April marks the beginning of home selling season – a time of year when more people are ready to buy and sell real estate across the country (yes, even in a troubled economy). The season lasts well into summer until it slows down for the school year. If you plan to sell your home or a piece of real estate this year or years from now and want to get the best money for it, it’s good to know where to focus your DIY home improvement energy. It’s likely that no matter how sweet your pad is, you’ll likely need to do a thing or two to make it multiple-bid worthy. The good people at HomeGain completed a national survey last year of the best DIY home improvement projects, upgrades and general presentation ideas that will get you the best real estate ROI (return on investment) for your dollar. Here they are!
Not surprisingly, a little spit, polish and elbow grease goes a long way when trying to sell a home. Cheap (if not free) cleaning and decluttering can result in hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in return. Let’s face it – if your place is messy, smells of cat, or features a distracting number of Elvis commemorative plates, no one is going to envision themselves living there. Take a look at some of the cleaning products and scratch repair products we’ve reviewed and recommended in the past to get a good idea of what works. If massive decluttering is required, take a look at Angie’s List for junk removal services, storage rentals and even personal organizers.
When it comes to the real money, though, kitchens are where it’s at. As this survey looked specifically at DIY home improvement, the kitchen upgrades were fairly modest. For $1,000 to $1,500, you’re probably looking at resurfacing kitchen cabinets, maybe a new appliance, an updated faucet, lighting and a paint job at most. However, as a HomeFixated reader, your DIY home improvement skills and ambitions may be loftier than that. The good news is that this will often be paid off in your the real estate ROI. If you really want to get that bang for your buck, doing some extras in the kitchen – stainless steel appliances, replacing the counter, tiling the back splash – will potentially net you even more return on your real estate investment.