If you are one of the many investors taking advantage of the current real-estate market by “flipping homes” there are several things you should consider when making improvements and renovations. While many improvements will add value to a home, others will not and what works in one neighborhood may not work in another.

First of all, it is important to understand that the value of a home is largely dependent on the value of those around it. If you are considering making major improvements be careful not to price yourself out of the market. For instance, investing several thousand dollars in a pool in a neighborhood that has no pools is likely going to bring little or no return on investment. Before making any major improvements consider carefully the value of homes in the neighborhood. Also, it is a good idea to make minor improvements first. You may find that a few minor improvements will achieve the added value that you seek.

For instance, a coat of fresh paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to improve the value of an existing home. Be certain to repair any damaged drywall and fill any holes with joint compound. Choose light, neutral colors that are inoffensive and provide a sense of spaciousness for the interior and white for the ceilings. Exterior walls should be pressure washed and checked for damage before applying fresh paint.

Clean or replace ceiling fixtures that are dirty or outdated and consider installing new light switches and power outlet plates. Old and tarnished door knobs and locks should be replaced with more contemporary hardware as well. These are inexpensive updates that will give the home a fresh, new home look.

One of the most important areas in the home is the kitchen and giving it a thorough make-over will go a long way toward turning a handsome profit. Consider re-finishing or re-facing cabinetry and replacing door and drawer pulls. Depending on their condition, you might consider replacing sinks and countertops to provide a more contemporary look.

Another important feature for any home is the bathroom. Again, fresh paint and light fixtures can make a huge difference. If the home is more than twenty years old you should probably consider replacing vanities as well. Double sinks with contemporary faucets and beveled mirrors will almost always pay for themselves at selling time.

Flooring is another important consideration. Replace old, worn carpet with new and strip and re-finish old hardwoods. Be sure to maintain continuity throughout the home where floor coverings are concerned. Different colors and pile height give the home a disorganized and unfinished look.