Home Improvement and Resale Value

Home improvement is the process of making renovations and repairs to improve a home. There are many reasons to make these improvements, including increasing the home’s value, repairing damage, or simply improving the appearance of the home. These projects may include anything from adding a new room to installing a patio. Home improvement can be very costly, and it is important to plan the project carefully and choose quality contractors. Some projects, however, do not increase the home’s value and can even detract from it.

Many homeowners undertake home remodeling projects with the goal of boosting their home’s resale value. They figure a state-of-the-art kitchen or master suite will attract buyers and ultimately add to their bottom line when they sell. But this kind of thinking is misguided. “Not all home improvement projects add value,” says Mischa Fisher, chief economist at Angi, which matches homeowners with contractors and house remodelers.

He notes that some of the biggest increases in home improvement projects since the recession have been in outdoor work, such as landscaping and fencing construction. But he cautions that these projects should be planned with resale in mind.

To determine which home improvement projects will have the greatest return, Fisher suggests walking around your neighborhood to see what other homes are selling for. It is also a good idea to speak with a real estate professional before you start any major renovations. They can tell you what is and isn’t resonating with potential homebuyers and offer advice about what will boost or subtract from your resale value. And remember that a mortgage loan isn’t the only way to finance a home improvement. You can also use credit cards to pay for small upgrades. Just be sure to keep the outstanding balance low, as interest payments can quickly snowball.