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Which improvements will add the most value to your specific home will depend on a variety of factors, but there are some home renovations or updates and are nearly always a sure bet for a nice payoff. Even if you don’t have cash readily available, a home equity line of credit can put you in a position to make the home improvements you want most. (Image: Getty Images)

4 home improvements that add major resale value

Which improvements will add the most value to your specific home will depend on a variety of factors including the value of your home, the value of the houses in your neighborhood, the performance of the housing market in your general area and the quality of the work you commission.

Intricacies aside, there are some renovations or updates and are nearly always a sure bet for a nice payoff. Even if you don’t have cash readily available, a home equity line of credit can put you in a position to make the home improvements you want most.

1. Basic maintenance

It’s not sexy or exciting or fun, but structural and systemic maintenance is key to locking down a good resale value for your home. A sleek new kitchen looks a lot less glamorous if the roof over it is leaking.

Buyers can put off a bathroom remodel, but a functional and costly issue that they’ll need to address immediately is money off the top, and the amount they imagine a repair costing could exceed the actual expense, leading to lower offers.

Make sure your roof is solid, your HVAC system is fairly new, there isn’t moisture where there shouldn’t be and that your electrical and plumbing are working well. It might not be exciting, but if you don’t do it the numbers you see will take a big hit.

2. A little landscaping

Overgrown shrubs and trees can obscure a house and make a home seem unkempt. Investing in pruning, siding, pathways and some outdoor staging can bring a big return and set the right mood from the start.

If the outside is really bad, buyers might not even look inside. Outside projects to consider include cleaning or replacing siding, painting or replacing your front door, putting in a nice deck or patio, replacing a garage door, mulching beds, paving walkways or driveways, planting new plants and adding outdoor furniture.

3. A kitchen remodel made IN PROPORTION to the home’s value

An update’s ability to recoup cost and add value depends upon its context: a $50,000 dollar kitchen in a $100,000 house is unlikely to recoup all its value, but a well-executed kitchen renovation in keeping with the rest of the home can definitely bring in bucks.

If a buyers see a dated kitchen, they often imagine that a remodel will cost far more than it will actually cost you to make specific updates that give the kitchen a new look and feel. You can install a backsplash, paint the walls, change out cabinet hardware, switch out your old sink and update appliance to bring a dated kitchen into the modern era. All of these changes can be achieved for a few thousand dollars.

If you have more money to play with, you can replace an old or unimpressive laminate counter with granite or quartz, install recessed lighting, pick out high-end appliances, select custom cabinets and integrate high-tech features like automatic lights or Bluetooth speakers.

4. Another bathroom

If your house has one bathroom and several bedrooms, adding a second bathroom can add value and make your property more appealing to those who expect it. You can save on cost by building within existing square footage, as long as you don’t take away from important space in another room.

The payoff from adding a second bathroom will, like other additions, depend on many other factors but if you have a 3+ bedroom house with only one bath, it’s definitely worth considering.

If you find that your property could really benefit from a few updates but don’t know how to fund the work, taking out a home equity line of credit can be a great way to get the capital you need to increase the resale value of your home. It can also be a nice option for those who aren’t planning to move but need to make repairs or additions.

Lafayette Federal Credit Union offers great low rates, both fixed and adjustable for those looking to pursue home improvement projects. To learn more, visit www.lfcu.org/homeequity

Lafayette Federal Credit Union is Proud to Be an Equal Housing Lender

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