If you're like many homeowners, you most likely have a "to-do" list of improvements you want to make to your home. Whether you intend to sell your home in the near future, or you just want to make updates for your own benefit, home improvements are an investment that can actually increase the value of your house. Here are three you might want to consider for the maximum return on investment.

Boost your curb appeal.

Your curb appeal, or how your home looks from the street, is a critical part of courting potential buyers, so be sure to freshen up that facade! The right paint color can make a dull home dazzling. A new front door, fresh landscaping and repairing hardscapes, such as sidewalks and driveways, all enhance the appearance of your home. If you put your house on the market with deteriorating curb appeal, you risk potential buyers assuming the interior has been neglected too and driving right past.

Save some green by going solar.

Upgrading to a solar water heater is an excellent way to save on your energy bill! Your initial investment could be as much as $5,000, but it will save you in the long run, as much as 80% off of your hot water bill. Should you decide to sell your home, a solar water heater can be used as a selling tool to attract energy-conscious homebuyers. Install the solar panel where there is unobstructed southern exposure and bring to light another way to save!

Kitchen – still king of the remodel

If you plan on updating only one room in your home, it should be the kitchen. Spacious kitchens have become the social gathering place of the modern home. High-end finishes, such as granite, custom cabinets and energy-efficient appliances are now the standard. With an average return of 80 to 85 percent of every dollar spent, a kitchen remodel will easily provide you with the biggest return on your investment. If your kitchen is extremely outdated, look for an even larger return!

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