From Margaret Everton on June 08, 2010 in Tools and Tips
Even if your budget hasn’t budged since the economy went south, your home improvement projects can still go forward as planned. But be smart, and keep these five pointers in mind to get the most bang for your remodeling buck.
Dont expect a 100% return on your efforts.
If youre remodeling for the sole purpose of collecting later through a matched increase in your homes value, you may end up disappointed. In order to make any sort of return, make sure youre keeping all improvements in line with the neighborhood, i.e. dont create an expensive addition if youll have to raise your asking price far above the surrounding average.
Update before you renovate.
Cosmetic changes can go a long way, so if theres any way to avoid the blood, sweat, and tears of an extensive renovation, take advantage of it. Not only will you save a pretty penny, but youll impress potential buyers with a more modern look.
Dont settle for contractor #1.
If youre hiring a contractor, make sure you collect at least three bids before choosing The One. Better yet, find friends or family members that have completed similar projects and ask for referrals, or use a savvy contractor referral service.
Cash in on green incentives.
Despite common misconceptions, green remodeling also means a little added green in your pocket. Collect on these incentives through your state appliance rebate program, or use your renovations to cash in on federal tax credits at the end of the year. And of course, enjoy your everyday energy savings as well.
Keep it clean!
Dont underestimate the value of a clean and well-maintained home. If your pad is looking a little grungy, tackle easy DIY projects to up your curb appeal. Youll be surprised how quickly you can change the look and feel of your home.
If this economic downturn has taught us anything, its that theres no need to go over the top. Stick with small changes, and your wallet will thank you for it.