There you are on the sidelines, waiting out the real estate meltdown by not selling your house. Which, you cannot help but notice, could use a new coat of paint. Not to mention a kitchen facelift. You're not a Rockefeller, but minor upgrades would go a long way toward making the place more liveable.
But then you remember you live in uncertain times. With the economy in free fall, can you justify spending money—even a small amount of money—on a new deck? Yes, yes, yes.
Especially a small amount of money. As this story points out, the renovation projects that pay off most are often those that cost the least. The list of the six savviest ways to spend money on your house includes:
1. New siding (because the average homeowner will recoup up to 88.1 percent of the cost at resale; )
2. New wooden deck (get back as much of 85.4 percent at resale)
3. Kitchen makeover (recoup up to 83 percent)
4. New windows (as much as 81.2 percent)
5. Bathroom facelift (up to 78 percent)
6. Install crown molding (can cost as little as $100 a room, so how could it not be worth it?)