We hope to see you this weekend at the 34th Annual Southern Oregon Home Show at the Jackson County Expo — Seven Feathers Building (1 Peninger Road, Central Point)! Visit us at our booth and attend our presentations on "Learning the Ins and Outs of Home Buying in this FACT-PACED Market." You have two opportunities:

Saturday, Feb. 20 from 3:30 - 4 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 21 from 12:30 - 1 p.m.

Call me (541-601-9582) if you'd like to attend and I'll make sure to leave you a complimentary Home Show ticket at will call.

While our presentations will be focused on "buying" a home, The Home Show will be FULL of ideas on how you can make your house into the home of your dreams or get it ready to sell.  Often, people come to me to help them sell their home and they are completely overwhelmed wading through all of the improvement opportunities that will boost their home's value. Completely understandable.

The truth of the matter is, the biggest contributing factors to what you'll get on your house depend on the value of your house, the value of houses in your immediate neighborhood, the housing market where we live, how soon you sell after making improvements, and the quality of the projects themselves. There are most definitely certain efforts that pay off more than others.

These are the "Top 5" on my list based on my own experience, combined Remodeling Magazine's annual "Cost vs. Value Report" that tracks average costs and return on investment (ROI) for popular remodeling projects. You'll be happy to know that projects that are easier to accomplish and make the lowest impact on your checking account continue to dominate the list of what's important.

Two basic themes here...basic maintenance trumps over-the-top kitchen remodels, and curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal.

1. Roof Replacement

Take care of the roof. No matter how awesome your remodeled bathroom is, no one wants to buy a home with a leaky roof or one that may leak in the near future. If buyers know they don't have to spend money on the upkeep of basic systems, then they're more likely to buy the house and consider upgrading the kitchen or baths themselves.

2. Fresh Exterior Paint or New Siding

First impressions DO matter. If people drive by your home and are not impressed, they're not going to walk inside. 

Neutral and traditional colors are a good bet when you're getting ready to sell. You want a look that is warm and inviting. "Unique" colors are more likely to turn off some potential buyers.

Old or worn siding can contribute to a loss of as much as 10% of your home value. Vinyl and fiber-cement siding are good replacement options. Curb appeal is a major reason that siding replacement ranks so highly on my list. Speaking of first impressions...

3. Entry Door Replacement

Replacing your old front door with a new steel door is a project that kicks up curb appeal and yields the best payback. Old exterior doors can be a huge source of energy loss. So you’re improving the look of your house AND improving energy efficiency. Win-win.

And while we're on the topic of items that add curb appeal...

4. Garage Door Replacement

A mid-scale garage door replacement commands 91.5% ROI and an upscale model 90.1% ROI. Think about it. Next time you're driving around, notice the garage doors from one home to the next. They make a difference!

5. Front Porch or Back Patio Additions or Upgrades

As I've said before, conveying a sense of welcome is extremely important. Adding a front porch can create interest to the exterior of a flat house. If all the remodeling on your house is on the inside but the outside of the house is challenging, people are less apt to want to see the inside.

As for the back porch, isn't one of the main reasons you live here is that you love the outdoors? Decks and patios are a great way to expand living space at a low cost — $8 to $35 per square foot compared to the $150-and-up per-square-foot cost of other remodel projects.

The great news is we have so many great companies and professionals in the area who can do all of this for you and many of them will be at the Home Show this weekend. See you there!