Make the most of your home sweet home

Maximize your home’s potential with improvements that actually increase value

Undertaking home improvements is no leisurely task, and if you’re making major changes you’re probably talking major bucks. One of the many reasons homeowners invest in such a costly endeavor is because they foresee selling their home in the future – maybe to downsize, maybe to move closer to family – and they want to maximize the market value of the home. However, not all home improvement projects are created equal and it’s all too easy to get it all wrong. While you may think stainless steel appliances will “wow” prospective buyers, if the roof leaks or the air conditioning system in a Florida home is less than stellar, it won’t matter how shiny the kitchen is. If you’re considering home improvements this spring and hope to achieve an impressive ROI, here are our expert tips on getting the most bang for your buck.

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Focus on your curb appeal.

First impressions are key and your home is no exception. That’s why investing in curb appeal – your home’s attractiveness as viewed from the street – is always wise. Studies show in a buyer’s mind, a home’s interior is only as nice – and as valuable – as its exterior. Buyers won’t even consider viewing the inside of a home if its exterior doesn’t impress.

Tips to boost curb appeal:

  • Update your front door with a fresh coat of paint and a new handle.
  • Manicure the lawn. Mow, prune and weed to show you take pride in your home. You’ll be surprised what a fresh layer of mulch can do.
  • Pressure wash the driveway. Oil stains make a bad first impression.


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Choose your big projects wisely.

When making upgrades, always consider the ROI potential – even if you don’t plan to sell your home right away. To predict which projects will pay dividends, balance the trends – see the Top 3 to the right – with factors specific to your home. Ensure that the improvements you invest in are proportional to your home’s estimated market value.

Tips to max out your ROI:

  • New entry and garage doors play to the curb appeal factor.
  • Decks are such a smart home addition because they increase living area at a minimal cost per square ft.
  • New windows are pricey, but the right ones add light & aesthetics – as well as making a room appear larger.


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Fix leaks before tweaks.

Prioritize your projects and put first things first. Before spending your entire home improvement budget on granite countertops and fancy appliances, get back to basic and check things most buyers take for granted. In a place like Florida, a weak air conditioning system will overshadow even the most impressive of indulgent home upgrades.

Tips on what to fix first: 

  • Walls and ceilings are all freshly painted and crack-free
  • All gutters are clean, with functional draining patterns leading away from the house
  • All windows are in good condition (inside and out), sealed well and have damage-free screens


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Don’t price your home out of the market.

Having a limitless budget is never a bad thing, right? Wrong. If expensive projects become excessive, you run the risk of raising your home’s market value too far above your neighbors. Then, you’ll alienate buyers in the pricier range (they want to live in higher-priced neighborhoods) as well as buyers who like your area but now can’t afford your home.

Tips on making it nice, but not too nice:

  • Familiarize yourself with your street’s average home price – buyers won’t buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood.
  • Consult local real estate experts before beginning renovations.
  • If your goal is to sell, choose classic & conservative upgrades..

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