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Terri Hardin

Increasing value in your home

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - Article by: Terri Hardin - 1st Preference Mortgage - Message

As a homeowner of one of the many upside down houses in the marketplace right now I have found myself researching which home improvements will actually increase the value of a home. Not only is my home upside down but I have one of those lovely 6.5% interest rates and no way to refinance so I have also been looking for loan programs to help me get my rate down. My company offers a program to refinance your property at a 105% Loan to value (LTV) but a lot of houses are even more upside down that that. I found myself thinking that there has to be a way to help at least SOME people get the value of their homes up enough to take advantage of the great interest rates! So here we are...lets discuss some simple improvements that can help to increase the value of your home. And if you think you can't do it know this...I am a GIRLY girl and everything I am putting on this list I have done with little to no help!

Start in the heart of the home...your KITCHEN! It is a misconception that kitchen upgrades have to be expensive and difficult. Something as small and simple as refinishing your cabinets and adding new hardware can make a huge difference. The supplies for refinishing will cost you about $50-$75 per 100 square feet and then knobs can run anywhere from $1.50-$10.00 per knob depending on how fancy you want to be. If you are doing these repairs to SELL the house I would go with the $1.50 knobs but if you're going to stay for a while there is no harm in getting a little fancy with it. You can expect to recoup roughly 70-80% of kitchen remodeling jobs back to the value of your home. A great place to look is Home Depot...but wives a word of caution DON'T LET YOUR HUSBAND GO ALONE!! : )

Creating a new space is a great way to add some value as well. This could be a little more costly than touching up kitchen cabinets so If you are making improvements to SELL I wouldn't go with this option to increase value but if you plan on staying this could not only add value but add enjoyment for you and your family! Turning an attic into a bedroom is a great idea but keep in mind you'll probably also have to upgrade your HVAC which obviously has to be done by a professional so it could get pricey. Adding a living space in your basement is another idea to increase value BUT some of the work such as electric or plumbing will have to be done by a pro AND you'll want to check the permitting laws in your area. Return on investment will be somewhere in the 65%-75% range.

MAKE YOUR HOUSE GREEN!!! Energy efficiency is HUGE right now and one great way to do this is putting in new windows! I know, I isn't a very fun project BUT you will not only lower your utility which saves you money, you will also get a 65%-75% return on your investment.

Lastly, let's not forget basic improvements. If you have a leaky roof your beautiful kitchen won't matter. Make sure your home is structurally sound.

*Information obtained from and

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