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Best renovations to increase your home's value

If you just bought a home, you’re probably looking at each room and figuring out how you can put your own personal spin on it. Or, you’re deciding what renovation projects to tackle first. No matter if you’re starting project one or 100, how do you choose the projects that get done? Wouldn’t it be best to finish the ones that will get you the biggest return on your investment?

Here’s a guide to the home renovations that will add the most to your home value without breaking the bank.renovations

-          Go green. If you need to do maintenance and repairs on the mechanical systems in your home, This Old House recommends upgrading with energy efficient parts. For example, new air conditioning systems can save up to 30 or 40%, when compared to older, less efficient models. For some systems, you could even qualify for green tax credits, saving even more.

-          Look outdoors. Your home’s front yard is the first thing people will see when they pull up to your home. If you’re selling your home, good curb appeal is essential to selling it quickly, and for the price you’re asking, even if that’s years down the road. According to Bankrate.com, a good first impression can add five to 10 percent to the value of your home. Specifically, U.S. News and World Report says replacing your entry door could give you more than a 95% return on your investment. A wooden deck brings 87% of your investment back, and adding an attic bedroom can return 84% of what you put into it.

-          Remove obviously dated features. Certain parts of a home can scream “I’m old, please update me.” Most obvious are wood paneling and popcorn ceilings. Depending on what’s under your paneling, both projects are relatively easy, and can give your home an overall update into a classic style. According to experts with DIY Network, ”bright and fresh wins out.”

-          Know what NOT to renovate. Of course, one of the best things to know is where not to invest, or what projects will not help your bottom line. Just like a new exterior door will help your home’s value, a few projects can actually be a waste of money. These include adding a bathroom, which may only return about 60% of the money you put into it, adding a sunroom at 52%, and remodeling a home office at just 49%.

No matter what you choose to upgrade, the most important thing is to make sure it feels like home to you. Next, check out HSA's maintenance tips for more on how to keep your appliances working their best.

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