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Financial Education

Improving & Maintaining Your Home

Home Upgrades with the Biggest Return

Home Improvement Ideas that Pay Off

Home improvement projects can add value in a couple different ways:

  • They can make your home safer, more energy-efficient, more comfortable and more enjoyable for you and your family.
  • If you decide to sell, they can make your home more attractive to buyers and increase the selling price.

Think about what you want

So which projects add the most value? That depends on your primary motivation for undertaking home improvements. If it’s to help your family get more enjoyment out of your home, you may want to add a family room if your kids need a place to hang out or update the bathroom to replace old fixtures. Those projects will add value to your home when you sell it, but they aren’t near the top of the list of projects for which you can recoup the highest percentage of costs.

home upgrade tableIf your chief objective is to choose cost-effective projects that increase your home’s selling price — and recoup a good portion of the amount spent on the project — Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report indicates you may want to choose exterior replacements that boost your home’s curb appeal. Those kinds of projects figure prominently among the top 11 for costs recouped in New England:

Other considerations

According to a Demand Institute survey, 76 percent of Americans believe a home they can stay in as they get older is important, but only 53 percent think their home meets that criterion.* Universal design features added as you complete home improvements can help you — or someone who buys your home — age in place.

Nearly as many respondents to the survey (71 percent) think an energy-efficient home is important, but fewer than half that number (35 percent) are satisfied with their home’s energy efficiency. Renovations such as new doors and windows can help to improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs.

Americans love their stuff, and want places to store it, the survey shows. Almost half (49 percent) of people who are moving want more storage space than they have currently. Cabinets, closets and other storage areas may be just what buyers are looking for.

Make improvements affordable

Tapping into your home’s equity can help you pay for whatever home improvement project you have in mind.

Improving & Maintaining Your Home