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Practical Home Renovations 

Balance cosmetic and essential maintenance upgrades

Home renovations have continually gained popularity, indicated by the hundreds of remodeling and fixer-upper shows that have families dreaming and planning for changes they'd love to make to their own homes. Updating, upgrading, remodeling and renovations are words thrown around endlessly in the real estate industry. However, each of these are specific to what the work consists of.

There are light cosmetic upgrades, such as interior painting, a beautiful kitchen backsplash or pop of color on the front door, to the unseen, but important utilitarian upkeep like burying a french drain around the perimeter of the home to draw water away from the structure. Some certain, more costly maintenance items are easy to ignore and may seem inconsequential. While they definitely lack the same sort of visual appeal and gratification of some projects, replacing a roof or HVAC system will provide a sense of security and assurance that your home is well cared for.

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To prepare for home projects, start by making a list of project goals, wants and needs. There's a different approach to planning, whether a homeowner is simply wanting to add cosmetic touches to a home or preparing it for sale. If the intention is to create a more personalized home that will be lived in for years, then use of colors, finishes and making spaces specific to the homeowner's needs is most important. If the goal is to sell the home and see the highest return on investment, the best approach is to appeal to the broader masses.

Enhance Curb Appeal - This is the first view everyone sees and a buyer's first impression. Tidy up landscaping, touch up paint, add a new front door with an exciting color or install new garage doors.

Upgrades in Important Rooms - If doing a minor remodel, it's OK to spend less when possible, but don't cut corners. Instead of installing fancy steam showers or high-end appliances while skimping in another area, balance it out and complete all necessary tasks with reasonably priced materials.

Reduce Maintenance Hassles - Replacing essential items that are past their average lifespan like roofing, siding, HVAC and water heaters will have a great return on investment and set the home apart from other less-maintained homes. 

Efficiency Upgrades - Install low-water-use toilets and plumbing fixtures. Adding insulation to walls, attics and floors can help the home feel more comfortable, while using less energy and reducing outside noise pollution. Highly efficient Energy Star-certified appliances, a Smart thermostat and wifi-controlled home devices can all help reduce energy consumption.

Touring many homes with buyers offers great insight into the mind of the buyer. Curb appeal, beautiful and functional kitchens, bathrooms and master bedrooms are where to put the money. These items will help a homebuyer fall in love with the home. A new HVAC system, roof, siding and fresh paint will tell the buyer that this home will help protect their investment and offer worry-free ownership.

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