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Calculator: How much will my closing costs be?

Closing costs can be an unplanned expense on your path to homeownership. Find out how much you will pay with this helpful closing costs calculator.
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Home Improvements That Really Pay Off

If you are thinking about selling your home, you may want to make some home improvements that can help sell your home and get you a higher selling price. However, some of these home improvements can be very expensive, and some even require additional borrowing from a home equity loan. Before committing to making some big changes, keep in mind that some home improvements are likely to provide more return on investment than others.

Many homeowners don’t always think about the return on investment of their home improvements, but it can be important to do so. While some improvements can make the house look more attractive, focus on those improvements that will either make the house sell quicker, or will increase the selling price. Improvements that will reduce bills by making the home more energy efficient are especially appealing to buyers.

In general, remodeling and changes that reflect personal tastes and preferences are not as likely to add much to resale value, since not every prospective buyer is going to have the same taste as you do. These changes also don’t help reduce any bills. While hard landscaping, like patios or retaining walls, does often provide an increase to home values, other types of landscaping don’t always. Also, any improvement that reduces the number of bedrooms in a home usually doesn’t pay back, because when you list your home for sale, you’ll have to advertise fewer bedrooms. 

However, and especially in recent years, remodeling that improves the home's energy efficiency has been providing a greater impact to resale value, in addition to helping reduce electricity and heating bills. Many experts believe that the best return on your investment is for vinyl, fiber-cement, and foam backed vinyl siding. Window replacements also rank high in overall return on investments, as do kitchen renovations.

When it’s time for you to consider some improvements, think about them from a buyer’s point of view–would you pay extra for a home with these changes? Then, think about the impact to your bills–will these changes help reduce bills? If so, then think about how much your bills will decrease–will the savings help pay for the investment? If the answer to these questions is no, you really should rethink making the changes. Try paint instead! Painting is an inexpensive way to update a space.