Remodeling. There are entire tv shows and magazines, just on this topic. It has different meanings for different people.

Many of those tv shows highlight some projects on the extreme-side, people spending thousands of dollars on a beautiful bathroom. While stunning (and something you may be dreaming about), it may not always be the most realistic remodel for the majority of homeowners.

Taking on a new project can be quite expensive, but we are here to tell you that there are some that actually pay off! Whether or not you are considering reselling right now, it is important to recognize the “resale” value of your home with its new improvements.


There are a few things to keep in mind before starting your next remodeling project.

First, the return on your investment- how often will you be using or benefiting from it? For instance, replacing your front door has a great return because it is something that is essential to your home.

Next, you should also consider the value of other houses in your neighborhood. Spending a significant amount of money to remodel your home and, in turn, significantly increasing its value may not be ideal when it comes time to sell. Even if your home is valued at a certain amount, if the rest of the houses in the neighborhood are much less, you may find it difficult to sell your home for the price you desire.

There are three final things to consider before remodeling- the housing market in your area, how soon you’ll sell after the improvements and the quality of the project you are starting. If the market is up, many buyers will be interested in spending more money for a house with a newly remodeled bathroom. When it’s down, buyers are looking for the basics- like up-to-date systems.


Make your remodeling project beneficial and painless.

Do you want to be happy once your latest project has been completed? Of course! Everyone wants to be happy with the end result. There are a few factors that will make your project that much easier. Low-maintenance is key! The more involved, the longer it takes and the more expensive it is will make the project that much more stressful. Additionally, most homeowners are happiest with projects that are good (but not necessarily the highest) quality. And, finally, projects that are energy efficient are among these top factors.


So, let’s talk about the projects themselves.

Earlier we mentioned a few projects that people will be looking for in a home, whether the marketing is up or down. And that is up-to-date systems. No flooding in the basement. The roof is new (or relatively new). Clean and updated heating/cooling. Essentially, they are looking to see if the basics have been covered. Investing in these projects is a “must do” simply because it makes your house much more appealing, regardless of the marketing. And, truthfully, when the marketing is down, buyers are generally more interested in homes with up-to-date systems and an outdated bathroom than they are in homes with outdated systems and up-to-date bathrooms.

Most home buyers know that they will have to remodel. In fact, nearly 70% of them do. If they know that money could be spent on something more cosmetic than, let’s say, a new furnace, your house immediately becomes that much more appealing.

There are two rooms in the house where you can definitely tell if money has been spent- the bathroom and the kitchen. These are two of the most basic remodeling projects and should be added to your “must do” list when the housing market is up. While they do cost the most, just remember- people spend most of their time there!

Curb appeal. Otherwise known as landscaping. This does, in fact, pay off when you are looking to sell. Imagine walking up the driveway to a house with an overgrown lawn, a few scattered trees and maybe an attempt at a flowerbed. Now, imagine walking up the driveway to a house that has clearly been well-cared for. Beautifully manicured lawn, strategically placed flowerbeds and trees. Which house would you rather look at? The majority of people are more eager to view a house that has “curb appeal.”

The final two things on the list? More space- which, of course, makes sense. Additional square footage will add value to your home when it comes time to sell. And then all the little bells and whistles. Home entertainment systems, wine cellars. The little things that aren’t expected but get people excited.


Remodeling in a way that pays off is an absolute must.

Before jumping into your next project, take a minute to think about what will be the most beneficial for your home, and your situation.

One final thing to consider? Refinancing. Talk to your lender- the money you could save by refinancing could foot the bill for your next remodeling project.


Total Home Lending


Natasha Mason