New American Funding Blog

Home Improvements That Make Your Money Work

By Rosemarie Pirio   |  September 22, 2011

Having a warm, secure place to call home is a necessity. But, we also seek out these 1,500+ square-foot refuges because they’re considered an investment. Aside from equity you might pull out when refinancing, if you decide to resell your home, you can get more money with certain improvements done to it. For that reason, we’ve jotted down a few places you could invest in that will increase your home value. You should note that the ROI (Return On Investment) of each of these home improvements varies depending on the current market, the overall condition of your home, and, of course, how much money you end up investing in your project.


Kitchen renovations can range from a complete demolition and construction of the area to simply changing a cabinet’s hardware. So, depending on what you want to spend, save up a few thousand dollars and replace any outdated appliances, change out that discolored 1970’s flower-patterned vinyl flooring, buy a shiny new faucet, or get some new lighting in there. You can be sure any potential home buyers will notice these additions and be more swayed to make an offer.


Same deal here, as with your kitchen. Bathrooms are another high ROI area that a lot of buyers check out on their tour of the house. A sleek, clean, modernized look would be more appealing to buyers. If you can afford it and you have space for it, why not replace that pedestal sink with a cabinet vanity sink combo? Or how about changing out those plastic shower curtains with some nice glass shower doors? If you just want to make simple renovations, consider re-grouting any cracked tub caulking or chipped tile. Go even simpler and install a new toilet seat or your cabinet’s hardware.


Adding a fresh coat of paint to rooms is a cheap and easy way to raise your home’s appeal and value. Just make sure to use neutral colors. Nothing’s more disheartening than spending hours painting an entire room your favorite shade of electric pink only to have to repaint the room again to appease the new owner’s taste.

Carpet is an area to tread carefully with. You might enjoy the fuzzy feeling between your toes that carpets provide, but maybe your prospective buyer enjoys the elegant look of hardwood floors. So, leave it up to them to either leave or tear out the carpet. Only consider putting in new carpet if that perfect “accent” of red wine can’t be hidden by a rug.

Making a room appear larger than it actually is can be done with a few easy tricks (no “TARDIS” required). Transitioning from curtains and drapes to shutters or blinds will let more light in, which in turn makes the room feel more “open.”  You can go the extra mile and install new windows altogether, which will also help reduce your energy bill. If you have a lot of knickknacks lying around, consider getting some shelves to help eliminate the clutter.


For obvious, physical reasons, the outside of a home is the first thing people see. Nothing sours a homebuyer’s first impression of a home more than an unkempt front lawn, rickety gutters, or spotty exterior paint. Maintain the outdoor appearance of your home and you should have no problem getting people through the door.

Speaking of which, installing an elegant front door will significantly add value to your home. All types of exterior doors can do this, whether they’re sliding doors for your patio or a new access door for your garage.

One last addition to this list is building a wooden deck. Because of the country’s current economic hardships, many people opt for staying home instead of having a night out. So, why not build something that’ll encourage having more barbecues or outdoor parties? It’s also an inexpensive way to expand your living space, compared to building an additional room which requires a lot more costly expenses, like, insulation, drywall, wiring, etc.

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