With the housing market heating up, many homeowners are looking to remodel or upgrade to get a higher return on their investment.  But the reality is a homeowner will not really get their dollar for dollar return on any given home improvement project.  The average return is usually about 70%-85% for a well thought out remodel or upgrade (read more).  Why spend valuable remodel money on a room or area that’s not necessarily in need of fixing or remodeling?  What room or items will be most desirable to buyers in the current market?  Savvy homeowners know not to spend money unless it is really necessary.  Keeping this in mind here are some great ideas on where to spend your valuable remodeling or upgrade dollars.

The kitchen is the heart of a home and has the largest return on investment dollars.  You can generally recoup 85%-100%+, as long as you don’t spend more than 20% of your home’s value.  While many of us would like to have a gourmet kitchen, you should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighborhood.  Don’t replace old appliances with higher end appliances, instead go for Energy Efficient appliances.  Most home buyers are looking for energy efficiency as a desirable feature in homes.  Durable counters such as granite or quartz are also desirable kitchen features.  But a simple paint job can also considerably increase your return in kitchen investments (read more).

Bathrooms are another high return on investment room.  You can generally recoup about 80% of your investment when done smartly.  Again, you don’t want to over do the remodel or upgrade, but you do want a “Wow” factor.  The current trend is leaning away from tubs and more towards large showers with frameless glass enclosures or no doors at all.  Durable counters such as granite or quartz are again more desirable.  And of course energy efficient fixtures are always desirable (read more).

Decks are a wonderful addition to any home and are more & more desirable.  The potential return on investment can be upto 80% if done right and not overly thought out.  Putting an outdoor kitchen or furnishing the deck or patio with high end amenities will not get you much back.  Instead look at what the neighbors are doing, keep it simple and functional.  Plant trees and bushes.  Curb appeal will bring high returns on investments (read more).

In keeping with the energy efficiency trend, replacing old windows with new energy efficient windows can potentially give you a 70%+ return on investment (read more).  Replacing vinyl siding with fiber cement siding will reliably raise a home’s value (read more).

The bottom line is a well thought out remodel or upgrade can bring you top dollar in this hot real estate market.