A home is many things. It’s a place where memories are stored, from height markers on the walls to myriad family photos taken when the sun hit the backyard right. It’s a rite of passage, learning about the ins and outs of ownership and the things you never learned in school, like changing your HVAC filter frequently and why smoke alarms only warn you about battery failure at 1 AM. And a home is an investment. While it wasn’t uncommon for older generations to build, live in, and die in the same home, modern families move, upgrade, and change from home to home over time. Your house should be your investment, and when you do decide to move to a larger home or a new location, you should not only recoup the money you’ve put into it, but earn some as well.
How do you add value to your home, though? We’ll give you nine easy ways you can improve your house’s value, and three ways not to:
Fix your yard. The first thing a prospective buyer will see is the outside of your home. Start early by planting local saplings that will grow over the years, and planning out shrubs that will turn into hedges within a few seasons. Keep your landscaping simple but clean. If you put too much time and money into landscaping, you’re unlikely to see a return on your investment, so it’s important to stick with something that’s low maintenance and easy to keep up while also looking great.
Paint. A fresh coat of paint, inside or out (or both), can transform a house. That faded, worn look will be replaced with a clean, new look that will appeal to a buyer. Stick with light and neutral colors - no matter how much you like the color neon yellow, you’ll probably be alone in your enjoyment of it. Don’t want to paint? At least pressure wash the exterior sidewalks and walls of your house (if the material is resistant to pressure washing).
Make small changes. There are a lot of little tweaks you can make here and there that will update your home, improve its value, and make you feel accomplished on a low budget. Switch out light switches and fixtures, update your fans and thermostats, paint or change your vents, even get rid of that old popcorn ceiling!
Floors and walls. Get rid of that old wallpaper. Switch out carpet for tile, which is preferred by everyone other than old ladies with cold feet. Add in some nice area rugs and throw out any old ones, or put them in your garage to catch any leaks from your car.
It’s the little things. That squeaky hinge. That door lock that always sticks. The drippy faucet. The window with the draft. Take the time to fix all the odds and ends that you might be used to, but a new potential owner will notice right away. You’ll be amazed at the value this can add.
Update the room. Bathroom and kitchen updates have the biggest return on investment when it comes to the time to sell. Better lighting, good mirrors, and updated fixtures in the bathroom can be reasonable yet absolutely transformative. A new kitchen countertop and updated appliances not only have the potential to sell your home all by themselves but the energy efficiency will save you money as you live there too.
Windows and doors. Why have old colonial-style windows when you can have beautiful double-pane windows that let in more light? Better yet, floor to ceiling windows can bring in the natural light and improve your home value even more. Change out your doors for fresh, modern looks that haven’t been around since the 60’s. Try sliding glass, French doors, and more.
Restructuring. Tearing down interior walls to open up space in the common living area is a great way to make a home look bigger and improve its saleability. Do you have too many bedrooms? Tear down a wall and make two of them into a suite. Add another bathroom. Improve your closets. Raise the ceiling. (Which is different to raising the roof, something you only do when the right music is playing.)
Smarten your home right up. Want to add value and bring your home into the 21st century? Rewire the whole home and turn it into a smart home. Use an app to turn on lights, check to see if the dog ate the couch again, monitor the thermostat, make sure nobody left the refrigerator open, and set the temperature so it’s comfortable for you when you return home. A smart home that ties all functions into one easy device is a great feature that modern buyers love.
Now that you’ve got some ideas how to improve your home’s value, here are a few ways not to:
- Make the house look bigger by installing fun-house mirrors in every hallway.
- Improve the lighting by replacing ceiling lights with disco balls.
- Adding mystique by hiding an entire section of your home behind a movable bookcase.
- Go ultramodern with those Japanese toilets that have a million functions and talk to you.
- Remodel your kitchen by building a Chick fil A franchise inside instead.
Do you have questions about the best ways to make your house more marketable and increase its value? We’ve got answers. From curb appeal to home improvement ideas, if we don’t know the answer, we’ve got a vendor or expert who will! Our job here at Meridian Realty Group is to ensure that you get the biggest return on your investment, no matter your budget!