Six Improvement Projects to Boost Your Home's Value

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Whether you’re planning to sell your home soon or in the distant future, making improvements that increase its value can pay off with a bigger check for you on closing day. Here are six ideas that can boost your home’s value without putting too big a dent in your budget.

1. Create space. Knock out a non-structural wall or remove a kitchen island. Anything that opens space and creates a sense of flow is helpful. Today’s buyers are looking for a wide open floor plan with big spaces, according to the National Association of Realtors. For more information on housing trends, click here.

2. Prune and landscape. Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views and darken your home’s interior. Trim trees so potential buyers can get a good look at the house. When selecting new plants, choose ones that are native to your region to create a landscape that requires less maintenance.

3. Address the basics. Insulate the attic, repair plumbing leaks, fix squeaky floors and replace rusty rain gutters. These fixes can go a long way toward helping potential buyers avoid negative perceptions and boosting value.

4. Let the light shine. Let natural daylight in with a tubular skylight. Also called sun tubes, these less expensive alternatives to skylights use reflective material to capture daylight at the roof and channel it into your home’s interior. Replace heavy draperies with blinds or shutters to let light in and make rooms appear larger.

5. Go green. Improvements that make your home more energy-efficient mean lower utility bills—something any homeowner would enjoy. Replace outdated heating and air conditioning systems, and if you’re buying new appliances, check their energy efficiency ratings.

6. Spiff up the kitchen and bath. If you’re looking for areas to improve, think of the rooms that get the hardest use: the kitchen and bathrooms. It’s easy to spend a lot of money upgrading these rooms, but some simple, inexpensive updates can also make a big difference. Clean the grout, remove rust stains, apply fresh caulk and replace cabinet pulls and doorknobs.

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