Smart renovation projects that provide big return

If you’re planning on tackling some major home improvements next year, it’s a good idea to do some research first. If increasing your property value and eventually getting a high return on your investment (ROI) is important to you, steer clear of projects that don’t have universal appeal and aim for improvements that a majority of buyers are seeking.

Did you know that a sunroom addition is considered one of the worst renovations for getting a high ROI? A home office remodel is right up there, along with an upscale garage addition. All three projects provide only an estimated 50 percent cost recoup.

Here are five projects that could see a recoup of up to 80 percent of your investment:

1. Flooring. Today’s buyers prefer hardwood, even in places like bedrooms. If hardwood isn’t in your budget, there are a number of excellent quality laminate substitutes out there that look as good as hardwood and last nearly as long. If carpet is old, dirty and worn down, replacing it will also offer a good return on your investment.

2. Bathrooms. If your bathroom is stuck in the 80’s and desperate for some TLC, you can tear it out and rest easy knowing that you will likely recoup most of the money you spend on the renovation when it comes time to sell. Spend a few extra dollars on fancy faucets and light fixtures – these are good selling features.

3. An income suite. A properly completed and legal income suite is one sure way to raise the property value of your home. Plus, you can look forward to collecting rent each month you remain in the home.

4. Kitchens. We’ve all heard it before – kitchens sell homes. Even when completed on a budget, a kitchen renovation will earn you a good ROI. Buyers look for new or refinished cabinets, pretty backsplashes, new flooring and upgraded appliances.

5. A finished basement. Any time you are adding living space to a home, you are appealing to buyers. The key here is to avoid expensive, luxury finishes, like a state-of-the-art wet bar or solid hardwood flooring. Keep the space open and usable, install a drop ceiling and use good quality flooring.

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