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When it comes to home improvement projects, some dollars stretch more than others. Here are 6 affordable improvements that let you enjoy your home more today and sell it for the best price tomorrow.

Whether it’s a potential buyer or guest, first impressions count. Painting your front door is one of the easiest, most affordable DIY projects you can do. This improvement gives your home a fresh look you can enjoy right away and costs under $50. If you are looking to maximize your ROI, traditional colors are more popular to buyers.

Decorative Molding is a home improvement that will personalize your home and and add value. It is budget-friendly project that provides a polished look that stands out. Adding molding costs around $1.50 per foot if you do it yourself (DIY), or $8 per foot if you hire someone to install. Buyers consistently rank crown molding #3 on their list of most desirable decorative features they seek in a home according to the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey, “What Home Buyers Really Want.”

The value of energy-efficient houses is increasing. NAHB’s reported that 9 out of 10 homebuyers surveyed would select an efficient home with lower utility bills over a less efficient home priced 2% to 3% less. Converting a wood burning fireplace to a gas fireplace is an improvement that you can enjoy while you save money. Gas fireplaces have energy-efficient ratings around 77%, compared with wood-burning fireplaces that convert only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat. Since 39% of homebuyers list a gas fireplace as a desirable feature for their next home, this project will be a great selling point later.

Planting trees is a project that will increase value with age. The value is more than cosmetic. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree could be worth between $1000 to $10,000. The shade trees can provide can also save you around $200 on energy costs annually and can protect your home from the elements. Plant shade trees on the south side of the house where the sun beats strongest and longest. Plant windbreak trees, which lower winter energy costs by 30%, on the north and northwest sides of your property.

Ceiling fans have come a long way in both design and function. If your ceiling fans are outdated, installing new ones can update your room and save money on energy costs. Installing quality Energy Star-rated fans will ensure you get better cooling results and less noise. Costing $200-$600, this improvement is a comfortable upgrade for your home that you can benefits you now and later.

Installing a patio deck can cost anywhere from $2k to $10k depending on the features you choose to include. A new patio or deck will encourage you to enjoy your outdoor space while making your house more attractive and marketable to prospective buyers. You can enjoy the outdoors while recovering 30% to 60% of your investment when you sell. Choose materials wisely and keep it functional.

Before you make any major changes, talk to a realtor at COListings. They have the knowledge about what people are looking for in your area that can save you time and money on your home improvements.

Sources: National Association of Home Builders (NA HB) survey, “What Home Buyers Really Want.” https://www.nahb.org/en/research/housing-economics/special-studies/what-home-buyers-want-2013.aspx The Value of Trees to a Communityhttps://www.arborday.org/trees/benefits.cfm

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