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Making smart improvements to your home continues to be one of the single best investments Americans can make. According to the Consumer Affairs Department of The Financial Planning Association, an investment in a home (a remodel) is smarter and easier than selling and buying in todayís marketplace. Itís rare that moving proves to be a good financial, or emotional, choice. Over the long run, you may be better off playing the stock market, not the housing market.

Todayís savvy homeowners can add affordable luxuries and space to their home, enjoy their home for many more years, then reap the benefits at resale time. Remodeling Magazineís Cost vs. Value reports put the average percentage of cost recouped for a basement remodel at 90 percent in the first year! Other popular projects such as a bathroom addition, kitchen remodel, or master suite also recoup much of their cost in the first year, and after more than one year, that value increases.

With statistics like these, itís no surprise that two-thirds of homeowners who planned to undertake a remodel and surveyed by Owens Corning say they were doing so to increase the value of their home, seeing remodeling as an investment rather than a costómoney in the bank for the future, and enhanced living space today. Among those surveyed, more than 90 percent said that they had received as much or more value than they had expected from their investment.

With interest rates still affordable, it just makes sense to let the economy work for you.