Home Improvement Doesn’t Always Add Or Decrease Home Value

Home improvement can be a fun and rewarding project for homeowners. But too often, the excitement of choosing new cabinets, floors and paint colors overshadows a crucial fact: Home improvements don’t always add value to a house. And in some cases, they can actually decrease the home’s value.

According to a recent Cost Vs. Value Report by Zonda Media, some of the most popular home improvement projects that Americans have undertaken this year include sparkling bathroom overhauls, basement renovations and kitchen remodels. While these projects can increase a home’s value, the returns are rarely significant enough to cover the costs of the work and make a profit when the home is sold.

Several factors can affect how much a home improvement adds or detracts from its value, including the type of project, timing and neighborhood. Real estate agents can offer valuable advice on which improvements are most likely to attract buyers and maximize the value of a home. However, some improvements don’t add as much value as others, such as a pool or a deck. Some can even reduce a home’s value by decreasing usable space.

If you’re planning a home improvement, it’s important to consider all of these factors to determine what will be most effective for your goals and budget. To start, walk around your neighborhood and look at homes that are listed for sale or have recently sold. Then, compare the type of improvements you’ve made to those of your neighbors.

You may also want to think about whether you plan to sell your home in the future. If you do, the types of upgrades that are most likely to pay off are those that will appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. This is particularly true if the upgrade increases a home’s energy efficiency. For example, replacing old windows or adding insulation can not only increase a home’s value, but it can also help lower utility bills.

In some cases, it’s a good idea to undertake home improvement projects for health or safety reasons. For instance, a faulty electrical system or a leaky roof can pose serious hazards for homeowners and their families. These types of problems should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid costly damage or fire hazards.

When selecting a contractor, always get a written estimate before starting any work. This should include a detailed timeline for the work to be completed, a payment schedule and as many specifics as possible, including the types or brands of materials that will be used. In addition, it’s a good idea to check for license and insurance coverage before hiring someone. New York law requires contractors to have insurance in case of injury or property damage during a job. This includes being insured with liability and worker’s compensation insurance. It’s also a good idea to ask friends and neighbors for recommendations and check local listings for contractors. Performing these simple steps can help ensure that your next home improvement project doesn’t go over budget or turn into a money pit.