Features that add value to a home

Understanding what features add the most value to a home can help in your home buying decision.

Curb appeal
Home value begins on the outside. What initially attracts a potential buyer is curb appeal. This can be enhanced with attractive, well-maintained landscaping, a well-manicured lawn and attractive bushes and trees. Shrubbery and foliage should not be placed too close to the house as they may detract from its appearance.

The kitchen rules
The single most value-boosting feature of a home is an appealing, up-to-date, user-friendly kitchen. Kitchens have become a magnet for today’s families -- the hub of activity for everything from eating dinner to doing homework.

Beauty and the bath
A close second in adding to a home’s value is the bathroom. It needs to be functional and attractive. There should also be enough bathrooms for the size of the home. For example, a three-bedroom house with just one bathroom could be a problem at resale.

A home that has been well maintained is more likely to retain its home value. There are also a few other aesthetic aspects that can help. Gleaming hardwood flooring is always popular. And a fresh coat of paint provides easy and cost-effective appeal.

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