DEPARTMENTBy Bridget McCreaHome mattersThe U.S. housing market is on fire right now. Available homes are being snatched up either before the sign is planted in the front yard or for well over the asking price. The current state of the market leaves homeowners who have outgrown their digs a reason to reassess their living situation.
Until the market calms down, there are steps you can take to upgrade or renovate your existing home and make it more modern, functional or comfortable — or all three. By adjusting areas that need the most attention, you can give your home a renewed feel without having to relocate smack in the middle of a housing boom.
What’s the recoup rate?
If you plan on selling in the short term, focus on areas that will enhance your home’s value, usually the kitchen and bathrooms. According to HGTV, you can recoup about 102% on a minor bathroom remodel (i.e., a new tub, flooring, tile, or vanity), while a cosmetic kitchen upgrade (re-facing cabinets and drawers, installing a wall oven) has a recoup rate of 98.5%.
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“Choose projects that will add value,” Betsy Ronel, a realtor with Compass in New York advised. And while kitchens and bathrooms are always top choices, Ronel says that “finished basements go a long way, a bonus room always helps and a heated garage [ is a plus ] if you live in colder climates.”

Think before you shop
Before dashing off to Home Depot to buy materials, John Bodrozic, cofounder of digital home management platform HomeZada, recommends creating a project list that includes all the materials, fixtures and appliances you’ll need.

A kitchen remodel list, for example, should include
• Appliances
• Sinks
• Faucets
• Countertops
• Base cabinets
• Upper cabinets
• Flooring
• Light fixtures
• Garbage disposal
• Fume hood
• Tools
• Installation materials (e.g., tile grout, silicon caulk, fasteners, etc.)
Discover more details here“This will give you a realistic list of all the things that need to be purchased for your project,” Bodrozic said. “A lot of people go over budget on their renovations because they miss many items required to complete the project.” Shop around online for appliances and other products, he said, knowing that prices can vary greatly according to retailer and specific brand.

If you’re contracting the work out, get three qualified quotes from licensed contractors before making your decision. You can start with online resources like Angi, which offers a list of certified contractors. Share your appliance and other construction preferences with the provider in order to get an accurate quote, understanding that many vendors are experiencing material shortages and frequent price increases right now.
Home redo money tips
1) Decide what a reasonable budget is and plan accordingly.

2) You may be able to get a home improvement loan to complete a project.

3) Some homeowners fund projects on credit cards for the points.
4) Explore Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs), secured loans (backed by your home) that may qualify for lower interest rates versus an unsecured personal loan.
Make a move
If the thought of removing appliances and tearing up flooring is too much, Ronel said there are smaller steps you can take to make your home more livable, enjoyable and functional. “Refresh if you don’t want a full remodel,” she recommended. “If cabinets are good quality, they may just need a paint job. Or you can clean up the kitchen with a simple fresh backsplash. You don’t have to break the bank for a renovation.”