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Top 15 Home Improvements, Part 3

By Anessa V. Cohen

The following are the last five items from our list of home improvements to maximize resale value. I hope you have found all the tips helpful. Shanah tovah!

10. Replacement windows. Replacing old windows can be one of the most cost-effective improvements you may realize on your home. Aside from the fact that new windows look good inside and out, and they are much easier to open and close, they can increase the energy efficiency of your home by a huge amount.

There are different grades of energy efficiency on each type of replacement window, allowing you a large variety of options in addition to styling and material composition. Good-quality energy-efficient replacement windows are available for every budget, and the savings realized just from your heating and air conditioning bills can pay for them and then some.

Insofar as value for reselling your home, buyers will pay substantially more for a home with good-quality replacement windows already installed than they will for a home not already equipped with them, so your investment can be recouped from the difference in your sales price as well as what you have already realized from their energy efficiency savings.

11. Addition of den. There are two types of den additions. One is a main-level den addition (where property availability will allow). The other is an adaptation of existing interior space, such as unfinished basement or attic space, which can be transformed into a den.

Buyers will always be willing to spend more money for the availability of a main-level den. This is especially so with buyers who have young children, since they can more easily monitor the children on the same level as the kitchen. This feature is highly desirable.

When it is not possible to add a main-level den to your house, transforming attic or basement space into a den is still advantageous. While this will not have the same strategic value as a den on the main floor, it will help you realize a better price on resale than you would get without any den.

12. Electric upgrades. I cannot emphasize enough how valuable electric upgrades are in resale values. By electric upgrades, I mean upgrading your existing electric service box to a minimum of 150 amps, although 200 amps is more desirable.

In today’s times, with the abundance of electric and electronic devices in use in the average home, whether kitchen appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators with ice makers, trash compactors, microwaves, toaster ovens, and convection ovens, or electronics such as TVs, home-entertainment centers, DVD players, stereos, computers, etc., having enough electric power to feed all these devices necessitates upgraded electric service.

Although I stressed electronic devices, you will need this upgraded electric capacity to service central air conditioning, which has also become a high-demand item.

13. Wood floors. If you have wood floors that have seen better days, having them sanded and stained will show off your home to its best advantage. Sanding and staining, or even just adding polyurethane to your floors, will make everything seem newer and larger, and will present your existing furniture at its best.

14. Painting. It is amazing what a couple of coats of paint will do to a room or even several rooms. Sand and spackle any holes or cracks in the walls to make them look as fresh and new as possible before painting. Aside from making the walls refreshed and new, you can try some new colors to brighten and give a new look to the interior of your home.

15. Accessories. Take the time to add some accents to your existing décor that will enhance your living space, such as a few nice plants or a pretty vase or art piece. Make sure to put just a few things that will enhance your décor rather than too much, which will make it look cluttered. The idea is to make it pleasing to the eye when your potential buyer walks into the house for the first time. A buyer’s first glance can make that “feel good” impression that can be important in creating the positive feelings they have toward your home as they consider purchasing it. v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to

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Posted by on September 12, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.