Home improvement is the act of improving or repairing residential real property. This includes interior and exterior renovations, such as adding a deck or painting walls. Home improvements can add value to a home or simply make it more enjoyable for its residents. Homeowners who are looking to sell their homes may wish to consider making some upgrades that will increase its resale value. However, it is important to choose wisely as some projects will not provide a good return on investment.
Spending on home improvement has been rising since 2010, when it hit a low point during the recession. The increase is being driven primarily by homeowners who are 55 and older, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies of America. The popularity of reality TV shows such as Bob Vila’s This Old House has helped to fuel a fascination with DIY home renovations.
If you want to improve your home’s value before selling, it is important to remember that a good return on your investment depends on choosing a project that will appeal to potential buyers. For example, adding a hot tub or expensive fountain in your backyard will not add much to your home’s resale value, but a well-maintained front lawn and a fresh coat of paint on the outside will.
It is also important to compare bids from contractors before selecting one for a home improvement project. Contractors vary greatly in their level of experience, expertise and reputation. The cost of the project should be one of the primary factors in making a choice, but it is important to consider other aspects of the work as well, such as whether or not the contractor is licensed and insured.
Even though it is a popular trend to remodel a home in order to increase its resale value, there are some things that should be avoided at all costs. For example, a sunken living room is not a good idea for resale value, but it can be an excellent place to entertain guests. Likewise, a home addition that requires digging under the foundation can be very costly and should only be done by a licensed contractor.
Another important tip is to always pay for home improvements with cash, rather than going into debt. Not only is this more affordable, but it will help you avoid interest charges and will keep you from becoming overwhelmed by debt payments after your sale. It is also a good idea to talk to a realtor or interior designer before beginning any large home improvement projects. They can give you ideas on which improvements will add the most value to your home, and they will be able to advise you on which ones are worth the money. They can also help you stay on budget by providing a realistic cost estimate for the project. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. In many states, contractors are required to charge sales tax on labor and materials. This tax is usually exempted for capital improvement projects, which have been documented as such by the state department of taxation and finance.