6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Home's Resale Value

Saturday, May 13, 2017

     When it comes to home improvement, many projects can be a total waste of money, while others can add nearly 100% of their cost to the value of your home. However, there are many small things you can do that will improve the resale value of your home without engaging in a full or room specific remodel. In this article, we’re going to give you six easy ways to improve your home’s resale value without spending a fortune. We’ll also tell you what not to do in order to avoid decreasing the value of your home in the process of making these changes.

6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Home's Resale Value

Clean Up the Outside of Your Home

     Paint the outside of your home with a new coat of paint. Trim overgrown bushes and maintain the yard. Clean up the yard of weeds, debris and toys. Improving the curb appeal this way will give potential buyers a strong first impression. And don’t underestimate the impact of bugs on this impression. 

     Whether it is a few ant mounds in the front yard or a wasp’s nest under the eaves, pests make the home seem un-maintained or unsafe. Hire a pest control company to get rid of ants, wasps, bees and anything else guests and home buyers wouldn’t want to see. Check out Go-Forth Pest Control reviews and you’ll see why they are your best choice for pest control services and an investment in improving the value of your home.

Plan Remodels That Have a High ROI

     Projects with a high return on investment have a low cost, but improve the look or function of a room. For example, replacing the doors and hardware in your kitchen is cheaper than ripping out and rebuilding the cabinetry. It is cheaper to replace the vanity sinks in the bathroom and replace the hardware than start ripping out walls and re-plumbing the room.

      If you do plan on remodeling a room, follow the general rules of thumb on how much to spend to avoid going over future buyers’ expectations. For example, don’t spend more than 5% to 10% of your home’s value remodeling a bathroom (and ideally less than that). Be sensitive to the standards set in your community, so don’t put a spa grade bathroom in a 1500 square foot home. Adding a second bathroom in a community of homes with a minimum of two bathrooms is worth going over the 10% rule, since it will add value to the home. Adding a third bathroom in a neighborhood of predominantly three bedroom two bathroom homes, though, won’t return half the cost of the remodel. The same is true of kitchens. Don’t spend more than 15% of the value of the home on a kitchen remodel; 5% to 10% is the safer bet unless you’re replacing incredibly old appliances with newer, more energy efficient ones.

     Also, doing things as simple as applying a fresh layer of asphalt on your driveway can do the trick. One of the first things buyers notice when they see a new home is the driveway, and something as simple as having a few cracks here and there can be enough to make a bad impression. Also, this might indicate that there are more underlying issues with the house.

     Don’t replace your appliances simply because they are several years old unless the cost of repairing them to meet inspection requirements is more than half the cost of the new appliance. If the kitchen or bathroom feels worn and grungy, invest in a deep clean before you plan on spending thousands on a remodel. If you still want to change out the appliances, consider replacing their exterior panels instead of the entire appliance. If you are getting new appliances, stainless steel remains a popular contemporary design choice.

     Don’t make the mistake of completely remodeling central areas such as your kitchen to make it more attractive. Remodeling a kitchen can severely cut into your bottom line and just making some minor decor adjustments can do the trick. Also, major changes such as installing a kitchen island or adding marble countertops might put off some buyers. Sometimes replacing the worn floors and putting up new tile back splashes after a deep clean is enough to feel like you have a whole new kitchen – and have a warm, welcoming home buyers will like. 

Create an Open, Accessible Floor Plan

     One of the best ways to improve the appeal and value of your home is by opening up the floor plan and making the home accessible. Remove the breakfast bar unless you’re constantly using the counter space so it is easy to walk into the dining room. Remove the walls separating the dining room from the living room; if you still want a visual distinction, replace the wall with a counter or half-wall to let the light in.

     Open up doorways or hallways so that someone in a walker or wheelchair can navigate the space. If you renovate the bathroom, remove the walls for the cubby hiding the toilet so those with limited mobility or greater girth can use it. Remodel the bathroom so that it isn’t necessary to step into the tub to take a shower.

     The ideal design turns one or two single purpose rooms into a flex room, a space you can use as a game room, office, living area or guest room; specialized rooms are the opposite. Note that this process should never reduce the total bedroom count. One option that makes your home more appealing is turning a lower level office or play room into a master bedroom; aging adults prefer master bedrooms on the first floor, while parents with children who no longer wake up throughout the night often like having the children’s noise contained to the second floor.

More Square Footage

     Anything that adds more usable living space to a home without taking away essentials is a value added proposition. As a matter of fact, space is one of the most important aspects people look for when buying a house. This is why converting a basement into general living space like living rooms and guest rooms has a return on investment of 70% to 100%. Always have this type of work done by a professional to ensure that the plumbing for that basement bathroom works properly and the new walls aren’t ruined by water seeping in. Also, a poorly leveled basement floor can lead to many issues later on. Turning an attic into living space is more expensive than most basement renovations, since few attics offer enough space beneath the rafters to be comfortable unless you literally raise the roof. However, you should not turn your garage into another bedroom or living area, since many people expect an enclosed garage on such a home. You’ll gain living space, but suffer a serious decline in the value of the home.

Convenient Laundry Rooms

     Younger buyers, in particular, are calling for laundry rooms built into closets or niches off the kitchen, bedrooms or bathrooms instead of having to climb down into the basement or walk into the garage to do their laundry. Installing these laundry closets is typically affordable, though you may have to move the pantry or a garage wall to do it.

Energy Efficiency

     Energy efficiency remains a low cost, high value proposition if done right. The ability to say you put in not only a new air conditioner, but a more efficient one will make your home stand out from the competition. The same is true of replacing the hot water heater with something more efficient. Adding insulation to the building reduces your energy bills as long as you own the home. Installing double or triple pane windows can save on your energy bills, while it may result in rebates from your local utility companies. Energy Star certified windows lower your home’s utility bills by five to fifteen percent; it is a selling point for buyers, but won’t have a 100% ROI unless you have already received tax rebates for installing them.

     If new windows are outside of your price range, applying films to the windows that let light in but reflect summer heat out could be a good option. Don’t bother with solar panels on the roof, though, since many people will be afraid to take on the extra work of maintaining them or the legal mess they can create.

Conclusion

     Cleaning up the outside of your home to improve its curb appeal is always a good first step in increasing the value of your home. If you are going to remodel your home, select projects that have a relatively low cost and high return on the investment. Select changes that give the home an open and accessible design that appeals to families with young children as well as older adults. Anything that adds additional living space to the home without taking away essentials is value-added. Finally, invest in energy efficiency projects, especially if it reduces the concerns buyers have about equipment failures.

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