DIY Network

Raise Your Home Value (page 4 of 5)

Compliments on your remodeling efforts are always a welcome payoff, but nothing beats seeing your home value rise as a result of your hard work. This article explains which home improvement projects pay off big in raising your home's value.

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Screened Room
Turning a deck, porch or carport into a sunroom or screened patio creates a great space for entertaining, but it won’t add equity to your home. In fact, you can’t even count that additional square footage as part of the house unless it’s insulated, heated and cooled for year-round use, points out Realtor Nancy Jones, an agent with Hunt Real Estate ERA, Williamsville, NY.

"A nice sunroom addition on a great house in a highly saleable neighborhood could add some value," she adds. "In other areas, it’s just extra space and is not going to net you much more on the sale of your home."

Deluxe Kitchen
Do custom kitchen cabinets, built-in warming drawers and professional-grade appliances call your name? Tell them to call someone else.

Unless you’re in a very high-end neighborhood, stay away from professional appliances and stone countertops. An average upscale kitchen remodel costs nearly $82,000 nationally and returns only about $70,000 at resale, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The typical rule of thumb is to spend no more than 15 percent of the value of the house on the kitchen, but that figure includes the cost of the contractor and doesn’t apply to every home. "You have to be careful, because some markets won’t bear 10% to 15% of the value of the house," warns Real Estate Broker Mark Riley of Mark P. Riley Luxury Real Estate Group, Sarasota, Fla. "If you use 10 percent of a $250,000 house, that’s a nice, but not high-end kitchen."

Thinking of putting up wallpaper anywhere in your home? Be prepared to pay for your wall covering at the wallpaper store and again when you sell your home.

With so many patterns from which to choose, the chance of a home buyer having your exact taste in wallpaper is slight. If you’re in a real estate market where prices are slipping and sales times are increasing, wallpaper can sabotage your efforts to build equity, so get rid of it before you sell.

"In this market, I’ve seen sellers having to credit the buyer for a few thousands dollars to cover the cost of removing wallpaper and wall treatments," says Susan Huerta, an agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Clarksville, Maryland.