The Difference Between Maintenance and Improvement Projects

Here we are, well into a new year. For many, this means sketching out and tackling general maintenance and home improvements for the months ahead. Excellent!
The most common questions I get relate to how maintenance and improvements will affect property value. What I would like to review is the difference between the two categories:
1) Maintenance Projects: As the word implies, these items simply maintain property value. (In this regard, houses are a lot like cars.) Examples would be; replacing a broken dishwasher, refinishing a scuffed floor, and even putting on a new roof. Generally, keeping up with current style also fits in this category.
2) Improvement Projects: These items transform the property to be substantially better than it was. Examples would be; remodeling an average kitchen with high-end materials, adding square footage, installing above-average windows or extensive landscaping, etc.
Let’s look at the online housing websites and their property “estimates”. Of course, no one from these companies has toured your house, so their algorithms are assuming your house is in “average” condition. If you have not kept up with maintenance, your actual value may be less. And, if you have kept up—and also added improvements—your actual value may be more.
I encourage you to keep up with maintenance to the extent that you can. Unfortunately, items left in disrepair often lead to other costly problems. Unsure as to which projects to tackle to meet your goals? Feel free to give me a call!