The Five Smartest Places To Spend Money In Your Home
Homes allow for an endless amount of customization and individual expression. Walls can be painted to your heart’s content, bedrooms done up in childhood whimsy and bathrooms made an expression of a faraway land, if you so choose. Unless you’re a DIY whiz or have somehow managed to get everything for free from a small galaxy of contractors and home supply stores, this stuff costs you money.
Believe it or not, something you might see as an improvement or unique addition might actually detract from the appeal and ultimate sale price of your home. If a room has to be repainted from mustard yellow, or an unwieldily book shelf needs to be yanked from the walls of a living room, it’s all going to factor into the price your home sells for, and not in a way that’s in your favor.
Fear not! We’ve done our research and polled our agents, and have come up with the five smartest places to spend money in your home.
1. The Kitchen
It’s an undisputed fact – kitchens sell homes. If your house has an up to date, clean, and well-laid out kitchen, it’s a selling point at any price. Spending money to update your cabinets, add an island (we highly recommend adding a functional island), replace aging appliances or to redo the floor will all yield dividends when the time comes to sell your home. The only downside? Kitchen renovations can be expensive. Consider any expenses here an investment in the future sale price of your home – you’ll reap the benefits further down the line.
2. The Bathrooms
A gorgeous bathroom is never going to make a sale, but a dirty, creaky, old and leaky bathroom can sure break one. Don’t go crazy here – after all, it is a bathroom, and emphasize function over form. Bathrooms are often small rooms, so make space-saving renovations. Recessed vanities are always a good choice, as are any places you can stick a closet, cabinet or drawer space. Tile is in, linoleum is out. A spacious and functional shower is an always appealing feature. If you’re even thinking of selling, upgrading your fixtures can be a relatively inexpensive and easy fix. Here on the Cape, beadboard is a traditional, somewhat nautical touch that adds a bit of sophistication. If you’re selling on the high end ($1,000,000 plus), indulge a bit on the shower.
3. Hardwood Flooring
If the time has come to renovate your floors, don’t even bother considering carpet. While it’s often cheaper and is a smart choice in bedrooms, keep any of the main living spaces free of carpet. Hardwood floors are a major selling point in homes all across the Cape at every price point. Bamboo and engineered woods are also a good investment – some are eco-friendly, come in a wide range of colors and are easy to maintain. Many older homes on the Cape have their original hardwoods buried under layers of ill-advised carpet or other flooring materials. Peel back someone else’s mistake, and with a little TLC, the hardwoods will shine once again and help get you the most money possible for your home.
4. Recessed Lighting
This is a relatively new trend, but one our agents are seeing it more and more. Rooms with recessed lighting are becoming much more appealing than those without. Recessed lighting is a classic, unobtrusive and easy way to light any room in the home, and it saves homebuyers the headache of finding new lamps, locating them somewhere in the room and constantly fumbling for on/off switches. Expensive chandeliers and track lighting can be a turn-off for some buyers; recessed lighting has never offended anyone we’ve come in contact with. Plus, when you add in CFL lights, you rarely have to worry about replacing the bulbs!
5. Central Air & Heating
Just break down and do it already! New central air and overall climate control systems are huge energy savers and make the hot summer months much more bearable. With each summer seeming more humid than the last, it’s not a trend that’s going to get any better. Window units are terribly inefficient, often leak coolant and air, and are unwieldy to install. Central systems can be controlled from a single thermostat, or in a multi-zone setup, one for each area of the house. New (2007 or so and onward) systems are extremely efficient and will save you, and your future buyer, significant amounts every month on your energy bills.
Have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments! Next week we’ll address the Five Places to NOT Spend Money in Your Home!
To see homes that have made these smart investments, visit www.capecodhouses.com!