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Maximize Your Remodeling Dollar
Make your bathroom and kitchen remodeling jobs pay for themselves and find out where to spend your money best
- Photo: Flickr
The average American is said to move every five to seven years. As that statistic suggests, you would be wise to think carefully about how you spend your renovation dollars. The odds are that in the not-so-distant future, you will be trying to recoup your expenditure when you're getting ready to move on to your next dwelling.
Not every home improvement or renovation will bring a healthy return on investment. So which will enhance the value of your house? Kitchen and bathroom renovations usually more than pay for themselves. Some experts believe that for every dollar well spent in bathroom or kitchen remodeling, the value of the house increases by two dollars, though some studies are more conservative (one recent survey found that on average sellers recouped better than 90 percent of the dollars they had invested in kitchen remodeling). Painting, stripping, and such cosmetic work typically pay for themselves, but other work is less of a sure thing.
The Kitchen: Make a Great First Impression
Most of us, consciously or unconsciously, tend to think of the kitchen as an indicator of the quality of a house. A well-equipped, efficient, and attractive kitchen makes the potential buyer feel immediately at home. Conversely, an outdated kitchen will leave the buyer thinking it's a problem to be solved. Thus, if you're planning a kitchen renovation, consider both what you want and need and what will leave future buyers with the best impression.
Quality is important – both for you and them. Durable and attractive materials like stone counters, hardwood cabinets, and imported tile can help convey a sense of the well-made. Make sure you have ample storage and counterspace. Good lighting is important, too, especially over cooking surfaces, the sink, and food preparation areas. In a medium-size or larger kitchen, eating areas, whether at tables or islands, add to the life of a house, involving other family members and guests with the cook's activities. Brand-name appliances are another good way of conveying a sense of quality.
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