Whether you’re looking to make your home more comfortable, increase its value or sell it faster, home improvement can help. But before you start on any project, it’s important to understand how renovations can impact your home’s value and the best ways to maximize the return on your investment.
Homeowners are spending more money on home improvements than ever before. And that’s good news for the home-improvement industry, which is up 15% in the last decade to $567 billion.
Popular Home Improvements and How Much They Cost
The most popular home renovations are a kitchen, bathroom and a basement. The projects are often costly, but can be well worth the expense if you get the design right.
Before you begin your project, be sure to have a written contract with all parties involved and to have it signed before the work begins. Also, Maryland’s home improvement law requires that all contractors have their name, address and MHIC license number preprinted on their contracts before work can begin or money is paid.
When choosing a contractor, compare prices, experience and reputation. Look for contractors who are reliable, competitive in price and stand by their warranties. Check their references and ask friends and family for their opinions.
If your contractor has a home improvement business, be sure to ask for references from their past customers. This is particularly useful if you plan to hire them for a significant project.
Unless you have the money to pay for the whole job upfront, don’t sign a home improvement contract until it’s clear that the work is complete and all parties are satisfied with the results. It’s also a good idea to negotiate a lower down payment or make additional payments at intervals while the work is underway.
A home improvement loan is another popular option for homeowners who want to finance their projects. They typically come in two forms: a construction loan, which is used to pay for the actual costs of the project, and a home equity loan, which is a second mortgage that allows you to borrow against your home’s equity.
Some homeowners take out home equity loans for larger renovation projects, such as a new kitchen or an addition to the home. Others use the loan to pay for a specific purpose, such as buying a car or paying for long-term medical care.
Most people think that home improvements increase the value of their homes. But some projects, such as custom-designed televisions or built-in electronics, can actually decrease a property’s value in the future.
One of the most popular home improvements is a swimming pool, but it’s not necessarily the best way to boost a property’s resale value.
In fact, a swimming pool may only increase a home’s value by 7%.
Other popular home improvements include adding a room or patio, which can add square footage and improve your property’s value in the long run. Increasing your property’s energy efficiency can also boost your home’s value, according to real estate experts.