As a homeowner you need to be careful with which improvements to carry out in order to give your house an increase in its value. Affordable basic improvements often offer a better return on investment than most major renovations that can prove expensive and may not add the expected value to your home.
Improving the appearance of your home and making it more practical will certainly increase its value and fetch a better selling price. Depending on the condition of your home and the overall values of the real estate market in your area, here are some things that you can do to increase its value.
- Freshen up the paintwork
A coat of paint to the interior of your home will give it an instant freshening up, at an affordable price, and will increase its resale value. Even though colors do add warmth and interesting details to walls, depending on the taste of the buyers, they may not like them. Choose neutral colors that will showcase your home and allow the buyers to see its full potential. Neutral colors can have a hint of beige or grey.
If the walls already have neutral colors and look good, you could paint the trim, moldings and windows.
External painting is an expensive project, so if it looks fine you can always leave it as is. If there are any untidy flakes or chips, you may be able to get away with touching them up. Pressure washing the exterior walls will remove dirt and mold and will instantly give your home a fresher look. Paint window trim and other exterior features to enhance your home’s appeal without emptying the bank.
- Appliances make a difference
Kitchens are one of the first rooms that potential buyers look at, but often end up looking dated and worn over the years. It is most likely that this is the room of your home that will definitely need an update if you want to increase the value of your home.
A full remodel can be an expensive venture and can often be avoided with cheaper appliance upgrade. If you have old appliances that are also mismatched, this will put off potential buyers big time. The appliances don’t have to match exactly, but try to make sure that their styles and colors are compatible. Keep in mind that white and stainless steel don’t clash as they are both neutral colors. Change your appliances to energy efficient models and you will add instant value to your home.
Other kitchen projects that are affordable include: changing the sink and faucet, replacing the cabinet doors or countertop and replacing the cabinet hardware.
- Staircase makeover
Whether your staircase is the focal point of your home or not, make sure that it is looking good. Sometimes a staircase makeover is as simple as changing the runner on the stairs. However, if you have a fully carpeted staircase that is worn, and you know what’s under the carpet, you could restore the wood to its original beauty by staining it. If the treads are still good and it’s the balusters, posts and handrail that need attention, a fresh coat of paint will remedy that problem. (Check out our box newels and iron balusters for more ideas!)
If your staircase is still looking good but is slightly dowdy, freshen up the walls going up with a fresh coat of paint and create a picture display to brighten them up.
The risers may also need some attention and can also be freshened with some paint.
Staircase molding is relatively inexpensive and gives a staircase an expensive look when completed. This can be added to either interior or exterior staircase wall for effect and can be color coordinated to the rest of the home.
- Replace door knobs
Take notice of the smaller details within your home like door knobs. These inexpensive items are cheap and easy to replace and can make a tremendous difference to the total look of a room. Start with the door knobs in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and doors. Keep in mind that the knobs in each area must match the home’s style and era.
Buy an impressive knob, handle and lock for your front door to make a good first impression to buyers.
- Update internal and external lighting
Light fittings can also date a home and are inexpensive to update. Often older light fittings make homes look darker, so look for the right light fittings for each area of your home. If your living room only has recessed lights, a chandelier will give it an instant facelift. Once again look for a style that matches your décor and home style. Consider changing the light switch plates if they are looking dated.
The outside lighting of your home should also be updated to add value to it. If your home has very little outdoor lighting, buyers may feel that it is vulnerable to thieves. Outdoor seating areas should also be lit with an interesting light fitting.
- Landscape the garden
As we all know, a home with curb appeal immediately catches a prospective buyer’s attention and according to real estate agents, it also increases the value of a home. Creating an interesting landscaped garden takes years and money but you can give your garden an instant facelift by taking care of weeds in the flowerbed and trimming over-grown trees and shrubs. If necessary buy a few plants and to add into the beds around your home in order to create an interesting feature.
Always choose indigenous and drought resistant plants. These require less maintenance and water saving money in the long run, something that a prospective buyer will notice.
- Give the lawn a boost
A pretty lawn will sell your home faster, and at a better price, than a patch of dusty sand will and is the main reason why the lawn should always be well maintained. Lawn maintenance includes watering, fertilizing and a regular mowing. Secondly, if you neglect the lawn, it will need a lot of money to re-establish, when compared to maintaining it on a regular basis.
- Front door appeal
The overall appearance of a home changes if the front door is welcoming. If you cannot afford the price of a new steel door, then an inexpensive way to make yours pretty is with a fresh coat of paint. Bear in mind that steel doors offer energy efficiency, are low maintenance and block out the cold and buyers will take note of it.
If your front door is made from basic steel, you can paint it or give it a faux finish that can give it a wooden look.
A motorized garage door is also worth every cent spent on it and will recoup its purchase by almost 100%.
- Mini-makeover for the bathroom
Major remodels are costly, but small updates to a bathroom can make a substantial difference. You could just install new vanity cabinets or change the fixtures and fittings.
If the floor is discolored, you could replace it with vinyl tiles that are easy to apply and could be installed over the old floor.
Chipped tiles should be replaced if you have some available and replace any old grouting.
Replacing your toilets with low-flush fixtures will not only save you a lot of money for water but will definitely catch the attention of a buyer. Prices vary, but economical ones start at just below $100.
- Molding details
Crown moldings are inexpensive and add a touch of luxury rooms and living areas and are being used in most new homes developed. Besides catching a buyer’s eye they also increase the value of your home. Make sure that the molding details that you decide on match with the rest of the architectural details of your home.
- Increase storage and room space
If your home has limited storage space, it’s a problem that can be remedied. You can add DIY wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms and pantries, while closets can also be made more functional by adding more organized storage spaces to them. Many companies cater to this need and many of these systems can be ordered online, after you actually measure and redesign them on their applications.
If you have an office or den in your home that is currently unused you could add a closet and turn it into another bedroom. The cost of the closet will be offset by the instant value that an extra bedroom will add to your home.
- Keep it all well maintained
Every detail counts when you have buyers walking through. Electrical and plumbing should be checked and regularly maintained. This will not only influence the value of your home but give you peace of mind that its electrical are safe and that you are not wasting water. Have your electrician check for loose wires and faulty outlets that need to be fixed while your plumber should check for any leaks or blockages.