For Mark Roberts’ Use:    The recent housing crisis has had a detrimental effect on the plans of many retirees. Whether you were counting on a big profit from the sale of your home, or really need to unload it before you can move to the retirement location of your dreams, low values and sluggish sales have probably impeded your plans.

If you’re trying to sell your home, or anticipate selling it in the next couple of years, you might be wondering which upgrades could add value and help attract buyers. Remodeling Magazine released a Cost vs Value Report last year which sheds some light on the types of renovations that are found most valuable by potential owners.

Upgrades which improve a home’s curb appeal carry a big potential for a high return on your investment. New landscaping, outdoor lighting, or even something as simple as a nice mailbox or attractive front door might help. Other exterior projects such as vinyl siding updates, the addition of a deck, new windows, or a new garage door are also good ideas. When it comes to interior projects, such as kitchen upgrades, you might be surprised to know that you’re better off spending your money on minor cosmetic renovations that major overhauls. Focus on new paint, fixtures, or counter tops.

Housing prices are still on the rise, so it might be better to wait a few more years before selling your home. You’re likely to reap a better profit by waiting for home values to rebound a bit more. Having said that, retirees who really need to sell their homes now can benefit from smart upgrades which will help their homes compete on the market, the advice of a seasoned real estate agent, and some strategic financial planning. Talk to you financial advisor if sagging home values have impacted your retirement plans, and formulate a new plan which doesn’t depend so heavily on the value of your home.

Source: Remodeling Magazine, 2013