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Ways to increase resale value of your home:

Always renovate inside the home first, just incase you run out of money as this brings better returns than outdoor or out-of-sight improvements.

Putting in central air conditioning and remodeling your kitchen and baths are always good investments. You should also get back most of the cost of new windows and more than 50 percent of the cost of skylights and closet storage systems. Fireplaces, new rooms with windows, improved insulation and roofing will bring good returns.

If you put in a swimming pool or screened-in-porch, landscape your yard or finish your basement, make sure that your family enjoys the improvements because they add very little to your resale value. Swimming pools may even be a liability since many buyers don't want to care for a pool.

Most buyers would rather pay a lower price for a home with no improvements than a higher price for an improved home. Your home will be particularly hard to resell if the improvements make your home similar to others in the area but more expensive. For instance, you probably won't recoup the costs of adding a third bedroom--an expensive project--when other homes in your area were built in three bedrooms.