Joseph Talbot, Real Estate Broker - HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT IMPROVE VALUES

and installation of a solar-powered water heater, with $2,100 back in green tax credits, could save you as much as 80% on your water-heating bills. Research published by The Appraisal Journal estimates that energy savings add twenty times the annual savings to the value of your property. Energy savers make your house more desirable. Make a "grand entrance." Home sellers are advised not to underestimate the power of a front door. It is said that people make up their minds in the first seven seconds of entering a house. Buyers expect a working doorbell. An overhang above the front door, such as an awning or portico, can also increase value. Buyers want a way out of the rain or shelter from the sun while fumbling for keys and a space where they can greet their guests. If you're up for more exterior upgrades, move to the back or sides of the house. People get back dollar-for-dollar the costs of decks they put in. If the deck is completed with the right material, it will stay in good shape and hold its value. Have flooring that stands up. Don't undervalue flooring in a home sale; 94% of real estate pros recommend spending money on floors. It doesn't have to be a lot of money. For an estimated average investment of $600 to $900, brokers report that the return in value comes in at up to $2,000. Of course, you can spend even less than that — some well-placed nails or screws can eliminate distracting squeaks. Other small projects with a big impact include repairing broken tile, patching damaged floor boards, and tossing out the wall-to-wall carpeting. Bath upgrades offer the best ROI. Almost all real estate agents and brokers say updating the kitchen and bath is the best bet for adding to a home's value. It may not be economical to do a major renovation if you are trying to spend as little as possible before putting a house up for sale. However, some upgrades are

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