When the housing market’s hot, it seems like just about any remodeling project is a good investment and adds value to your home. But when the market is tight, you want to be more selective about which projects you undertake, and know what you stand to gain in return.

So whether you’ve been thinking about boosting your home’s value, its curb appeal, or just making your living space more comfortable for you and your family, the ideas below can help you cost-effectively achieve your goals in any market.

First Things First. Buyers often decide whether to look at your house before they even get out of the car. Before you spend a lot of time and money remodeling the inside, you may want to look at the outside. Washing windows, repainting trim, planting flowers, and fixing screens can make a big difference. For even more impact, you may want to consider replacing your siding or even adding a patio or deck. The added value for these bigger projects won’t yield as high of a return on investment, but may help your house stand out from the rest. So, weigh your options and ask your REALTOR® for advice before starting a big project.

Make Yourself at Home. Making a cozy first impression is critical. To make sure your entryway is inviting, try adding a fresh coat of paint to your foyer or a wicker chair and table outside the door. For even more impact, replace those old light fixtures and update the floor in your entryway.

Sparkle up that Old Bathroom. Remodeling an old bathroom can make a big impact. For very little money, you can add a new faucet to your sink, a new medicine cabinet on the wall, and even new paint or wallpaper. For a little more oomph, you can update the bathtub, add a double sink, or re-tile the floor.

Even Better: Add a Second Bathroom. Perhaps no improvement makes a bigger impact on your family’s comfort and your house’s appeal than adding a second bathroom. The number of bathrooms is always a big sticking point for potential buyers, especially families with two or three children. Although adding a bathroom costs more than simply fixing up your old one, it also increases the value of your house more. Plus, having that second bathroom may help you sell your house faster than if it only has one…an important point to consider in any market.

Make it Hot in the Kitchen. Renovating an outdated kitchen is a great way to improve your home and its value. Plus, you don’t have to splurge on extravagant items like hand-painted Italian tile or built-in espresso machines. Focus on the basics: installing new flooring, adding a backsplash and a new coat of paint, re-facing existing cabinets, installing new counter tops, and possibly installing new appliances. These go a long way to making you, or a potential buyer, feel right at home.

Remember, start small, work your way up, and always plan ahead. You don’t want to get halfway into a renovation only to find that you have to update your entire electrical system, or that you forgot to apply for a permit. So, check your local zoning codes before starting any remodeling project.

Renovating your home doesn’t have to mean huge and expensive changes. You can make your house more comfortable and valuable with very little time and money.

Via Integrity Mortgage Funding