Before You Move

Preparing to move this year? How about in the next five years? For most of us, our home is the most equity we will have in our lifetime. It’s the biggest investment we make, and has the largest impact on our lifestyle. In the United States, the average person will move 11.4 times in his lifetime. While no one fits snuggly into a statistic, chances are still high that most of us have a move in our future. Some of those moves will involve selling our current homes. If you find yourself in this camp, it’s important to choose home upgrades that will add value when the time comes to sell. After all, you want the most for your money, and the next resident will want the best in your home.

Choosing a project that adds value to your home is crucial, and should be relatively straight forward. But sometimes the answer isn’t exactly what you’d expect. Here’s some top projects that will add value to your home:

  1. Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is arguably the most important room when considering home value. A kitchen remodel, when done right, can sometimes recoup as much as 120% on your investment. When remodeling the kitchen, focus on the cabinetry, lighting, countertops, and appliances. Energy-efficient appliances in particular are often appealing to new buyers. Be careful when remodeling, however! Your kitchen should be current, and fit with the dichotomy of the neighborhood and the rest of the house. Make it too fancy, and it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Your contractor can help you make relevant decisions during the remodel.

  1. Repurposing a Den

Bedrooms are desirable. Dens, however, are often seen as wasted space. What separates a den from a bedroom? For a room to qualify as a bedroom, it must have a closet and a window. Otherwise, you have a den on your hands. If you’re looking to sell your home, consider how you might make use of this space. Adding a closet to turn a den into a bedroom isn’t always a simple process, and even when the architecture will allow it, it may reduce the room size significantly. Consider removing a wall and adding it to a living space, or expanding a neighboring bedroom. Depending on its location, you may also consider turning it into a home office. Use wisdom when spending, however, and evaluate the return on investment changing the space may provide.

  1. Curb Appeal

You don’t need a shining water fountain, koi pond, bushes shaped like artwork, or a golf course for a lawn. However, you do need some curb appeal. This is one of the most recommended upgrades, as it can be inexpensive and create a great first impression for potential buyers. Your lawn should be clean, your driveway, walkway and porch should be put together, and your plants should be alive. Compare your home’s exterior to neighboring houses. If it is evidently lacking, you will need to bring it up to the neighborhood standard.

  1. Bathroom Addition

Adding a bathroom can be a significant investment, however under the right circumstances can provide up to a 130% return on investment. You should consider adding a bathroom if you only have one, or if you have too few bathrooms for the number of bedrooms. A family of four or more will not want to all share the same bathroom. Work with a reliable contractor on this, as it’s easy to overspend on this kind of remodel. Remember, luxury is nice, but functionality is crucial. Make it worthwhile for your future buyer.

  1. Energy-Efficient Insulation

Insulation is a bare necessity in every home. Bad insulation is, you guessed it, bad for business. If your insulation isn’t good in quality, your home will lose heat, or cold air, and cause the energy bill to skyrocket. In addition to this, bad insulation will let sound travel throughout the home uninhibited. Home inspectors will always check the insulation. Bad insulation will reflect negatively on the report. While checking your insulation, you should also inspect for any potential energy waste. Doors and windows, electrical outlets, lights, ducts, and wiring should all be in order. A home inspector can give you these answers.

Whether you’re selling or not, investing in your home will make for a more livable, functional space. When you come to a season of life where you need to move, you will be ready to sell with confidence! Remodeling your home is no DIY project for those of us who aren’t construction professionals, so be sure to hire a reliable company to help. Hint: We know a few! At Responsible Contractors, we aim to bring you the best in each industry. To see a list of contractors we recommend, visit us online at

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