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Best Bang For Your Buck!

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7 Cost-Effective Home Improvements
By Tali Wee of Zillow
Remodeling a home can be costly and time consuming, depending on the severity of the project. One of the most promising aspects of a home remodel is the return on investment (ROI) homeowners earn at resale. However, house hunters on the market are drawn to some home upgrades more than others – yielding a vast difference in ROI for homeowners.
Here are the top seven home improvement projects yielding the highest returns for residents on the West Coast, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report.
Deck Addition
Outdoor living spaces such as decks and patios impress prospective homebuyers who are looking to entertain. A wooden deck is rated the best home improvement for resale value and provides an average 96.1 percent ROI. The cost is relatively high at $11,116, but homes with a deck garner positive feedback during walk through tours and appraisals.
Entry Door Replacement
The second most cost-effective home improvement of 2013 is installing an insulated steel door. Steel doors are energy efficient because they help keep homes better insulated than a traditional wooden door. Further, there is less of a chance for distortion due to outdoor elements because steel doors are weather-stripped and can

withstand extreme conditions. The average cost to install a steel door is approximately $1,245 and yields a 95 percent return for homeowners.
Garage Storage Updates and Garage Door Replacement
The garage is a great place to increase home storage, and homeowners are smart to incorporate updates such as a modular wall storage system and new flooring. Another update to consider is replacing the garage door. This improvement is the third best investment homeowners can make with a 92.9 percent ROI. The average cost of this project is $1,669.
Minor Kitchen Remodel
A mid-range kitchen update yields a 90 percent ROI and costs around $21,094. Minor kitchen remodels allow homeowners to cosmetically update their culinary spaces without any major overhauls. Refinished cabinetry, upgraded countertops and new appliances are all selling points. So, consider investing in a mid-range remodel to increase home values. Check out Zillow Digs for examples of kitchen renovations and estimates to get an idea of what a design might cost.
Attic Bedroom
Adding an additional bedroom to a finished attic is costly at $56,612. However, this home improvement project impresses house hunters and the ROI averages around 89 percent. Not only will homebuyers be content with the addition, but an extra bedroom opens up the market for larger families or individuals looking for more finished square footage.
Window Replacement
Replacing double-hung or sliding windows with insulated wood windows costs about $12,036 and usually yields an 88.6 percent ROI for homeowners. Vinyl-clad windows have interior wood and exterior vinyl, making them energy efficient, easy to install and maintain and the vinyl is pliable to adhere to different frames. However, they can’t be painted so it is difficult to match with a home’s exterior colors. Another option is aluminum-clad wood windows, which can be painted but don’t offer as much insulation. Aluminum is a less-bulky option compared to vinyl. Either way, the interior wood retains an aesthetic element that attracts homebuyers.
Basement Remodel
A finished basement adds a lot of livable square footage onto a home. The added space can also house additional bedroom(s), bathroom(s), a kitchen and/or living room. The average cost for a basement remodel is $73,530. Although expensive, a basement renovation increases resale value by an average of $64,593, which is an 87.8

percent return. If the budget allows, this is a worthwhile investment for those looking to increase the value of their homes.
All of these improvements stand out to homebuyers and present strong ROIs when it comes time to sell. Consider updating the home with at least one of these projects to increase the resale value of a home.