You do not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars renovating your home in order to increase its value before sale or applying for a mortgage against the property. There are some simple things that most people can do to significantly increase the value of their home without going overboard. Here are nice things you can do to improve the valuation of your home.
Hire a Designer – By the Hour
Instead of hiring a home designer, interior decorator or similar person to makeover your home, hire them for their advice. They should give you a list of tips or improvements you can make yourself for the cost of one hour. Then you can do the work yourself instead of paying them or their team thousands of dollars to do the work. Small suggestions like changing the placement of furniture and adding accents could dramatically improve the value of your home.
Have the Home Inspected Professionally
Home inspections identify the structural and mechanical issues that will slow down the sale of your home or decrease its value. If the home inspector find mold, hire a certified mold remediation company to remove the mold safely and quickly. They will provide reports that can show that all mold was completely removed. Holes in the roof, aged electrical components, an HVAC system in need of repair and insect infestations are among the issues that significantly decrease the value of your home. Repairing them improves the value of your home, prevents further deterioration of the property, and ensures that your home is free of problems when you put it on the market. By resolving these issues before the house is on the market, you also guarantee that your home sale isn’t stalled for a few weeks as the issue is resolved.
Create space in the areas of your home where it would increase the appeal. For example, you should seek to enlarge living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms. Removing walls that separate a dining area from the kitchen make the home seem larger and increase its value. If you require counter space and want to maintain the visual segregation of the rooms, remove the wall between the kitchen and another room while installing a kitchen breakfast bar. Opening up the kitchen is a plus as long as you don’t take away critical storage.
Never increase the size of the master bathroom at the expense of living space in the master bedroom or reducing the number of bedrooms. This is why extending a master bath while taking out the closet “child” bedroom decreases the value of your home. Removing walls and doors that hide the toilet and limit its access for those with mobility problems is a good idea.
While adding living area to a home increases its value, the space must be universally appealing to have the greatest effect. Finishing a basement to create a new living area has a high return on the investment, whereas renovating the roof to create a cramped bedroom may not result in an improved market value. Projects that require the pouring of additional foundations have the lowest return on investment, and specialized rooms like offices and workspaces have less appeal to the broader market.
Adding a sunroom on the back of your home has a low return on investment because it isn’t as valuable as either an open deck or a fully enclosed room. Never convert an enclosed garage into a living area; this takes away the parking spaces that others expect to have in the home.
Clean Up Your Greenery
Your landscaping has a significant appeal on the first impression and thus valuation of your home. This is why homeowner’s associations fine people with overgrown grass and unkempt yards.
Prune your trees to a proper size. Trim back bushes so that they don’t block windows or interfere with walkways. Cut your grass, weed the lawn and kill any insect mounds on the property. If your trees, bushes or lawn look discolored, people will wonder what other maintenance issues are unaddressed.
If your yard is a mess because you don’t have the time to maintain it or it died because of watering restrictions, rip it out and replace it with low maintenance plants. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to claim tax credits or rebates from your water utility company for doing so.
Let In the Light
We’ve already addressed trimming back trees and bushes to let light through. Clean your windows so that they let as much natural light in as possible. Solar tubes are a popular way to let natural light into the home’s interior. If your home has skylights, you may want to clean them to improve their impact on lighting.
Replace any burned out light bulbs around your home. Consider replacing light covers with those that diffuse the light instead of channeling it in a tight beam to increase the ambiance of the room. In some cases, putting windows on the wall opposite current windows naturally reflects and enhances the light.
Pull back the draperies and open up the blinds before you show off the home. If the drapes are heavy, you may want to replace them with something lighter in color and material.
This is one of the cheapest options on this list, and it offers the highest return on investment. Cobwebs around the front porch, smudges on the doors and walls, food stains in the carpet and streaks on your hard flooring all reduce the value of your home.
Investing effort in thoroughly cleaning your home will add thousands of dollars to any offer you receive. It is also a good first step to take before you start deciding to upgrade your home. For example, professionally cleaning your carpets or deep cleaning the kitchen could make it look much better, and this is far cheaper than replacing the carpet or fixtures. Cleaning the smoke stains off the ceiling and fingerprints off the walls could reveal that you don’t need to apply a new layer of paint.
Before you show off the house, pick up toys, clothes and trash from around your home. Remove bulky pieces of furniture and knickknacks piling up in the corner. A clean, relatively empty home has the greatest appeal to homebuyers who can readily imagine how their own essentials would look in the same space.
If cleaning isn’t sufficient, a new coat of paint in most rooms of the house will make it look like new. Remember that neutral tones have the broadest appeal and to use long lasting paints like Rhino Shield. If you live in the SoCal area, companies like Rhino Shield of Southern California specialize in the procedure. Applying two-tone paint jobs using vibrant paints by Rhino Shield gives your home an upscale look relative to a home with plain white walls. If you want to simplify the paint job while adding decorative details, install crown molding.
If you have popcorn ceilings, you should remove the popcorn before you paint it. And since popcorn ceilings make the home look dated, you should remove it anyway, even if you don’t paint the room.
Update What Matters Most to Home Buyers
If your hot water heater is several years old, consider replacing it with an eco-friendly model. The fact that the appliance is new is a point in favor of your home as is the energy savings it will produce. Replacing that leaky toilet with one that almost anyone can use is a good idea. Repairing, if not replacing, HVAC equipment will likewise add value to your home, especially if the home inspector said the unit was late in its operational life. This is an opportunity to install more energy efficient furnaces, air conditioners and heat pumps.
However, you should not replace existing, working HVAC equipment or install new renewable power systems in the hope it improves the value of your home. Installing solar panels and batteries actually drives some home buyers away for fear of maintenance commitments and legal obligations. If you buy new appliances for your kitchen, energy efficiency should be one of the determining factors but ease of use and a crisp modern look matter, too.
Removing a shower-tub combination for a walk in shower makes your home attractive to those who hope to age in place. And take the time to repair all plumbing leaks, since home buyers will check for those as soon as the “wow” factor of that new bathroom wears off.
Replacing a single sink with a dual vanity gives people more counter space in the bathroom. This is more important than the raised basin sinks that have become popular.
Repair the DIY Fixes
You will add significant value to your home if you repair any do it yourself fixes around the house. There are pictures circulating the internet of people who screwed in wrenches in place of plumbing fixtures, C-clamps in place of broken door knobs, bungee cords to keep doors closed and a number of other life hacks that save them money in the short term. Duct tape holds things together for the moment, and it may even work for a few months, but it’s not a long term solution.
It isn’t uncommon to see homeowners putting cinder blocks under sagging porches or in place of proper stairs. However, every single DIY fix looks horrible to a potential buyer, and they wonder what oddball “fixes” are hidden from view every time they see a DIY fix.
If you want to significantly increase the value of your home without breaking the bank, hire an interior designer to make recommendations to improve your home’s look, instead of paying them to rearrange it. While you can do things yourself like add a beautiful cotton wreath to your front porch, it’s best to consult wth a professional to make sure you re putting your best foot forward.
Pay for a professional inspection so you can fix everything that must be fixed before you start showing it off to improve your home’s value. Create general living space to improve the value of your home. Clean your house and clean up the yard before you start planning for renovations. If the rooms still look dark, dingy or drab, paint them. Increase the amount of natural light that reaches your home’s interior. Finally, update what matters most to potential home buyers while repairing all the little temporary fixes you never got around to having done right.