Whether you want to sell your home for the highest price possible or take out the largest home equity loan you can, there are many things you can do to increase the value of your home.
The best and most important first step to increasing your home’s value is to plan out your strategy carefully ahead of time. When handled properly, home improvements cost about 20 to 25 cents per dollar of value they add. That means 75 to 80 cents of every dollar you spend on home improvements go toward the increased value of the home.
Come up with a list of the simple renovations and improvements you wish to make on the home. Then, start prioritizing these improvements. Some are certainly more important than others to the home’s basic functioning and habitability. Take care of these issues first. What increases a home’s perceived value in buyers’ and appraisers’ minds alike is how move-in ready it is. If people can see themselves living in the home normally from day one, then you will get a lot more money for the home than one in which people see issues needing resolving before they can get on with life as they know it. Meanwhile, calculating how much a particular upgrade will increase your home’s value can help you determine how much is worth spending on making the improvement.
1. Upgraded Kitchens
The state of the kitchen has more of an influence on a home’s value than most, if not all, other rooms in the home. It is inexpensive and easy to apply a fresh coat of paint to cabinets and walls. You may not be able to replace old cabinets and drawers, but updating the hardware on them, like handles and knobs, can go a long way toward making old cabinets look new again.
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Some features particularly noteworthy for making kitchens more valuable in both perception and price are stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. You can increase the potential value of a home by three to seven percent by upgrading the kitchen alone.
2. Open Up the Floor Plan
You may not be able to add more square footage to your home but you can increase the available floor space and perceived usability of the home by opening up its floor plan. If a room is too small to make practical use of, then consider knocking down a wall to expand it into another room. If the kitchen is too small, then consider blowing out the wall to the living room to make it an open kitchen.
There are ways as well to increase the actual square footage of the home. Finishing out an unfinished basement is one of the easiest ones. Building a mother-in-law apartment over the garage is another. If there are an abundance of closets in the home and you can find one not necessary for practical living, then you can convert it into a dedicated laundry room. Likewise, a room with no obvious use can stand in as a children’s playroom or home office. All of these options can add between four and six percent in value to the home.
3. Increase Energy Efficiency
A more energy efficient home is a more valuable home. While you live there, it will save you money in utility costs, keeping more money in your pocket. When you try to sell the home, it has greater appeal to buyers conscious of factors like ongoing use and maintenance costs.
You may need to shore up the room or seal cracks in the basement floor, replace old-style gutters with new, seamless gutters or add more insulated, weather-protected siding.
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You can improve insulation in the attic and basement. You can seal up windows and doors or even replace older, less efficient ones with double or triple hung windows and more solid doors to prevent heating or cooling loss. Replace older, less efficient dishwashers, laundry machines, hot water heaters and other appliances with energy-efficient models. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents or, even better, LEDs. Overall, you can increase your home’s value by up to three percent with changes like these.
4. Paint It
Still one of the cheapest ways to make the biggest leap in home value is to give it a fresh coat of paint. Not only does a new paint job make your home look as good as new, but it also helps to protect the home from the destructive influence of the elements and general wear and tear. You do not need to repaint every inch of the home either, but rather the areas highly trafficked, like bathrooms and kitchens. Paint over scratched doors and window frames. If the entire exterior looks like it could benefit from a repainting, it is probably worth the expense.
When picking out paint colors whether inside or out, select more neutral colors that can have the broadest appeal. Even people who prefer brighter, darker or otherwise more extreme colors on the spectrum can still envision painting the home in their preferred color scheme when not already painted in a loud one. Use paints of higher quality to avoid needing too many coats, peeling and cracking too soon or staining too easily, all of which can cost you more in the long run.
5. Youth- and Senior-Friendly Improvements
A home seen as practical for children and the elderly is more valuable than one in which only young adults can realistically thrive. Make sure your toilets are at a comfortable height and opt for walk-in showers over bathtubs. In homes with more than one floor, keeping the master bedroom on the main floor prevents needless climbing and descending stairs, sometimes prohibitive for those too old or too young and sometimes merely another source of potential accidents. Speaking of staircases, make sure there are sturdy railings on any staircase in the home. Tour your home with an eye towards other potential slip and fall hazards and then remedy them to broaden the appeal of your home across all ages.
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By Larissa Shelton –