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Survey sees big spending on renovations: Be smart about it

A kitchen renovation can increase the value of

A kitchen renovation can increase the value of your home. Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto / powerofforever

Homeowners are ready to spend big on renovations. According to a survey of more than 3,200 people by LightStream, the national online lending division of SunTrust Banks, homeowners plan to spend more on home improvements in 2017. Forty two percent will likely dole out $5,000 or more. Nearly 25 percent expect to spend $10,000 or more — the highest percentage since the first study in 2014.

Get your money’s worth. Here’s where your dollars might be best spent.

  • What’s cooking?

A kitchen renovation gets two thumbs up. “A well laid out kitchen adds tremendous value. The newest value add is an appliance garage. Everybody wants a Vitamix [blender], but displaying everything is not as attractive as having it at the ready,” says Gregory Spock, a real estate salesman with Stribling & Associates in Manhattan.

  • Bathrooms and basements

Turning unused closets into half-baths, especially in older homes without them, is a good idea. Updating a master bath is smart, too.

If your home has an unfinished basement, there’s potential to increase value, especially if you add a bedroom and bathroom. “Better still, if there is a separate entrance. Add a kitchenette to make an in-law suite and watch your property value rise,” says Kendra Barnes, a real estate investment coach for

  • Create a budget

“Projects like kitchen and bathroom remodels and finishing a basement have a lot of items that need to come together, plan and budget,” says John Bodrozic, co-founder of Make a list of the items required for your project, research different products and brands to help determine what you like and what works in your budget.

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