Home improvement refers to any work done on a home to enhance its function or appearance. It may include landscaping, painting, paving, installation of fixtures, and any other work done to make the house more comfortable or attractive. It may also include fixing and maintaining systems, such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, or electrical.
Spending on home improvements has risen since the last recession, with homeowners 55 and older driving much of that spending. But it’s important to be smart about what you’re doing, and avoid costly mistakes that can eat into your home’s resale value.
One big mistake is going overboard on a renovation project. Many people get caught up in choosing high-end finishes or adding extra features like a pool or a hot tub that exceed what neighborhood homes offer. That can push the price of your home well above what other houses in your area are selling for, and it can take longer to recoup your investment.
The best way to make a smart decision about what kind of improvements to undertake is to talk with a real estate agent. A knowledgeable person can help you decide how much to spend on upgrades that will add the most to your home’s resale appeal, and they can help you stay within budget. And always remember that going into debt is never a good idea. You’ll be paying thousands of dollars in interest on top of the cost of the original project, and you won’t even own your house when the debt comes due!