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Consider your return on investment when choosing home renovations

Date posted:  5/22/15 02:15:00 PM The right kind of remodeling project can boost your home value.

It's easy to look at your home and start nitpicking its deficiencies. Maybe you want a renovated bathroom, need new kitchen appliances or simply a fresh coat of paint in the bedrooms. Whatever it is, before you take on any renovation projects, make sure that you've done the research before diving in.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, told NBC South Bend, Indiana, affiliate WNDU that homeowners should try to balance their needs and their wants when deciding to start a home remodel.

"Maybe you want a new deck, but you need a new furnace and only have money for one," Hicks said. "Be sure you invest in those needs first because it will be a better return on your money."

The best places to invest
Not all renovation projects are created equal. Some remodels offer great return on investment, while others aren't nearly as profitable over the long haul. This is why it's vital to do your homework before picking a certain project.

Hicks stated that many homeowners forego research. She said that pool installations are especially common in the warm summer seasons, but they don't necessarily bring much of a return on investment. Hicks believes that most people won't even see half of the money they put into a pool back when it's time to sell the home.

"Remember kitchen and bathrooms are the best things to invest in because they get the best return on investment´┐╝, usually around 85 percent," Hicks said. "But don't over invest here. The goal is to keep up with the Jones, but don't be the leader in your neighborhood. If your neighbors all have two bathrooms, don't put three in your house."

Depending on the task at hand, home renovation projects can take days to weeks or months. The more research you've done, the less likely your project will go past its budget or date of expected completion.

If you can't afford a renovation, there are options available through loans from your bank or financial institution to make it possible. One method used for paying off a home remodel is through a home equity line of credit. This asks a borrower to put his or her home down as collateral in return for a line of credit in return, which can also be used for student loan repayment or a down payment on a car.

Improve your curb appeal
One of the simplest ways to improve the look of your home is by upgrading the front lawn. Nicole Curtis, host of HGTV's "Rehab Addict," told Today that you only get one chance for your home to make a first impression on potential buyers.

Nowadays, people hunting for houses will be looking online, reviewing pictures of your place. If you can maximize your curb appeal by improving the look of your front yard, you'll have a better chance that more people will be interested in the home.

"Twenty dollars of fresh flowers makes a huge difference," Curtis said.

Trimming overrun hedges and keeping a tidy lawn doesn't take too much effort - especially when compared to a remodel that includes construction - and it can go a long way in helping sell your home down the road.

Food for thought
Curtis said that kitchens tend to hold the most weight when making a sale. So if you are considering a home renovation, a kitchen upgrade can get you 85 percent of your investment.

To make your kitchen look contemporary without diving into a huge remodel, consider adding a fresh coat of paint and new hardware to cabinets. Curtis also said that adding at least one stainless steel appliance can give your kitchen a more modern, high-end look.