There's something profound and just truly All-American when you are able to buy your first house. The last thing you want is to have any remorse or regrets from purchasing your very first home and while there are tax benefits, there are also responsibilities that come with owning a piece of property, whether it's a condominium or single-family house with land. Regardless, here are 10 decisions homeowners never regret.
#1. To update the kitchen.
An updated kitchen can easily add $30,000 or more on to a home's value so upgrading is never a bad idea. Even if you're moving into a fixer-upper home, the kitchen should be your first priority. Most people that upgrade their home even if it simply countertops or flooring, feel that they can reap the benefits for years to come.
#2. Have a home energy audit.
This is a great way to find out if your home is losing energy or you are not maximizing your energy efficiency enough. One of these easy assessments can save major savings over time. A home energy auditor will assess any inefficiencies, where heat or cool air may be escaping and can talk to you about the best ways to fix any issues that might come up.
#3. Window replacement.
This is one of those almost thankless additions to a home but without it, you'll be losing energy, especially if your windows have lost their seal or their single pane. This is not an inexpensive job, but it can definitely boost your home's value.
#4. Add outdoor living space.
If you're not utilizing the outdoor space as an extension of your home, you could be missing a valuable living space. Many of these features such as a screened-in porch, deck, patio, fire pit, or outdoor kitchen may cost less than your imagining and will increase functionality and resale appeal. Many buyers love the idea of having an outdoor kitchen or backyard living room.
#5. A finished basement.
Maximizing all of your homes usable square footage is a smart move not just for the value of your home, future resale, but it will also add additional usable space for you and your family. Perhaps you're going to turn it into a family room, bonus room, game room, man cave, or guest bedroom. If plumbing is already in place, putting in a bathroom could be an easy project.
#6. Investing in landscaping.
Investing in landscaping now can reap a wealth of rewards in the future. If you're planning on selling your home within the next 6 to 8 months, go light on the upgrades and you may need to spend a little bit more money by buying more mature plants. But if you're planning on living there for several years, you can start small and enjoy the plants as they fill in the space for years to come.
#7. Upgrading a bathroom.
After the kitchen, bathrooms can give the most return on your renovation dollar. Choose a timeless look with marble, quartz, or simple tile and put the money into items that will really be a great return on your investment for personal use such as a high-quality toilet.
#8. Creating a mudroom.
A mudroom can often be the laundry room, foyer, or entrance from the back door but creating a space for everyone to come in, hang up their coats, pack away their shoes, briefcases, purses, and backpacks, will create a sense of organization in your home.
#9. A new garage door.
Garage doors have come a long way over the last few decades and you can really have a personalized and customized look to your home with a beautiful garage door. According to Remodeling Magazine, you can recoup about 98% of what you spent on a garage door replacement and it boosts your curb appeal in one go.
#10. Tweak the façade.
If your home looks very similar to many other homes on the block, you can really customize it by doing tiny little projects that will add uniqueness and creativity to the curb appeal. We've already talked about the garage door but if there are any pillars that come down in front of your home consider creating a brick or stone façade around those pillars, create new landscaping, add in stamped concrete, or even just pressure wash the driveway. You can repaint the house using accent colors or just paint the front door a vibrant and striking color that contrasts beautifully against the rest of the house.
There are a lot of ways that you can enjoy your home but these are a few home improvement projects that homeowners generally never regret. And, in the future, you'll have great resale value by completing several of these renovations.