With the uncertainty of the housing market and American economy as a whole, it’s important to not only protect your investment, but to work to increase the value of your home. Regardless if you’re planning on selling your house soon, it’s a good idea to be mindful of what will increase your home’s value and what will have a negative impact on the bottom line.
According to veteran real estate professionals at This Old House – Online, there are some tricks to increase the value of your home, whether you’re selling now of in the future.
1. CREATE MORE SPACE
The amount of living space within the walls of your home is vital to increasing value. Whether you knock out a non-structural wall to open up the living room or remove a kitchen island, real estate pros say that creating open space within your home adds to the overall flow of the house. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” says Kristin Wellins, Senior Manager of Program Development for ERA Real Estate.
2. PRUNING AND LANDSCAPING
Add to your home’s curb appeal by dedicating some time and money to updating your landscaping. Unkempt bushes and trees can obstruct the view of your house from the street and deter prospective buyers from looking at it. Landscaping is one of the top three investments that bring the biggest return for home value, yet it is one of the most overlooked aspects in increasing the selling price of a property.
According to the 2007 HomeGain survey, lighting was the number one item to noticeably enhance a home’s appeal to prospective buyers. Some professional residential construction companies also suggest using sun tubes to draw in natural light. Sun tubes are less expensive than traditional skylights and use reflective material to funnel natural light from a globe-capped hole cut in a rooftop down through the ceiling fixture and into a room of the house. Sun tubes are also known as light pipes, sunscoops, and tubular skylights. Other ways to improve the lighting in your home is to fix broken window panes, ensure that windows open and shut properly, install motion sensor lights to cut back on energy costs, and utilize soft lighting when possible through dimmers and natural light.
Many homeowners get stuck on trying to install fancy upgrades to their home to increase its value, while neglecting the basics. You can revitalize a house by doing simple upkeep like insulating the attic, repairing plumbing leaks, replacing rusty gutters, inspecting the furnace and septic tank, repairing or replacing drafty windows, installing storm doors, weeding and flowering landscaping, etc. Investing in maintenance and repairs is not only smart to protect your investment in a home, but could also be crucial to selling it.
5. ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Utilizing green building compliance aimed at constructing energy efficient and environmentally sustainable homes, a homeowner can not only increase property value, but save money on monthly energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Start by replacing your heating or air conditioning system if they are old and outdated. New HVAC units can save you up to 30-40%. Additionally, a solar-powered water heater could save homeowners as much as 80% on water-heating bills after getting green tax credits and other incentives. Green home installations can help you sell your home as well. With rising energy costs, more home-buyers are weighing in average monthly utility costs into their plan of purchase.
6. THE FRONT DOOR
To add to the curb appeal, a welcoming front door can set the difference in a good or bad first impression to a prospective buyer. Things such as a working door bell, porch, awning, and others effect a home’s selling ability.
94% of real estate professionals recommend spending some money on floors. That being said, you don’t have to break you bank trying to install top-of-the-line flooring. An estimated average investment of $600-900 can yield a healthy return of $2,000. Make sure to fix any broken tile, remove worn carpet, refinish wood floors, and reduce creaks in floors with some well-placed nails.
8. UPGRADE THE KICTHEN AND BATH
One of the best ways to increase the value of a home is to spruce up the kitchen and bath. These upgrades can get expensive, but there are ways to cut back on the overall cost. Utilizing used material is one of the best ways to cut cost, but other simple fixes just require some elbow grease such as removing rust stains and applying fresh caulk. Other cost-effective fixes that go a long way include replacing doorknobs and cabinet pulls, installing new faucets and a low-flush toilet.
9. PAINT THE WALLS
As the old adage goes, “paint can go a long way”. It’s sometimes shocking how much a difference a fresh coat of paint can make to a home’s appearance. If you plan on selling the house, it’s recommended to go with neutral wall colors.
10. REMOVE ANY CONFUSION
Real estate pros call it the “What’s that?” factor. Anything that makes a prospective buyer ask a question is probably a bad thing. Whether it’s outdated wallpaper, a broken step, or mismatched tile, it’s best to fix it before showing your house.