Paint provides dramatic results with little investment. It may give people joy and the sense that brighter times are ahead.

Building a deck
Buyers see a deck as offering a seamless transition from inside to out.

Updating the kitchen
You really cannot go wrong with remodeling your kitchen, which can net up to 83 percent of the cost. People know that renovating can be a nightmare, and potential buyers will appreciate that you did the work.

Replacing the windows
Energy-efficient windows eliminate drafts, so your home feels warmer. Windows can net up to an 81 percent return.