While there are many warnings about taking on excessive debt in the current economic climate, it is an excellent time for homeowners, who are able, to invest in their home and to take advantage of low interest rates to renovate to improve property values. A new study suggests that changes and upgrades made to the exterior of the home are what really gives it a boost.

This year's Remodeling Cost versus Value Report shows the value of putting your home's best facade forward. Inexpensive exterior replacement projects are not only crucial to a home's regular upkeep, but are also expected to recoup close to 70% of costs. These projects include windows, siding and door replacement. They also have the added bonus of instantly adding curb appeal. It is a well known fact that curb appeal carries tremendous weight both in the ability to sell a home and perhaps more importantly, to fetch top dollar. Many perspective buyers have made up their mind as to whether or not a property is of interest before they even cross the threshold.

However, from a mortgage perspective interior upgrades are most important. When an appraiser values the property they are comparing it to other properties in the area. A house with updated finishes and fixtures such as granite countertops etc. will appraise favourably. The appraiser wants to see a house that has current finishes and has been well maintained. Interior projects that were considered the ones that influenced value for the least investment include minor kitchen remodels and the conversion of unused space into bedrooms or bathrooms.

Tricia Greer

Tricia Greer

CENTURY 21 Millennium Inc., Brokerage*
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