By Jeff Seman

1. Ask any real estate expert what the number one upgrade with the greatest return is, and the answer will be the kitchen. You can expect to recoup 60-120 percent of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long as you don’t go overboard. You should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighborhood.

2. Buff up the bath. Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. Even simple things like a new toilet seat, replacing old faucets and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference in the look of the bath. If your tub and shower are looking dingy, consider re-grouting the tile and re-caulking the tub surrounds.

3. Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views, darken interiors, promote mold, and block a good look at the house. Homeowners don’t consider landscaping as a value to their home yet landscaping is one of the top three investments that bring the biggest return. It could really make a significant difference in the price.

4. Neutral paint colors. Get out of your personal taste. Buyers want to be able to project their own ideas onto a space, and sellers can help with toned-down wall color.

5. Insulate your home. According to, many homes in America aren’t insulated properly. If your home isn’t well insulated, your money could literally be going out the window any time you turn on the A/C if the air isn’t staying within the walls of your home.

All of these upgrades will increase the value of your home. Some less expensive than others but the returns to you when it comes time to sell make it a win-win solution.