If you are thinking of selling your home and looking for ways to increase your home’s value, knowing where to start is not always easy. Do you rip out decades-old wood paneling? Reface kitchen cabinets? Change out light fixtures? While those ideas are certainly worth considering, the best place to start is to think about the features you would like in a new home, because these are often the same ones you would do well to change or update in your current home. You should also broaden your perspective and, rather than think in terms of minor cosmetic fixes, start by looking at the major features and functions of your home as well as the rooms where improvements give you highest return on your renovation investment. Keep reading to learn 8 simple things you can do to boost the value of your home.
1. Curb Appeal: With a critical eye, look at your home from the street, starting with the landscaping. Is the grass even throughout the yard? Are shrubs and bushes neatly trimmed? Do flowers and other colorful plants add a touch of color? Next check siding, window trim, and roofing to make sure everything is clean and no shingles or siding are missing. Make sure the front porch and door say “Welcome!” to all who enter.
2. Interior Paint: Brighten the interior of your home by painting the walls a coat of neutral-colored paint. Light paint looks cleaner and fresher than the deep shades of yesterday’s décor and helps potential buyers envision their own furnishings in the space.
3. Mechanical Components: Make sure all mechanical systems are in top working order. These include heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electricity. Have them inspected yearly and keep records that you have done so. If any component is approaching the end of its useful life, replace it with a new, more energy-efficient system.
4. Windows: The right windows add beauty and style to a home. They also keep a house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Low maintenance, Energy Star certified windows are a good investment that increase the value of any home.
5. Finished/Improved Basement: If your basement is unfinished or has become a catch-all for old toys, holiday items, and whatever you’re planning to sell at next year’s yard sale, start by cleaning out everything you no longer need. A clean, open basement offers potential for a large family room, home office, or dedicated workout space.
6. Kitchen: Without busting the budget, you can update the kitchen to make it appeal to buyers of all ages. Replace outdated or mismatched appliances with a new set of all-stainless steel appliances. Install a simple back-splash in neutral tones. Counter tops can look dirty if they’ve been chipped and scratched. Counters come in a range of types and colors, from the more expensive quartz and granite to the more affordable Formica. Compare colors and styles and choose the best type and look for your kitchen.
7. Bathrooms: Replace low toilets with so-called comfort-height toilets. Install a new vanity, counter top, and sink. If feasible in the master bath, replace the bathtub with a walk-in or glass-enclosed shower.
8. Smart Features: Technology comes in all shapes and sizes. Your home will appeal to a wide variety of buyers if it comes equipped with simple “smart” features that enhance the home’s efficiency and safety. These can include, for example, programmable thermostats, devices that let you control lighting and door locks, water sprinklers for the yard, and security cameras and window locks.
Savvy buyers recognize a home that is well maintained and has been updated with newer looks and features. And, while you may expend a bit of elbow grease and money to renovate, you will have increased the bottom-line value of your home in the process.
Steve Rush is the owner of Sovereign Construction Services, a full-service construction and remodeling company. Steve applies his years of experience and expertise when helping homeowners design and add features that increase the value of their homes. For a free consultation and to get your questions answered about home remodeling, call Steve directly at 610-639-2986.