Just like the current national financial market and the declining Crystal Coast real estate market are combining to suppress home and condo sales on the Bogue Banks, the same can be said for the home improvement business. Many Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach and Atlantic Beach property owners are electing to ride-out the less than favorable real estate market. With more Crystal Coast homeowners deciding to stay put, no doubt now might be the perfect time to consider fix-ups and improvements that will increase the value of your Crystal Coast home and make living there more comfortable and pleasurable too. The fact that the remodel business is sluggish as well will help make the home improvement market a better value for consumers is another factor to keep in mind. All the more reason to consider these high-return home improvement projects:

1. Replace The Exterior Siding of Your Southern Outer Banks Home

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2007 Cost vs. Value report, this publication compared the construction costs on numerous homeSmart Crystal Coast Home Improvements improvement projects to estimates of their resale value. This report as held in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS®. Fiber-cement siding replacement is the No. 1 home improvement project and also the material of choice. Fiber-cement siding offers significant ROI (return on investment) with an estimated 88.1 percent of the cost recouped. Fiber cement siding products offered by Hardiplank and CertainTeed resemble wood siding products but are better quality and offer superior features over wood/masonite siding materials (straighter and heavier than wood). The Hardiplank product will hold paint for 20+ years and only requires repainting every 10 years or so. Otherwise, expect maintenance to be minimal.

2. Build a Deck on Your Crystal Coast Home

If you’re looking for a relatively low-cost improvement, a new deck will allow you to recover 85.4 percent of the cost of a new wood deck from your resale. For a costlier and longer lasting deck, a composite deck addition is another option you might consider. More popular composite materials include Trex and Timber Tech. One important characteristic to keep in mind when adding a deck to your Crystal Coast home, many beachfront and sound side homes are elevated on stilts which adds to the overall project cost.

3. Update Your Kitchen

A perennial favorite, minor kitchen renovations ranked fourth in the survey. Obvious improvements include installation of new energy efficient Energy Star appliances, adding new solid surface countertops (granite and marble are choice materials) and putting on new cabinet and drawer handles are three popular ideas. By improving your kitchen with minor updates you can expect a 83% return on your investment making this remodel project a popular choice for smart home improvements.

4. Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Because energy savings are so important and the energy-consciousness is elevated, it’s no surprise wood and vinyl window replacements wereCrystal Coast Properties each given about an 80 percent recoupment value in the Remodeling survey. Not only should home buying consumers consider the cost of a property, the ongoing monthly cost to heat and cool a home needs to be considered as well. Make sure you look for the certification label of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Energy Star label of the National Fenestration Rating Council. These labels are the gold standard for energy savings. Remember – replacement windows will not provide instant savings but should be viewed as a long-term investment that will create energy savings down the road.

5. Give Your Crystal Coast Bathroom a Facelift

Upgrading your bathroom is another reliable investment. Today’s Crystal Coast home buyer and homeowner desire “spa-like” bathroom amenities like heated tile floors, towel-warmers, over-sized soaking tubs and separate “multi-jet” showers. A midrange bathroom remodel has an estimated 78 percent resale value, according to the Cost vs. Value report.

6. Crown The Walls of Your SOBX Home

Adding the detail of crown molding to your walls is another low-cost hit that’s easy and sure to make a big impact on the look of your Southern Outer Banks condo or rental property. It really adds a touch of class to any room and it’s a fairly low-cost project too especially if you’re a DIY homeowner and you’re handy with a miter saw.

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Helping you enjoy your Crystal Coast home,