How To Increase Home Value Efficiently
Your home is likely the largest investment you will ever make. If you are a homeowner, chances are careful due diligence was done when selecting the perfectly constructed home, the right neighborhood, a great price per square foot, etc. Now the time has come to do some upgrades. Much like a stock portfolio, you want your investments to increase in value. But what upgrades will actually increase home value?
You may think updating your home can wait. Or you'd like to spend money in other ways. I get that. But life changes fast. One year you can be totally content, have no plans to ever leave your beautiful location. And wham, the next year you are feverishly searching Zillow for homes two states away.
This is when home updates become important. You want your home to be attractive to not only you, but future buyers should the selling situation ever happen. Speaking from experience, it all happens fast.
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Crucial Upgrades To Increase Home Value
A large, spacious kitchen has long been the dream of almost every homeowner. Some things don't change. In recent surveys of first time home owners, a nice kitchen still ranks as the number one feature a house can have.
Aside from kitchen space, new appliances, countertops and flooring, splash guards, and a fresh coat of pain to the walls and even cabinets will bring serious value to your home.
As far as appliances go, stainless steel is still the popular look as well as the newer black stainless steel. The key is to have some continuity to the color/style scheme.
Want a big bathroom upgrade that comes at a larger cost (unless you are handy or are a plumber)? Put a dual sink in the master bath. We had a sorely outdated bathroom and decided to do this very thing. We also updated the tub/shower, put in new flooring, new lighting, fresh paint and added some cabinets. After completion, it went from a 1970's eye sore to one of our favorite rooms in the house.
If you don't want to go this extreme, I would definitely at least recommend new faucets, flooring, and fresh lighting. These won't break the bank and it is possible to do these yourself. Oh and don't forget to clean the grout and put in new caulking.
Layout Ideas To Add Space To Your Home
The "in thing" right now is open space. Home buyers want a living room off the kitchen. And they want that kitchen to have some breathing room. Consider removing a non structural wall to open things up.
Some are choosing to remove islands to open things up a bit. We use our kitchen island often. Our child likes to belly up there to eat and it serves quite well for storing some smaller kitchen items. If you have ample cabinet room however, the island might be expendable.
Increase Your Home Value With New Flooring
I mentioned earlier we replaced the flooring in the master bathroom of our previous home (see above pictures). We also put new flooring in a couple of bedrooms and did the downstairs bathroom as well.
We enjoyed the vinyl plank flooring so much that we decided to do our whole basement this way in our new house last summer. Not only is it spill proof, those with kids will understand, it should last much longer than carpet. No more worn out pad to worry about.
Vinyl plank can also be a doable DIY project if you want to save some cost.
A Fresh Coat Of Paint To Enhance The Look Of Your Home
One of the most important ways to increase home value, and to brighten up rooms, is a new coat of paint. Over the course of time, walls get scuffed up, discolored, moldy (bathroom), you name it.
Depending on the area of the house, new paint can be justified every few years, especially in high traffic areas. Bedrooms can be pushed back to every 5-7 years in most cases.
The kicker is hiring a professional can be costly to do a whole home. Painting is definitely a candidate for a do it yourself project if you have the time and patience. If you can DIY the painting project, you will save yourself literally thousands of dollars.
Stick to white and off white colors of paint. Most buyers prefer neutral colors so they can envision rooms done the way they want to do them.
Achieve The Best Curb Appeal
The first thing potential buyers see is the outside area of the home. You want to make sure you give them a very positive and appealing first impression by making the outside landscaping pop.
The first thing I look at when I pull up to someone's house is the lawn. A well taken care of lawn that looks lush and green gives the impression that the property is well maintained. It is well worth the money to fertilize and control the weeds.
Also make sure to prune the trees and bushes. Your neighbors will especially appreciate this if you have trees that want to encroach the property line.
Customize The Front Door And Backyard Patio
While some (me) might look at the lawn at first glance, others might look at the front door. There is a reason why some doors cost several thousand dollars. They can make a house look like a million bucks! Not only are looks important, but you want some privacy and sturdiness for protection. Make sure your front door is looking great to attract potential buyers.
The backyard is very important to not neglect. People love to spend time outdoors when the weather cooperates so the patio/deck area is crucial to beautify. It has been said a person gets dollar for dollar back on the cost of a deck when talking about home value. Consider a maintenance free deck. They are more expensive but constantly treating and maintaining a deck is no fun.
Also consider updating the patio design with some new blocks or different layout entirely. We hired this project out for ourselves last fall. The old setup was not done correctly by the former owner which led to some drainage issues. So we entrusted this job to the professionals and will hopefully have better results.
Build A Fence To Increase Your Property Value And Add Privacy In The Neighborhood
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the value of fences. Not only do fences establish property lines, but they are great for privacy and also can keep your small kids and pets contained. If you think about how many dog owners there are nowadays, you will see the attraction here for potential buyers.
Again, I would suggest going maintenance free on the fence. Wood fences look great when new and are cheaper but keeping them up is a time commitment. To me, it's worth spending more in this situation to avoid future hassle.
Install Underground Sprinklers To Support The Proper Care Of Your Lawn
Our first house didn't have a sprinkler system and man did the lawn show it. There is something to be said for setting the automatic timer to ensure your lawn gets the water that it needs to prosper.
I would try to run the hoses and the little sprinkler heads around the yard but it just didn't do the job effectively. Not to mention it would often get neglected because I wouldn't take the time to do it. Underground sprinklers take the burden off and do a great job.
I will mention the water bill will surely go up but take my word for it, it is worth it to have a nice lawn.
Consider Smart Home Technology
Millennials love their technology. Nest and Honeywell "smart" thermostats are very popular and are relatively inexpensive to install. Pair that with Amazon's growing number of Alexa devices and you can make your home very trendy with the younger generation. Heck, you might even get a kick out of having Alexa run your house!
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