When you think about it, homes represent a pretty big investment of both time and money. Many people, especially those looking to put their homes on the market, may want to add value to their home by adding new features and amenities.

Depending on your expectations, the cost, and how DIY savvy you are, you may be inclined to tackle some home improvement projects (or hire a contractor to do it for you). Before you do though, it makes sense to think through your options.

For instance, repainting the interior or exterior of your home to add curb appeal is usually a safe bet. Besides the fact that you will feel better about your home, it can be one of many cost effective investments that can improve the look and overall value of your home. For that matter, simply power washing the exterior, adding some native plants, pruning trees, and making small repairs such as gutters and windows can go a long way in creating a warm and inviting exterior.

On the other hand, larger investments such as converting a garage into an office, adding a new pool, or creating a media room may not actually be the best way to build equity in your home. The reason is twofold; first, they can be costly and you may not be able to recoup the money when you sell.

Pools for instance, can be a costly addition to your home. Many experts feel that you should focus on smaller repairs and physical improvements rather than adding a pool. Having said that, if all of your neighbors have pools, selling your home may not be as easy, because it may be a feature that is in demand. Before you add a major feature to your home be sure to talk to other people who have done so and find out how it went for them. You can also talk to an expert such as your bank loan manager or real estate agent, or just do some research online.

Secondly, while granite counters are all the rage now, trends change over time and what is hot one day may not be the next. If you want to build an extension, add a game room, or put in a pool, then you should do it because it will make your home life more enjoyable and not because it may help you sell your home faster or for more.

And if you are going to make DIY investments in your home, make sure you also know where your budget really is. You will also need to be really honest about the amount of time and money you have to put towards a given project. Evaluate your own abilities and know when to call in a pro to handle the bigger jobs. You will also want to make sure that you add in a buffer for unexpected repairs, time delays, and the like.

As far as investments go, your home can be a great place to add value, provided, of course, you know what you are getting into. Just remember to start small, budget well, and get sound advice, financial or otherwise, when you need it.