steps is the early preparation to learn about the cost and length of time of the renovation.

    For example, Hicks said that many Americans do very little research regarding pool installations. She stated that if your house is the only one on the block without a pool, adding one is not the smartest idea. She said that in most cases, you won't even see half of that money back when it's time to sell your home.

    It's great if you have the knowledge to do some - or all - of your home renovations by yourself, but it's vital to understand your limitations.

    Certain aspects of the renovation might seem easy to handle yourself, but if you don't have much experience, Hicks said things can easily get out of hand.

    "Painting is a really common thing that it takes a good steady hand to make a good steady line," Burk said. "Especially where you are cutting into your ceiling so be very cautious when you say you can do this yourself. You may need a professional."

    One area that's known to improve home value and curb appeal that can be easily completed by the homeowner is the front lawn. Potting flowers, cleaning up hedges and keeping the lawn in good condition can go a long way when trying to sell your home. The front lawn is the first thing any potential buyers will see, and it can help in drawing them in or pushing them away.

    [1]. How to add value with summer home improvements

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