There are five ways that you can customize your home and appeal to the buyer's market, now and further along in time:
(1) You can improve your properties curb appeal
(2) You could renovate with appraisal boosting in mind
(3) You could bring your property up-to-par with your neighborhood
(4) You could implement repairs and maintenance projects that are desirable and lastly
(5) You could make your property a unique buy for a certain lifestyle. All these methods are a sure way to get the most from your home-improvement investment.
When you invest in the curb appeal of your property, it means that you are putting money into a facade that catches potential buyers (or renters!) emotionally and superficially. A simple phrase that explains this feeling is “the grass is greener on the other side.” This can be as simple as repainting the front door, the exterior, or even cleaning the windows! You want your property to come across as clean and inviting. Depending on what's outside your front door, you could even rent a power washer. Simply replacing a wooden entry door with a steel one can yield a 100+ percent return! Curb appeal can bring you the greatest return on investment because it is what draws people in to checking out the rest of your property.
When you invest with the thought of getting an appraisal boost, it means that you are putting money into extra living space. This could be a room addition (for a bed or a bath!), a fireplace, and so forth. It does not mean remodeling a basement. But it could mean remodeling an attic into a livable area; an attic bedroom can yield a 73 percent return on your investment. It also doesn't mean exaggerating and putting in too much beyond your neighborhood's norm. Even just remodeling a bath can yield about a 62 percent return.
When you invest in keeping up with all the Joneses of your neighborhood, it means that you don't want to be the odd-one out. This will require some research. If most homes have an extra half-bathroom, then putting in a half-bathroom will do the trick. It may give you a little less than a 60 percent return. But if you have one bedroom less than your neighbors, it will most likely lower your ROI.
When you put money into maintenance repairs and projects, you are investing in the structural integrity of your property. You are making sure that the home is built to last, not only for you but for anyone else who will live there later on. And that matters! A good roof, clean gutters, solid walls, and strong foundations are all important. Don't forget the heating, electrical, and plumbing. The ROI here is that you'll have a structure that is still standing and working!
When you customize your property for a unique lifestyle, you are actually buying into your own tastes. Your own return-on investment is your satisfaction from living in a home that you love and feel comfortable in. A home office or sunroom addition will only give you around a 40 percent ROI. You might not get such a good return when it comes to selling it to the next buyer, who may have a different set of tastes, but you would be able to say with satisfaction that the place is really yours! It will match your thinking and style, and it will reflect your personality. It won't just be where you lay your head down at night, or where you work and eat – it will be the place where you want to live. The best you can do, however, to get a good ROI on customizations is to not only think of yourself: evaluate the customizations that you desire and find any that can bring your home into a comparable standard with the rest of the neighborhood.
All the different methods for a good ROI require good planning. Note what you want down – think designs and shapes, colors and paints, flooring and furniture, fittings and lightings, layouts and gardens. Experiment, but do so carefully! If you think that any of the changes you want to implement are a bit risqué, then perhaps try a temporary alternative and see how it goes before you do something more permanent.