Homeowners are always looking for zero-based investments, or ways to improve their homes that end up costing zero in the long run. Is it possible to achieve this goal without risk? The answer, according to financial gurus who specialize in the housing industry, is a resounding yes. But consumers who are in search of these wonderful investments should keep in mind that there are ways to improve a structure that don’t repay the initial expense. How to know which ones are winners?
The way experts evaluate smart improvement expenditures is based on two key factors: potential resale value and initial cost. If a reasonable estimate of selling price out-distances the upfront expense of a particular improvement, then the project is considered a go. Here’s the most recent listing of the very best home improvements culled from various manufacturers websites:
Newer solar panels are a true game-changer in an industry that has struggled to break through to the average homeowner. But today’s solar cells are light years ahead of technology in the industry just a decade ago. Residential panels, for example, now have the ability to pay for themselves in less than three years, compared to 15 years for the older versions. Plus, the latest solar panels don’t take up nearly as much space as their older counterparts did. They also work well on the ground and are one of the best ways you can make use of dead backyard space and turn it into a money maker.
Home lifts have the unique ability to pay for themselves as soon as you sell your house. But, not only do these unique home improvements ramp up resale value, the add class and a large amount of comfort to any dwelling. Because they allow residents to travel from floor to floor without having to confront potentially dangerous flights of stairs, lifts are a key selling point among older house-hunters.
These days, the market for residential lifts is vibrant. For example, Stiltz Home Lifts, a UK domestic lift company, recently won the prestigious Lloyds Bank “Exporter of the Year” award, a well-known national prize given each year to companies that make a difference in international trade.
An old standby but a reliable way to boost a dwelling’s resale value, swimming pools can be pricey. The payoff is that they typically repay their entire installation expense on the day a house sells. Young couples often seek out properties with pools. Older buyers also make pools a priority, especially if they live in an area that allows for year-round use, such as Southern California or Arizona.
Energy-efficient window systems are one of the newer upgrades but can be installed in older structures as well. Recent advancements in glass technology have made these systems big winners for anyone who chooses them. So-called green windows can cut utility bills by up to 60 percent in some regions and typically save owners around 35 percent on heating and cooling bills. On average, it takes just three years for a full-house window system to pay for itself.