For most of us, buying a home constitutes the biggest investment we ever make. With Tucson home prices continuing to rise, it might be time to tap into some of your equity to perform a few improvements around the house. Do you plan on selling soon? Or do you simply desire to make life a little easier? Spending money to fix things up could pay off dearly either way. But it makes the best sense to devote funds into home improvement projects that actually increase your home's value. Here are a few you should consider.

If your Tucson house needs a little updating, consider focusing your budget on these home improvement projects that actually increase your home's value.

Home Improvement Projects That Increase Your Home's Value

Smart Home Features

TSearch Tucson homes for saleoday's Tucson home buyers look for smart technology inside and out. Smart thermostats are perhaps the easiest things to install. Smart security systems, too. Add a system that allows you to control any light in your house from your smartphone. Eco-conscious appliances such as washers, dryers, ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators also appeal to today's buyers. With upcoming end-of-year sales, you may even score yourself a deal on these items as well.

Kitchen Update

Kitchens remain one of the top three most important rooms in a Tucson house when it comes time to sell. You need yours to be up-to-date. Counterspace, updated appliances, and a modern look appeal to the widest variety of buyers. But, instead of a major overhaul, consider a few minor changes. Paint the cabinets (as long as they are in good shape). Add handles and pulls to cabinets and drawers. Paint the walls in a complimentary, neutral color. Clear off countertops of every non-essential item. Store them out of sight.

Multi-Generational Living

As our parents get older, we worry about their care. The cost of assisted living facilities continues to rise. If your parent is healthy but you worry about them living alone, you might end up bringing them into your house to live instead. Multi-generations living under one roof has been on the rise in recent years. Creating in-law quarters on the main floor of your Tucson house makes it much easier for older folks to navigate. For some, that may mean something as simple as installing handrails in a guest bath near the first-floor guest room. Take out the tub and install a walk-in shower in its place. Make sure transitions from room to room remain even. Slippery surfaces and edges of area rugs create a tripping hazard. Wider doorways and hallways ensure enough space for walkers and wheelchairs to pass through.

First Impressions Last

Something as simple as a new coat of paint and a shiny brass doorknocker with matching doorknob makes a world of difference in your curb appeal. Place pretty potted plants and a water feature on your front porch for added interest. Make sure all shrubs are kept neat and trimmed. Weed flower beds and mow lawns regularly. Check out your roofing for cracked tiled or torn shingles. Even painting the trim gives your Tucson home's exterior a nice facelift.

Make Those Repairs

Finally, make those repairs you've been putting off...no matter how insignificant you consider them. Oil those squeaky hinges. Replace those ripped screens. Tighten the loose doorknobs. Repair holes in the walls and repaint them. Replace cracked or broken floor tiles. Check for air and water leaks. Make sure all systems in the house (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc) work properly. It saves you money when your entire household works as it should. Plus, buyers won't be able to hold the cost of taking care of these items over your head when it comes to negotiating a sale price.

Rebecca Schulte, Schulte Real Estate Group, Your Source for Tucson Real Estate