Whether you want to update your home for your needs or the needs of a future buyer, deciding where to best spend your money to maximize the value of your home can be a bit of a challenge to figure out.
This is for informational purposes only. If you’re upgrading to sell, it’s best to speak with your real estate agent or another professional in the industry before spending a ton of money on home upgrades. A professional will be able to assess your home and your situation and help you determine where your home will need improvement to make the most return on investment in your current market.
Here are a few various ways to increase the value of your home. If you’re selling your home, ask your real estate agent if each of these are worth the cost for your given situation.
- Paint Your Interior Walls
- Update The Trim & Baseboards
- Add Crown Molding
- Upgrade Light Fixtures
- Give Your Home Some Curb Appeal
- Update Your Flooring
- Refinish Your Floors
- Add Intentional Design Features
- Remove Popcorn Ceilings
- Keep Up With Maintenance
- Repaint Your Exterior
- Upgrade Your Hardware
- Upgrade Your Appliances
- Add Built In Features
- Upgrade Your Fixtures
- Add Integrated Smart Devices
- Redo Your Roofing
- Add A Shed
- Move Your Laundry Upstairs
- Upgrade Your Siding
- Upgrade Your Windows
- Upgrade Your Doors
- Upgrade Your Garage Door
- Add New Or Upgrade Your Gutters
- Remodel Your Kitchen
- Finish Your Basement
- Add A Bathroom
- Add A Bedroom
- Upgrade Your HVAC
- Install A Pool
- Add Public Utilities
- Redo Your Electrical
- Redo Your Plumbing
- Open Up Your Floor Plan
- Add A Garage Or Second Stall
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If you are interested in more details, here are some helpful resources for each of these topics, continued below.
Repaint Your Walls
A relatively cheap fix that can make a drastic change to the rooms in your home is painting the walls. If you are planning to sell your home soon, consider using more neutral tones to appeal to any buyer.
Upgrade Your Trim
If your home has the original, builder-grade trim, consider updating to a more stately, custom option. Replacing the trim around doors and windows can give a room a more finished look. Trim should fit with the style and time period of your home for the best overall design.
Add Crown Molding
Crown molding also does a great job of giving a room an elevated, finished look. Consider adding crown molding to your formal dining room or formal living room as that necessary final touch.
Upgrade Light Fixtures
Light fixtures that are permanently fixed to your home and will transfer to the new owner upon sale do add to the overall value of a house. Upgrading light fixtures such as a chandelier in the dining room, exterior lights at the front entrance, or pendant lights over an island can create a subtle yet significant change in a space.
Update Your Curb Appeal
Enhancing the curb appeal of your home is a great bang for your buck. Simple changes to the front of your house, like cleaning up shrubs or planting new flowers, will make your home look better and appraise higher.
Update Your Flooring
A durable, beautiful flooring material will add value to your home and lure in buyers who want a move-in-ready home. Opt for materials like hardwood, luxury vinyl tile, or tile and keep the carpet to the bedrooms at most.
Re-Finish Your Floors
If your home already has hardwood floors, consider refinishing them for a fresh look. This would also be a great time to patch in new pieces of hardwood floor if any are damaged to obtain cohesive flooring throughout your home.
Add Intentional Design Features
Some interior design features will actually add value to your home if they are a more permanent solution. Think about adding board and batten wainscotting or wood ceiling beams to give your home a designer look.
Keep Up With Maintenance
It is apparent when a home is well maintained versus not maintained at all. Keep up with regular maintenance items such as replacing filters, servicing your HVAC, and cleaning your gutters to ensure these items will last for many years to come. It’s better late then never to maintain and clean your entire home after moving in.
Repaint Your Exterior
If the exterior of your house is painted, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in increasing the value of your home. Opt for a classic color such as a neutral or earth tone that will appeal to most.
Upgrade Your Hardware
If you have original hardware in your home, it can feel outdated and underwhelming. Consider updating your cabinet and door handles with something more modern to freshen up your entire home.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Upgraded appliances offer improved functionality in your kitchen and typically have a nice return on investment. If your appliances are dated, a new 4-piece set (refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, microwave) will certainly appeal to potential buyers.
Add Built-In Features
If your home does not have much character and feels a bit boring, consider adding built-in features for a custom look that will appraise higher. Add built-in shelving, a built-in desk, or a built-in hutch for a one-of-a-kind look.
Upgrade Your Fixtures
In your kitchen and bathrooms, think about upgrading your faucets and showerheads. Newer fixtures will have more features and make your home stand out from others.
