Child and father work on home upgrades together

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck With These Home Investments

Making upgrades to your home is like an investment – similar to putting money into a retirement account. That’s why it’s important to choose ones that will provide value for you now, save you money over time and make your house worth more in the future. 

The following home upgrades check all of these boxes. Read on to get smart tips for your next home renovation project.

Home Investment #1: Increase Efficiency

By installing energy-efficient devices or upgrading your current models, you can save substantially. 

An easy one to start with is upgrading your light bulbs. According to USA Today writer Janna Herron, simply switching out incandescent light bulbs with LED ones doesn’t cost much up front, but the return is high.

Another popular home upgrade these days is smart thermostats, which regulate the temperature of your home and its heating and cooling element more efficiently. Plus, you can control them with your phone. 

“Each one can save close to $200 a year, which can be big savings for large homes with multiple thermostats,” writes Herron.

Finally, watch out for energy vampires. Although it may seem harmless, leaving your appliances plugged in wastes energy and money. Smart outlets will help your plugged-in devices and appliances run more efficiently and cut down on energy and money waste. 

Related: Try our free calculator tools to set a budget and more >>

Home Investment #2: Focus on the Front 

Curb appeal is important to your home’s value, and you should continually invest in it, not only for your own enjoyment but also for when it comes time to sell. 

A well-manicured lawn and landscaping will appeal to buyers. And yet, curb appeal isn’t just about the grass and plants, but also the house itself. By updating your lackluster, draft-prone front door, you’ll create an inviting atmosphere and improve your home’s efficiency, according to U.S. News & World Report contributor Tom Sightings.

Another relatively simple upgrade is a new garage door. 

“A bright new garage door, for a relatively modest cost, gives your house a brand-new face to the world,” he adds. “According to the Remodeling Magazine survey, a new garage door returns almost 90 percent of its cost when you sell your house.”

An upgrade to your home’s siding may be a large initial investment, but according to Sightings, this is money well spent: It will reduce maintenance issues as well as improve your home’s look. He notes that vinyl siding usually offers a 10-year warranty, while more expensive options like manufactured stone veneer and fiber cement siding will impress buyers (and your neighbors).

Related: Four Factors That Influence Your Home’s Value >>

Home Investment #3: Protect and Insulate

Drafty windows waste your money and your home’s energy. New windows will stop drafts, resulting in lower energy bill, says Sightings.

Another way to help keep your home at a more comfortable temperature year-round and reduce your heating and cooling bills is by adding insulation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding insulation in spots like attics, above crawl spaces and in basements will help keep the right temperature in and the weather out. 

Learn more about insulating your home in this guide from the U.S. Department of Energy

Home Investment #4: Remodel Your Kitchen

The heart of the home is definitely the kitchen, so improvements like upgraded cabinets and high-efficiency appliances are smart investments as long as you keep your spending and design in check. 

A well-organized, attractive kitchen with modern appliances is worth the money, but high-end items like a customized wine cooler probably won’t earn you your money back, he warns.

Instead, focus on universally appealing upgrades that will make the space more useful for you and potentially attract buyers in the future.

  • • New appliances like a stove or dishwasher. Stainless steel is the most popular finish.
  • • Cabinet hardware to upgrade the look of the kitchen. It’s a low-cost upgrade that will give the kitchen an instant new look.
  • • An upgraded pantry. Features like soft-close doors and pull-out shelves top the list of buyers’ wants, and you’ll use them over and over again.

Get More Tips for Smart Investments

These home upgrades will help you earn a return in time and money. And they’ll improve your home’s efficiency, lower your energy costs and help make your home the talk of the block.

Want more investment help? Learn more about the four objectives of wealth and read our latest tips here.

Learn More >>

 

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