How to Improve the Value of Your Home
You want to make it as easy as possible for buyers to imagine themselves in your space.
While factors like location and the housing market are out of your control, you can make small changes to your home to improve its resale value. Make the most out of your home with these improvements for any commitment level.
Repaint / Touch Up Your Exterior
There are small touch-ups you can do with some patience and a paint can. Do a quick sweep of your exterior checking for cracking and peeling paint. Inspect doors, windows, shutters, gates and mailboxes for nicks and chipping. Many find that the side of their house can start to look scuffed and green over time. If this sounds like you, your siding may be due for a power wash. You can purchase a pressure washer or rent one from the store. There’s nothing better than a good before and after!
Check High-Maintenance Components
As a homeowner your to-do list is never ending. As soon as you replace one smoke detector, the other starts beeping. Take this opportunity to check those high-maintenance components, like the furnace or water heater, that may be due for replacement. If you own a fireplace, get a chimney inspection. Even if you don’t use it, your next homeowners may want to and could be in for a surprise. Additionally, your roof can take a lot of abuse and may need replacement or repair.
Trends are constantly changing, but a well-kept lawn will never go out of style. This is one area many homeowners don’t think about, but they feel it when it’s not taken care of. Here are some ideas that have been proven to show the greatest ROI:
Flowers: many homeowners are scared to make a statement with plants because they think their yard will look overrun. On the contrary, a mature garden signals to future buyers that you care about maintaining a nice space. So make your yard an oasis with a variety of plants of different heights and colors
Stones: stones are a low-maintenance way to up your yard game. A stone walkway or zen garden are focal points that are built to last
Trees: trees show a big return on investment. They make a big visual impact, and because they’re perennial, they’re less maintenance than flowers
Water: a water feature like a fountain adds value to your home. Picture water cascading down a stone, sphere or clay pot (these are energy-bill friendly - the water collects in a basin)
Lights: lighting is another aspect of landscaping that can transform your space. There are even motion-activated lights for added security
Some of these options will naturally take more time to show a result. However, there are short-term landscaping steps you can take right now. Start by maintaining a neat yard and cutting a clean edge around your garden beds.
Small Scale Renovation or Remodel
If you have to pick one place to update, make it the kitchen or bath. These rooms see a lot of foot traffic, and they’re the most sensitive to changes in trends. When you think about, it’s easy to change up a bedroom or den with new furniture - it’s harder to decorate around a carpeted bathroom or old-fashioned countertop.
To be efficient with your remodel, focus on counters, backsplashes, walls and flooring. You can also reface your kitchen with panels, paint or wraps. The idea is to give your fridge or washer the look of stainless steel instead of shelling out on new appliances. Meanwhile, you can get away with more superficial changes in the bathroom - think new knobs, handles, towel hooks and mirrors.
Building an Addition
Adding square footage to your house will, by nature, increase its value. That being said, you want to make sure you’re seeing a return a time-intensive makeover. Think outside the four walls: a deck adds square feet and an outdoor entertaining space. Another addition that brings in the most returns is a shed roof dormer, which converts existing space over your garage into an attic bedroom.
Make Your Home Smart
You don’t need to tear down walls to increase your home’s value - a few smart upgrades can transform your space. There are a few reasons smart homes simply sell better:
Convenience: voice assistants let you change the song while you’re breading a chicken breast or check the weather on your way out the door
Security: smart doorbells like Ring® alert you to visitors and deliveries while you’re out at dinner
Efficiency: programmable lights and thermostats help you save on your energy bill
Curb appeal: new cloud-based security features are easy to install, and they increase curb appeal because they’re more attractive than wired systems
The value added is daily because you don’t often have a security issue, but you always need to receive packages and let people in. You’ll just want to make sure you reset these devices to factory settings before entrusting them to new homeowners.
Insulating & Weatherproofing
As more home buyers expect their homes to be green and energy efficient, you can set yourself ahead of the curve by insulating and weatherproofing your house. Take a weekend to insulate the roof, loft or attic. At the start of each season, inspect the seals on the windows to make sure they’re still performing well.
Refinancing Your Mortgage
When you’ve put in the work to increase your home’s value, you may find it advisable to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing is when you get a new mortgage to replace your old one. You can rehash the terms of your mortgage and even take home more money.
If the reason for refinancing is a rise in property value, this case would be a cash-out refi: when you take out a bigger mortgage and receive the difference in cash. Many put this cash towards paying off loans or debt consolidation.
Refinancing gives you another chance to negotiate your interest term and rate. Sometimes homeowners in this position can feel pressured to extend their mortgage very long-term, but think about if this makes sense for you. Remember who has the power here - research first and shop around for the best rates and re-fi lenders.
Get The Most Out of Your Home
Wherever you are in terms of home ownership, you can always get more from your space. With some creativity and elbow grease you can improve your property value and create a nest egg for years to come.