Add Integrated Smart Devices
Installing a smart thermostat, smart speakers, or smart security devices establishes your house as one infused with technology and can be a unique characteristic that stands ahead of comparable homes.
If your roof is nearing its end of life, consider redoing it to add value to your home. Opt for architectural shingles as opposed to 3-tab shingles as architectural shingles are the most sought after in the current housing market.
Add A Shed
Adding additional storage to your home is a no brainer and this includes outdoor storage. If you do not have much storage capacity in your garage or basement for outdoor related items, consider adding a shed to your backyard.
Move Your Laundry Upstairs
First floor or even second floor laundry is very appealing to potential buyers who do not want to walk downstairs to the basement to complete their laundry. Moving your washer and dryer to a new location will require additional plumbing, but will certainly add value to your home.
Upgrade Your Siding
Make a significant change to the exterior of your home by upgrading your siding. It could be a good idea to use vinyl or composite siding options as they are typically more durable and last longer than wood siding.
Upgrade Your Windows
Outdated windows are certainly a deterrent for buyers and appraisers as there is significant cost and uncertainties involved in their replacement. Consider upgrading your windows and choose energy-efficient windows that could cut down on heating and cooling costs.
Upgrade Your Doors
Similarly, upgrading your interior and/or exterior doors will increase the overall value of your home. This upgrade is a great way to bring in an updated design style or use energy-efficient options.
Upgrade Your Garage Door
The look of a garage door can significantly add or detract from the curb appeal of a home. Consider upgrading your dated garage door to a more modern one that has an efficient belt-driven opener.
Add New or Upgrade Your Gutters
If your home is lacking proper gutters or the ones it has are worn out, upgrading your gutters is a must. Not only will new gutters look better, redirecting the water around your home helps to maintain the overall integrity.
Remodel Your Kitchen
Probably the most popular value-adding home upgrade, remodeling your kitchen will cost a significant amount, but will also add a significant amount to your home’s value. Opt for colors and finishes that are timeless as opposed to trendy so you do not have to make any further upgrades when you sell.
Finish Your Basement
If your basement is a blank slate, consider finishing out the floors and walls to increase the functionality of your home. While the finished basement might not be included in the overall square footage of your home, it certainly adds value as a functional space for a potential buyer and therefore an appraiser.
Add A Bathroom
Increasing the number of bathrooms in your home is a huge factor in increasing your home’s value. If you have the space available in your layout, consider adding an additional powder bath for guests or a master en-suite bathroom for big cost-added value.
Add A Bedroom
Similarly, adding a bedroom increases the value of your home as it will now appeal to a greater pool of buyers. Add a bedroom by finishing an empty attic space or splitting a larger space into two. A bedroom simply needs a door that can be closed, a window, and a closet.
Upgrade Your HVAC
Outdated HVAC systems can turn away buyers who do not want to deal with the headaches of upgrading. Installing a new energy-efficient heating system or adding air conditioning capabilities is sure to increase the value of your home.
Install A Pool
While this option might not appeal to all buyers, adding a permanent pool to your backyard will add some value to the cost of your home. Add this feature only if you are able to get quite a few years of use out of it yourself.
Add Public Utilities
Buyers and appraisers like to see public utilities used in residential properties. Using public utilities, such as water, sewer, and gas, removes lots of responsibility and upkeep from the homeowner which can certainly be appealing.
Redo Your Electrical
Outdated electrical systems and poor electrical wiring are a common issue during home inspections. Remove this factor and increase your home’s worth by installing a new electrical panel or redoing faulty wiring with the help of a professional.
Redo Your Plumbing
Similar to outdated electrical, plumbing issues will scare potential buyers away from your home. Replace lead-containing pipes, cast iron pipes, or galvanized pipes with PVC or PEX piping to increase the value of your home.
Open Up Your Floor Plan
Gone are the days of separate rooms for every function. Buyers are requesting open kitchen, living, and dining spaces more than ever. By removing a wall or two in your home, ensuring they are not structural, you can appeal to more buyers and appraise at a higher value.
Add A Garage Or Second Stall
In certain climates, having a garage on your home is a make or break for buyers. Building a new garage can add tens of thousands of dollars of value to your home. If you only have a one stall garage and have the lot space to add another, this can also be a cost-worthy upgrade.
Deciding what home upgrades are worth your time and your money can be somewhat difficult. Before you complete any updates to your home, consider what value that would add to a future buyer and how that would increase the appraisal on your home. From repainting your living room to completely gutting and remodeling your kitchen, projects large and small are a factor in the worth of your home and should be carefully analyzed before completed.
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