Most people purchase a home because they want a nice place to live, and also because owning a home is a good investment. While the total cost of owning a home may not be less than paying rent to a landlord, it does offer the potential of increasing in value and equity for the homeowner. The current uncertainty of home values can leave the homeowner searching for ways to increase the equity in their home to offset shrinking home values. Some of the most popular choices of home improvement projects are listed in this article.
Kitchens go Functional and Open
Kitchen remodels have been popular for some time, but the modern kitchen remodel focuses more on functionality than luxury. A kitchen that is open to an adjacent dining area is a more efficient and enjoyable workspace. Kitchens with enough space for one or more cooks to move about freely are in demand and add considerable value to the home.
Home Offices are Popular
The weak economy that our country is currently experiencing has created an increased demand for a home office. Telecommuting has become more common, and many people work at a side job or consult from their home. These situations require the use of a home office, and many people merely like having a dedicated room for their computer as well as space for storing important records.
Energy Saving Improvements
More and more homeowners are following the trends of green energy in their homes. These updates may include such minor changes as installing energy efficient appliances, or the homeowner may make a much larger investment by installing a geothermal heating system. Consumers are keenly aware of the need to reduce energy usage, and these changes directly benefit them with lowered energy bills and increased equity in their home.
Improvements for the Future
With the housing market at a standstill, many homeowners plan to stay in their home after retirement. With this in mind, seniors begin to focus on creating a first floor living space that is completely usable for someone needing a wheelchair or a walker. This involves having a laundry area on the first floor, easy entry to the home without needing to negotiate steps and possibly adding an easy entry bath.
Simply Beautiful Landscaping
The exterior of the home and the surrounding yard are very popular improvement projects. Outdoor living spaces are considered part of the home and the addition of a patio or deck adds considerable equity to a home. The view into the backyard impacts the enjoyment of this outdoor space, so adding color and interest to the area is important. While choosing shrubs and flowers for landscaping, the homeowner should search for relatively maintenance free plants that create a beautiful view.
In spite of the fact that home values are somewhat depressed, there is no doubt that the housing market will recover within the next several years. The homeowner who has made some common sense improvements to their home in the meantime may choose to remain in their home. If they should need to sell their home, the updates they have made will result in added equity for a profitable sale.
This article was contributed by the home improvement enthusiasts at Tulsa Property Management who blog online about Tulsa homes and real estate.