SACRAMENTO - A resurgent housing market has people feeling confident about putting money into their homes once again.

According to CNN, home renovation spending in 2012hit the highest level in six years. But many homeowners considering upgrades are uncertain of where to invest.

While renovating any area of the home addsinterior or exterior appeal, some renovations carry more weight with prospective buyers than others.

Ruth Dubach, a Sacramento home renovation consultant for 14 years, highlights seven areas on which to focus your time and budget for the best chance of areturn on your investment:

Front Exterior
"Curb appeal is paramount," explains Dubach. "You want to have a nice, presentable exterior with good landscaping to make a great first impression."

"This is probably the most important area in the home. It's a social center where friends and family naturally congregate," explains Dubach. She says to focus on items likegranite countertops with nice tile backsplashes, tile floors and stainless appliances to improve the aesthetic and financialvalue of the space.

"Having nice hardwood throughout is really popular these days," according toDubach.Whether installing new hardwood or refinishing old flooring,the focal prominence of flooringin a home makesit awise choice when considering where to upgrade.New carpeting in the bedroom is also a good idea.

Master Bath
Upgrading any bathroom is generallya good idea, but the master bathroomis essential. "Along with the kitchen, the master bathroom is the most important room in the home," says Dubach. "Installing heated flooring, atiled shower, frameless shower doors, and cost-effectivemarble or limestone counters, are all really great ways to update the look and value of such an important area."

Anyone who's seen a landscaping show or read "Sunset" magazine knows backyards nowadays transcendgrass and flower beds, and instead are viewed more asan outdoor extension of the home. "By fixing up the backyard, you're really updating the quality of lifestyle outdoors," Dubach explains.

Creating an outdoor living environment that offersa greatspace for relaxing, as well as entertaining is a major attraction. If you can't create a complete great outdoors,pergolas or built-in barbecues are alsoeye-catching individual improvements, Dubach says.

"Efficient cabinetry and storage space is a huge deal, especially for families and people with an active lifestyle. If you don't have space for a walk-in closet, customizable organizers help to declutter a closet and really make buyers feel like they have more space to work with," reveals Dubach.

Energy Efficient Improvements
"Anything you can do to improve the home's efficiency in terms of energy consumptionis a selling point," claimsDubach.But she advises not to get too caught up ingoing green. "That's a big concern inplaces like theBay Area or higher-end homes around here. But it's not something the majority of local buyersare overly concerned with."

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