You bought your house thinking about how you wanted to make it a home, a place where you put down roots with your family. But now that you’re settled you’re thinking about some remodeling projects and getting the home improvement itch.
But home improvement projects can be a lot of work and expensive too. Will they increase value for your home? Will the home value increase equal the amount of money you put into it?
Have you talked to a realtor about the possibility of selling and going to another house and you’re wondering how to increase your home value for a potential sale?
These are good questions to consider as you make your list of home upgrades. What renovations increase home value the most? Which are too expensive and won’t give you the return on investment?
What Increases Home Value?
It’s easy to imagine the big-ticket items like a new energy-efficient furnace, double pane windows or a new roof can increase the value of your home. Because these are items that require a big investment, they are desirable home upgrades for potential buyers. A house with these high-cost items already redone will likely be a good selling house.
Not all home improvement projects have to cost thousands though. Take a look at some additional ways to increase your home’s value.
Improve Your Curb Appeal
The first impression a home gives is important for potential buyers. Take a step back and evaluate your home’s curb appeal or lack of it. How does it compare to neighboring houses?
Consider sprucing up your landscaping. Trim the bushes. Put down fresh mulch. Plant some flowers and add a few flowering pots to the front porch or walkway.
If you have an asphalt driveway, get a new seal coat on it. It won’t be new but it will give the appearance of being new.
Look closely at your front door. Give it a fresh coat of paint. Or consider whether it would be worth replacing the door with a new energy-efficient front door. If your home has a garage, give the garage door a fresh coat of paint too.
Go for Low Maintenance
The thought of an expensive and unexpected home repair can scare away potential owners quickly. This is where a new furnace, roof, and windows pay off. These are the kinds of repairs or improvements rarely covered by homeowners’ insurance.
When making these improvements look for the lowest potential maintenance options.
Also, make your landscaping as low maintenance as possible. While a yard filled with beautiful gardens and flowers might make your heart happy, many look at it and see lots and lots of undesirable work.
More Efficiency, More Value
The more energy-efficient a home is the better. It saves money for the homeowner and every homeowner finds that valuable.
Aside from the big items already mentioned, consider adding more insulation to your home. If your home has an attic, add another layer of insulation for more energy efficiency.
Make sure your heating and cooling system is being run by a programmable thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat to control when your house gets heat and air can greatly reduce energy bills.
While this is an investment, consider adding solar panels to your roof. Sure it is expensive. But most research shows they pay for themselves over time in savings.
Do an inventory of the lighting both outside and inside your home. Consider updating light fixtures and putting all LED lighting in them for savings.
In addition to the furnace, look at your appliances. That extra old fridge in your garage might be costing you way more than you realize. Update to energy-efficient appliances.
Don’t forget to consider swapping your water heater for a new more energy-efficient model.
All of these energy-efficient changes are sure to lower your bills too.
Bigger Can Be Better
Larger homes can sell for more money. Take a close look at the layout of your house and ask yourself, “Would adding a room make it more desirable?”.
Maybe you don’t want to invest in a whole addition. Then look for ways to add more living space without adding the square footage.
Finished basements give families more room to spread out and increase the living space of the house.
Also, consider how you can use outdoor space to increase living space. Can you add a deck or patio to the back of your home so the inside and outside become connected living areas? Add an outdoor pergola with an outdoor kitchen space. Outdoor living spaces can be DIY friendly to create and don’t have to break the bank.
Small Ideas Work to Increase Value Too
There are ways to increase the home value without needing a home equity loan or draining the savings. Many of these are homeowner friendly ideas that you could do in a weekend with a few trips to the local home improvement store.
After lighting, look at your faucets. There are energy-efficient faucets available. There are also faucets that can increase the style and modern appeal of your home.
Look closely at the interior doors of your home. These can take some wear and tear in the daily rigors of family life. Consider getting new doors to modernize the home. Also, add a fresh coat of paint to them so they are not only more modern but clean looking too.
In today’s world, security always matters to homeowners or prospective buyers. Update the door locks used to secure your home.
Pool or No Pool
You might have this image of your family and friends spending the weekends playing in your pool, having cookouts. Pools sound like such a great idea for social reasons. But will you get the return on investment if you put in a pool?
The answer is a resounding maybe. If you live in a climate where nearly all homes have pools, then yes. It might be harder to sell your house without a pool. On the other hand, pools require maintenance, upkeep, and risk that some potential buyers might want to avoid.
Putting a pool in, fencing it and landscaping is no small investment. One study says that under the most perfect pool scenario, the most return you will get is a 7% bump in value. A pool might also increase your home’s taxable value but not do much for its resale value.
Before investing in a pool, do some real math if it’s worth it for your home.
Kitchen and Bathrooms, Rooms that Matter for Home Value
Kitchens and bathrooms are important to the value of a home. They can also be costly to update. So, before gutting the kitchen and spending thousands, talk with a realtor about whether the home’s value will increase enough to make that big investment worth it.
Remember, you can make small changes that can improve your kitchen and bathrooms. Consider countertops, for example. You can update to countertops to granite or quartz which are highly desirable without changing the whole kitchen.
Also, consider new tile work for either the bathroom or backsplash in the kitchen. Put in a new sink and faucet for a refresher that won’t break the bank.
Stainless steel appliances are always desirable to prospective buyers. If your appliances are older, it might be worth upgrading them to stainless steel.
Fresh Paint for the Win
Don’t underestimate the value of a fresh coat of paint. If you plan to sell your house in the near future, consider repainting some areas of your home.
You may not need to incur the expense of repainting the entire house. Focus on high traffic areas that are likely showing some wear. Also, you can never go wrong with fresh paint in the kitchen or bathrooms.
Remember, you might love that bright neon blue in your bathroom but it isn’t a good resale color choice. Stick to neutral colors in all of the living spaces.
A space that is neutral with white or off white helps them imagine their own furniture fitting into the living room and master bedroom too.
Consider Flooring Too
While you have been busy looking around for ways to improve the value of your home, don’t forget to look down. Flooring is one place that can get worn and made need replacing to improve the look and feel of a home.
The old carpet might not only be dirty looking, but it might also hold undesirable allergens. Consider ripping up the old carpet and replacing it with something that is easier to maintain.
Hardwood floors are a great investment and look good too. Tile or laminate floors are also popular choices. Remember, for resale purposes you want to stick to neutral colors.
Increase Value in Your Home With These Home Improvements Ideas
If you want to increase value in your home, consider this list of ideas for home improvement. Even if you decide you aren’t quite ready to put your house on the market, you can reap the benefits of the home improvements and your home value will increase.
If you decide you want to refinance your home to use some equity for home improvements we can help. We can also help with a new mortgage if you decide you’re ready to sell this house and move to the next one.
Contact us today for more information about our mortgage and home refinance services.