Here are some home improvements that are proven to add value, which could lead to greater profits if you plan on selling. By completing these improvements, you are putting money in your own pocket. Not a bad deal!
Note: This post was inspired by Vicki Lankarge and her book about increasing the value of your home. If you're on a budget and want to increase the value of your home, give it a read!
Clean everything. Just get your place clean! Get rid of any junk or debris that has accumulated over the years. If a buyer comes to look at your home and sees years of junk sitting around, there’s a good chance they’ll keep on driving. In real estate, perception makes a huge difference, and you want your home to remain as clean as possible. If you don’t have the time, just outsource it to a cleaning company. It’s well worth the price.
Clean your roof too. More often than not, people make the mistake of replacing their roof too early. If your roof has asphalt shingles, they can be cleaned and made to look like new again. Most shingles have a 20-year life, but they start to look old after 5 years. If the shingles on your roof aren’t more than 10 years old, chances are that they don’t need to be replaced. You should opt to have your roof professionally cleaned, especially when replacing it will cost ten times as much.
Paint the place. This is something that you can do yourself if you want to save even more money. Just make sure that the colors you choose are consistent with those in your neighborhood. For your interior, you should use satin paint because it will give enough shine without being too shiny. In your dining room, colors such as deep wine or burgundy can create an elegant or more dramatic look.
Take care of your floors. “Paint and carpet” is the go-to weapon of choice for improving a home’s value, but there’s more involved with flooring than just carpet. When you do put new carpet in, you should stick with short carpets in neutral earth tones. In other areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom, you might want to consider vinyl, ceramic tile, or hardwood. Vinyl (or linoleum) will last 10-15 years, but if a heavy or sharp object is dropped on it, it can cause a tear. Linoleum tears are very difficult to replace because the seams and patterns have to match exactly for it to look right. Ceramic tile is more expense than vinyl but can easily last 20-30 years. If you decide to use hardwood, oak is usually cheaper than cherry or mahogany woods.
Improve your foyer. The foyer is the first thing when guest and prospective buyers see when entering your home. That’s why it’s important to set the tone for the rest of the house. Colorful decorative pieces do well, and throw rugs placed at the door give guests a place to wipe their feet. Another way to add color is to hang decorative art or family photos on the wall. If you want to breathe life into the room, place a plant in the corner by the doorway.
Take care of your lawn. Here’s a tip: use sod instead of seed. A seeded lawn typically gives thinner looking grass and is more susceptible to weed growth. Take some time to keep your lawn fertilizer and watered, as well as mowed and edged. Also, keep an eye out for any lawn diseases, and be sure to take care of them immediately. Curb appeal is a big deal, and it can go a long way towards increasing the value of your home.
Upgrade your pantry. One of the “must have” features of homebuyers today is a walk-in pantry. If you don’t have one, you can build one by enclosing a corner or section of your kitchen, with shelving from top to bottom. It’s critical that you make this space as bright as possible – who wants a dark pantry? Make sure that you equip the area with one, if not two, powerful light bulbs. Brightness can also make the area look larger to potential buyers.
Get better faucets. Get the nicer, more expensive faucets that compliment your home. Don’t be cheap here. Enough said.
Improve your lighting. Cheap lighting makes the entire house look cheap. Make sure that your house is getting the lighting it deserves. Many dining rooms have chandeliers, but here’s something to take your home to the next level: wall sconces. These are fixtures designed to mount on the wall, and they can usually be purchased as a set with a chandelier. Also, most kitchens don’t have lighting under their cabinets, so make sure your house does! When you put lights under the cabinets, make sure you route them to one switch, allowing you to turn the lights on from a central location. Nothing will cause a headache quite like trying to figure out which light and switch go together.
By putting these improvements in place, you should see a strong impact on your home. In addition to having a better home, you’re likely to get your initial investment back, and then some.