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Remodeling Your House

How much should you spend remodeling your home?

Remodeling your home is a great way to increase its value and functionality, but it's very easy to go overboard and spend too much money on the remodeling project. If you're considering remodeling your house, you need to consider whether you would come out better by remodeling it or selling it and buying new.

The traditional way for homeowners to increase the value of their house is by remodeling the existing rooms or adding on to the current structure.

Some homeowners choose to build recreation rooms and finished basements while others may add new fixtures, cabinets, and appliances to enliven the rooms and make their home more attractive to future buyers.

But the question is, when should you decide to stop sinking money into your old house and simply purchase a larger home? And how much remodeling expense is too much when it comes time to recover the remodeling costs by selling the home?

For example, if youíve just spent $1,200 remodeling your den but didnít expand your tiny bathroom, the chances of increasing the number of potential buyers are slim.

With this in mind, allow me to offer a few tips for those of you wanting to add value to your home:

  • First, always preserve the character of your home. Nothing appears more out of place than a new addition that is in an entirely different architectural style. Keep a consistent look to the house.

    When completed, the original structure and the new addition should look like one cohesive unit. Recognize the character of your home and stay within its framework.
  • The most financially beneficial rooms to remodel are often the bath and kitchen. Newly remodeled cooking areas and cabinets will attract more buyers and justify a slightly higher price for the home than comparable homes on the market.

    Simple, yet long lasting repairs will bring you the biggest returns when the house is placed on the market.
  • Larger bathrooms are the single most desired attraction for new home buyers. The most popular additions for younger buyers are Jacuzzis and showers. But make sure you install modest, solid amenities. Itís very easy to over-spend on shiny new bathroom fixtures.
  • Most buyers are more interested in traditional living spaces instead of basements, lawns, and walkways.

    Pools are usually a poor investment if they're installed only to increase a homeís value. Only rarely is a poolís cost recovered when the home is sold. It can also be a negative feature for potential buyers who have very young children.
  • Simply replacing worn tiles, carpeting, and wood floors can give your home a definite advantage over similar properties in your area. Applying a fresh coat of paint throughout your home can also prove to be a worthwhile remodeling expenditure.

    Itís recommended that you select neutral colors, including gray, beige, and off-white when planning to add new floor and wall coverings to keep from shrinking the potential pool of buyers because of widely varied tastes in color.
  • Keep it simple with your remodeling project and view your home as though you were a buyer. Chances are that if you believe the master bedroom could be brightened by adding a larger window, potential buyers probably will too.
  • Again, donít go overboard with your remodeling. Concentrate on improving two or three major deficiencies in your home. That way, the time and money you spend remodeling your home will be rewarded with a larger profit when you sell it.
If you develop a well-thought-out remodeling plan, you can enhance the value of your home without going overboard with the remodeling costs.

W. Troy Swezey is a realtor and author.

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