The home we just purchased was in need of updates, so we've done a few things already, but would like to do more as long as we can sell it at a much higher price in two or three years. My hope is to finish the basement, update the cabinets, build a master bathroom and closet, and update the current bathroom with nice fixtures, all of which would yield a four-bedroom, two-bath home with walk-out finished basement. Is it possible to get a good return on my investment if I follow through with these improvements?
With the current state of the housing market, it definitely pays to consider improvements carefully and spend your time and money on the most cost-effective of the bunch. Generally, that means avoiding anything that's too dramatic a change, too personalized to appeal to the general home-buying public, or reconfigurations that subtract precious living or storage space. That being said, it sounds like you have a few viable ideas on your wish list. Before making a move toward the local home improvement center, however, be sure to browse Remodeling Online's 2007 Cost vs. Value Report, which provides recent data on popular improvements and corresponding costs recouped, according to U.S. region.