Five Home Renovations That Pay Off

This story, by Joanne Cleaver, originally appeared on CBS' Moneywatch.com.

Finally, home-renovation payback is going in the right direction: yours.

During the housing boom, it was tough to get a contractor to take your call, much less accept the job and charge a fair price. Nothing like a massive housing bust to turn that momentum around. Now that a few trillion dollars in real estate equity have been obliterated, there's a new sheriff in town: you.

Contractors are panting for work and prices have dropped for their materials and labor. For anyone who can afford it, this is a great time to take on small and medium-size projects to make your home more livable. After all, y