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Home Improvements

Posted by  on Apr 16, 2009
 
If you are thinking about refinancing, you should be familiar with some terms and some ways to improve the rate of your home. Comparative market analysis is a informal estimate of your home's market value. A real estate agent makes an analysis based primarily on sales of comparable homes in the neighborhood. Compared to home appraisals, which typically cost between $200 and $300, a comparative market analysis may be obtained at no cost. While a home's estimated value is determined by either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis, its "worth" is ultimately established by what prospective buyers are willing to pay for it. There are a number of other Web sites and services that can crunch the numbers and calculate your home's estimated value. It is a good idea to increase your houses value if you can as well.

In addition, if you are thinking about selling your house, you should know that some home improvements pay off by increasing your home's value, while others will do little to improve it. In general, updating your kitchen and bathrooms are always smart investments and offer the best home improvement value. Making home improvements can be a big undertaking. Larger improvements could include adding a fireplace, building a deck or patio, or adding a new heating or cooling system.

However, you do not have to spend huge bucks to upgrade the look of your home. Smaller, less expensive improvements could include replacing old doors or installing a ceiling fan. Cosmetic improvements can also go a long way in the minds of prospective buyers. Some improvements do not pay off, such as adding a swimming pool. These improvements are fine if you and your family will enjoy them, but keep in mind that they rarely increase the value of your home. They may even make your home more difficult to sell.

You should also avoid making too many expensive improvements that go beyond what is found in your neighborhood. You do not have to cut corners, but owning the most expensive home on your block can be another obstacle when it comes time to sell your home. Everyone's tastes are different, so choosing colors and materials that appeal to a broader range of people will make it easier when you need to sell.

The kitchen is the most important room in the house since it is where much of the family interaction occurs. The average return-on-investment for improvements to the kitchen ranges from about 80 percent to 93 percent with average costs at $15,000 and up. If you do not know where to start, try adding new tile flooring, re-facing old cabinets, and/or updating appliances to new energy efficient models.

Bathroom renovations can yield a return of between 85 and 90 percent, with costs starting around $10,000. Adding a new bathroom can return as much as 85 percent, especially if you only have one bathroom to start with. Since it is more difficult to sell a home with only one bathroom, adding a second bath can make your home significantly easier to sell. Some good improvements include installing double sinks, tile floors and new bath fixtures and faucets.

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