How To Score With Home Improvements

By Linda Moore
Linda Moore
Linda Moore
I am a freelance writer and enjoy reporting on a variety of topics.
March 18, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

The most valuable asset most people will own in their lifetime is their home. Not only does the home provide immediate, day-to-day security, but also plays an important role in whether an individual will one day be able to retire comfortably. So it is always a good idea to channel any spare cash you may have in improving your most valuable asset – your home.

Two reasons to upgrade your home

Typically, a home is upgraded to reflect the tastes of a homeowner and to improve their quality of life. This might mean knocking down internal walls to create a larger, open-plan living area that allows the entire family to spend time together whether cooking, watching television or doing homework.

A second, and important, factor that should be kept in mind when deciding to improve the home, is whether a particular renovation will add resale value to the property. A water feature in the entrance hall might not be everybody’s cup of tea, so is best avoided. On the other hand, more cabinetry in the kitchen will appeal to most home buyers. So keep in mind not only your own tastes, but those of possible future buyers. This could one day determine whether your property sells quickly and for a good price, or stays on the market for a long time, typically requiring you to lower your selling price.

Have a master plan

Since few homeowners can afford to renovate their entire property in one go, you will most likely have to spread home improvements over many years to facilitate your budget and the changing needs of your household. Think carefully about your needs before you begin. List your priorities: beginning with more urgent projects like roofing or plumbing, then those changes that will improve your lifestyle (a light and airy open-plan living area for instance), working your way towards the bottom of the list and the nice-to-have items like modern basins and toilets and ceiling cornices or landscaping.

If you need to sell your property in a hurry or have a DIY emergency, Wonga offers payday loans online that should be enough to cover smaller jobs like painting a room or landscaping the entrance to your home.

Home improvements that give you the best return on your investment are:

Pavement appeal is how more than 90 percent of buyers decide whether or not they’re interested in a home before they walk through the front door. Few buyers will bother to look inside a house with peeling paint, an uneven driveway and dingy landscaping. An easy way to improve the value of your home is to plant a garden and give the front door a fresh coat of paint in an accent color.

Kitchens often sell homes. If you have one with outdated appliances and cabinets, keep in mind that stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are still top of buyers’ lists. According to a minor kitchen remodel could allow you to recoup 83% of your spend when selling your home. In sought-after areas, a new kitchen gets you back everything you paid for the remodel and more.

The most popular bathroom remodel is a frameless glass shower enclosure, and adding new fixtures and a new vanity and countertops. If your budget doesn’t stretch this far, re-glaze your bath and invest in custom cabinets and granite countertops. According to, a bathroom remodel could give you a 73% return on investment.

Nothing screams tied and neglected, or fresh and inviting like the state of your paint so paint the interior of your home with soft, neutral tones and carry the color scheme to the outside of your home for pavement appeal.

Replace worn and outdated carpets with a new, neutral carpet. Investigate whether tiles, sexy new cement finishes or laminating will save you the hassle of re-carpeting every five or ten years. If the budget is too tight, rent a rug shampooer to clean the carpets first and see if that brings them back to life.

Space and light

In real estate, dark and cramped does not appeal to buyers. If your house has small rooms that block the flow of natural light, consider knocking down some walls and opening up your floor plan. This makes a small house feel light and airy, giving the illusion of a larger living area. If you’d rather not commit to taking down walls, widening doorways 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) will make a noticeable difference.

Home office

Working from home is a growing global trend, so converting an extra bedroom to an office is a definite plus in today’s real estate markets. Make sure that you have enough space to work comfortably and ample cabinets for storing supplies. Check that the electrical outlets have been updated with grounded outlets and you’ll add real value to your home.


Linda Moore
Linda Moore
I am a freelance writer and enjoy reporting on a variety of topics.