Six Ways to Boost the Value of Your Home
March 10, 2017 at midnight
As the housing market slowly recovers and property values increase, it's the perfect time to begin improvements on your home to add to its value. These projects can add to the sales price of your home if you are considering selling, or can simply save you money and add to your family's comfort until you do. There are many categories of improvements you can make to add value to your house, but for the sake of brevity, here are six of the best.
Make sure it's in good repair.
Likely the most obvious way to improve your home's value is to make sure it is in good repair. Small maintenance tasks often go forgotten and can be a red flag to buyers or the inspectors they may hire. Ask a home inspector to give your house a checkup before you ever start planning home improvements. They will check for any big structural issues that need to take priority over any cosmetic updates. Then, make sure all of the essentials are up-to-date and in working order. Clean gutters, fix plumbing or electrical issues, get roof damage and leaks repaired, and reseal the pavement in the driveway. This should take care of any issues that would actively chase potential buyers away. From here on, the value of your home will only increase.
Make a good first impression.
Potential buyers start building a value perception of your home the moment they walk onto the property. Make sure their first impressions are good ones by taking good care of your yard and the exterior of the house itself. Consider hiring a landscaper to plant a few native, easy-to-maintain shrubs or flowers. Remove any mildew buildup from the home's exterior and treat it with a mildew-preventing solution. Consider painting or replacing ugly, worn, or damaged front doors, especially if they are poor-quality stock metal. A sturdy wood door can add substantial curb appeal. Similarly, consider replacing damaged or rickety-looking old garage doors.
Create the illusion of space.
One improvement that immediately boosts your home's value is increasing the amount of space inside. Some homeowners will go the extra mile and build an entire addition onto the house. However, it's not necessary to add actual square footage to the house to create the illusion of space and, therefore, an increased value perception of your home. One way to create an illusion of having more space in your home is to convert wasted space into usable living space. The number of bedrooms in a house has a huge effect on its value. If there is an enclosed office, den, or other extra room that is not being used regularly, consider adding a closet to convert it to a bedroom. Alternatively, think about splitting an overly large bedroom into two smaller bedrooms. Buyers also appreciate extra bathrooms, so convert that old closet under the stairs into a half bath. If your basement is dark, dank, and houses nothing but the washer and dryer, consider refinishing it for a huge value boost.
Start at the bottom.
Quality flooring is another detail that can significantly influence the value of your home. Have your carpet professionally cleaned or even replaced if it's too worn to salvage. Definitely replace shag or other outdated kinds of carpeting. If you're lucky enough to have hardwood flooring, restore it to its original shine to really impress potential buyers. Bathroom and kitchen laminate can be cheaply replaced, or even upgraded to tile for an extra quality boost.
Pay attention to the details.
When undergoing home improvement projects, cost is a limiting factor for many homeowners. Fortunately, some relatively small upgrades can pack a huge value punch. In the kitchen, consider replacing the sink faucet to add an element of style. With a slightly larger budget, you can improve it even more by upgrading to a stainless steel sink. If your cabinets are worn or chipped, you can sand, paint, or stain them on a budget. If your budget won't stretch to replacing your ceiling fan, carefully clean and repair it. If the blades are worn or ugly, you can buy replacement blades to improve the look of your fan without replacing the whole thing. You can also install more stylish faucets in the bathroom, along with a new toilet seat and stylish toilet paper holder. These are inexpensive improvements but are subconsciously impressive during an open house.
There is another great reason, besides style, to replace the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom: efficiency. Replacing a normal faucet with an efficient, low-flow model can save homeowners a significant amount of money each year and really impress potential buyers who care about living in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. Replace your old shower head or even your toilet with a more stylish low-flow model while you're at it. Installing a programmable thermostat costs little, but makes your home much more energy efficient and feels high-tech to potential buyers. For a further boost, consider adding or replacing insulation in your attic or floorboards to make the house cozier and reduce its carbon footprint. If you have a larger budget, consider an Energy-Star compliant water heater, stove, or windows.
No matter your budget, there are many ways you can improve the value of your home. Even something as simple as replacing a door, window, or garage door can lead to a huge return on investment when the time to sell comes. Plus, your family gets to enjoy a more luxurious, comfortable, and efficient home as long as you want to live there.