During this economic upheaval and housing downturn, you may be asking yourself if it is smart to invest in your home. The answer is a resounding yes! Investing in your home can save you money now, and poise your home to reap the financial benefits when the housing cycle rebounds. That being said, there are smarter economic renovations than others.

home inspection

Siding

Upgrading or replacing your siding is a wise investment in both bull and bear economies. Your siding protects your homes from the elements. If your siding is in bad shape, more damage is being done behind the walls than you know. This can cost you more money in future repairs. Consider upgrading your vinyl siding to fiber cement siding. This siding lasts longer than vinyl siding and is perceived a better value by the public. This means a potential home buyer will pay more for your home because of its fiber cement siding than your neighbor’s which is sided with vinyl. In fact, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value 2007 report noted that you can expect to recoup 88% of the cost of installing fiber cement siding when you sell.

Bathrooms

You have probably heard many times that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. That is because it is true. Simple renovations such as replacing your old chipped tile, upgrading your countertops and light fixtures and repainting the bathroom can transform the entire room. Potential buyers do not want to walk into a bathroom that feels old and dingy. Another economic benefit is that when a contractor is remodeling your bathroom they may find problems areas that could lead to expensive repairs down the road. They will be able to fix them on the spot and prevent any future damage, thus saving you money.

Kitchens

Next on the list of wise economic renovations is the kitchen. Be careful not to overextend yourself on this remodel. A kitchen remodel can cost upwards of $60,000. That kind of money will be harder to recoup on the selling end. Instead pinpoint a few items that can be renovated for the biggest impact. Upgrade your countertops, install new appliances and finish the look with new lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures and door hardware. Just a few items can make a big difference. A clean, modern and efficient kitchen will be very attractive to future potential buyers. Consult a professional contractor for help on where you should spend the money on renovating your kitchen. They can help you envision what a few small changes can do.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is an invaluable tool for any homeowner, whether you home is currently on the market or not. A licensed inspector will check your home from foundation to roof, noting any problems or potential problems, and in essence giving your home a clean bill of health. A detailed home inspection will enable you to correct any small problems before they multiply and cost more to repair. They also give you the option of correcting deficiencies before your home is placed on the market in the future. This will ensure your home is in tip-top shape and you receive the highest selling price you can.

Flooring

Replacing the flooring in a room can create a whole new look and feel. If your floors are worn and tired, the entire home can feel old and in need of TLC. There any many upgrading options available to you today including hardwoods, laminates, tile and vinyl flooring. The more durable the flooring, the longer it will last and the more money you can expect to recoup on the selling side. Depending on your budget, you may want to rip out all of your carpeting and install a hardier floor. This will prolong the life of your floor and keep it looking new.

Keep in mind

Regardless of what project you tackle be mindful of not going over your budget and not installing any far-out ideas. The goal in a smart economic renovation is to up-date your home in a way most potential buyers will appreciate. This is how you will recoup your money when you sell. Stay away from extreme color schemes, expensive top-of-the-line technologies, and cheap products that will only last a few months. A professional contractor can help you toe the line between cost-effective and in-effective, while keeping you on your budget goal.