Just the other day, I had a neighbor ask me what improvements would add the most value to his home. He plans to refinance his property and use his equity to make the improvements. Before you contact your lender, ask yourself what improvements you can make at a minimal cost to maximize the market value of your home. I recommend that you prepare your home for an appraisal as though you are putting it on the market. The appraiser will be looking at photos and comparing it to other properties that have recently sold. A soiled carpet may cost you $1,000’s in value when all it takes is renting a carpet cleaner for $50. Less expensive upgrades to increase your home’s value including updating/upgrading faucets, fixtures and door hardware. Perform deferred maintenance on the house, including caulking, painting, pressure washing, replaced torn screens, damaged deck boards. Declutter and clean, in other words, get the junk out and scrub everything down to the baseboards! Just spending a few weekends working on that To Do List you’ve had hanging on your refrigerator for the past year can add $1,000’s in value to an appraisal. Your hard work will likely pay off with more funds to reinvest into your home. Be sure to educate your self on what upgrades will give you the most return for your specific real estate market. Improvements such as flooring, cabinetry, granite, stainless steel appliances, windows, etc. all have the potential to give you high returns. Check with a local real estate professional in your area if you have any questions.