House & Home

Better Home and Gardens just released the results of a national survey asking two distinct sets of homeowners what they want to change in their home for 2018. These improvements aren’t bad choices; they just aren’t the best home improvements for adding value to your house before selling it. If you’ll be living in your home a while and would enjoy a sunroom, home office or extra bathroom, go for it! But think twice before you take on any of these projects and remodels solely for the purpose of increasing the sales value of your home.

Invisible improvements are those costly projects that you know make your house a better place to live in, but that nobody else would notice – or likely care about. A new plumbing system or HVAC unit (heating, venting and air conditioning) might be necessary, but don’t expect it to recover these costs when it comes time to sell. Many home buyers simply expect these systems to be in good working order and will not pay extra just because you recently installed a new heater. It may be better to think of these improvements in terms of regular maintenance, and not an investment in your home’s value.

Lowering your home’s energy costs will save you money for as long as you live there and is expected to be a major selling point down the line. Indeed, energy-­efficient” was second only to safe community” on the list of attributes that would most influence a purchase decision, according to a 2015 survey by the National Association of Home Builders.

Before we look at which improvements are (and aren’t) worth making, let’s just consider why now may be a good time to take action. We may have reached the bottom in terms of value and with little construction over the last 5 years, demand is now starting to grow. With growth, buyers will have more choice and – naturally – will look for homes with the features they really want. By adding those features now you can ensure your property is more saleable – and more valuable – later. What’s more, even if prices stay static, you will still be better off. The right improvements will always add value.

A house truly becomes your own not when you sign the deed, but after you customize it to your unique lifestyle. Our home improvement tips help you rock those upcoming remodeling and yard projects. Check out examples of real-life successes (and flops!), plus clever hacks and ideas from the experts. It’s all about increasing your home’s value, functionality, and happiness quotient.