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Making a renovation to your home or investment property can be stressful, both on your mind and your bank account. So, suggests Todd Hetherington, CEO of Century 21 New Millennium, when considering a major home improvement project, it’s important to consider what will yield the greatest return on investment, or ROI.

“Some improvements offer a greater return than others,” says Hetherington. “If you’re planning on selling your home anytime in the future, you should consider your renovation an investment.” Hetherington suggests taking a look at surrounding proprieties and comparing features.

Consider the impact that your home improvement project will have on your ROI.

“You want to make your home comparable to your neighbors’,” says Hetherington, “but you don’t want your property to stand out to the point it will land in a completely different price range. This will hinder your selling success, instead of enhancing it.” If your neighborhood consists mainly of simple ranch style homes, and you add an extra floor, an in-ground pool and an outdoor kitchen, then your property is not comparable to surrounding homes, and those extras you sunk your time and money into may end up costing you.

Some of the most popular pre-sale home improvements offering high ROI are siding replacement, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, features like a new roof or front porch, and window replacements. With green features currently trending, adding energy efficient windows or appliances can be a major boon.

“Keep in mind what buyers will be considering when making decisions between properties—square footage, number of bathrooms, updated features, etc.,” Hetherington notes. They are looking for things that are practical and functional, like a two-car garage or main-floor bathroom, not extra—like that new swimming pool.

“Custom features like pools and elaborate landscaping may seem like a great selling point to you, but your buyer may see them as superfluous, or something requiring additional time, maintenance and money,” Hetherington warns.

When considering renovating your home, write out a list of wants versus needs:

  • Is your renovation practical?
  • Will it make your home comparable to surrounding properties in similar price ranges?
  • Would a buyer think this is a valuable asset to the home?

A finished basement or laundry room may be a logical renovation, whereas a home gym may not. “Talk to your real estate agent and local housing experts. Gain knowledge on what features sell a home in your area. Ask neighbors about their homes, and any renovations they may have considered making. If your improvement is practical and will amp your home’s appeal without landing you in a completely different selling range, then your project will most likely yield a high ROI,” Hetherington says.

For more information on home improvement, please contact Century 21 New Millennium at, 800-382-1101, or Century 21 New Millennium.

CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster.

CENTURY 21 New Millennium,, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. The Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park and Lusby. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.

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