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How to get the most value out of DIY home projects

Photo Source: AP Photo Source: AP
(ANGIE'S LIST) -

The real estate market is always changing, and it's up to you to get the most value out of what you put into your home.

Some home projects can increase your value, others can preserve it, and some might not be worth the money you spend on them.

"When building your home, make sure you remember you're probably not going to live there forever. So steer clear of these resale killers," says Angie's List Founder, Angie Hicks.

Indianapolis real estate agent Gavin Frost says he tells homeowners to focus on paint, staging, flooring and lighting.

"We're talking about furniture, we're talking about little knick-knacks that can pull the whole thing together. In other words, declutter the home and pull it together as one homogenous look for the whole house," says real estate agent, Frost and Associates, FC Tucker.

Frost says to avoid spending too much on mechanical elements of your home if you're planning to sell.  

"To go out and spend tons of money on a new high-efficiency furnace is not going to return the value of the money you'd go out and spend extra to get a new furnace that just works," Tucker said. 

He also advises paying attention to the exterior, including pulling out bushes, planting flowers and replenishing mulch. 

"A new, fresh bed of mulch goes further than you'll ever know," Tucker said. 

As you make these changes, be sure they all work together. 

"It's really important to get a professional involved, look at all those pieces, keep an overall plan, and that will get you the most value and the best look," says Tucker.

But don't just think about increasing value. Some projects, such as bringing things up to date, help keep from losing value.  

"Not every project in your home increases the value of your home. A lot of projects that need to be done PRESERVE the value of your home. And by doing them now, you're going to get dinged less in the market," Tucker said.

Angie adds that if you're doing a job yourself, make sure you know what you're doing.

A bad DIY job will not only fail to improve the value of the house, it will call the rest of the house into question.

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