Boost value of your house with these renovations

Tanisha A. Sykes

For Todd and Lisa Miller, making major improvements to their 3,100-square-foot rambling ranch, built in the 1970s, is par for the course.

“Over the years, we have refinanced twice and done a number of improvements,” says Todd, president and co-owner of Isaiah Industries Inc., a manufacturer of permanent roofing solutions.

They also live frugally, so they saved and took some cash withdrawals from whole life insurance policies. 

The Millers bought their “forever home” in Sidney, Ohio, in the 90s, and have completed several renovations, including a $125,000 master ensuite addition, a family room expansion, new stucco on the home’s exterior, and new windows. The couple, who live on a street full of custom homes, also added a $95,000 in-ground swimming pool and landscaping. Plus they remodeled an office, bathroom, and utility room for $45,000. 

Housing buying tips:It’s a tough market. Here’s how buyers are doing it.

Projects that won’t bust your budget:Small, manageable projects to make home more welcoming 

The Millers

The Millers have spent $712,000, not including other investments, upgrades, and repairs along the way. The home has nearly doubled in value, says Todd, yet it is currently worth around $360,000 because they don’t live in an area with exceptionally high real estate values. “We’re horribly upside down, but we don’t regret anything,” he says. “All of the investment has been to make our home what we want it to be.”

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