It’s good news that housing is on the rebound and you can improve your home’s value even more! Luckily for you, you don’t have to put thousands of dollars into remodeling to boost your home back up to the value it was in 2007. Whether you are looking to sell now or well into the future, there are a few things you can do that can easily improve the value of your home.
1. Slapping on Paint: This is the number one home-improvement project homeowners will try themselves. There are two keys to a good paint job: choosing the paint and prepping the surfaces. Splurge on quality paint, as well as brushes and rollers. If you’re not sure of the color you want, rent a sample (yes, most full-service hardware stores will let you do this). Prep the surface by cleaning the walls, sanding them, and patching holes. This accounts for the majority of the work and will make your house show better (improving its value).
2. Finish the Basement: A family can add as much as a third more space to a two-story house for a moderate cost (only a fraction of what it would cost to build a third onto a home) and recoup as much as 80 percent of the investment upon selling. Determine the basement’s condition, including waterproofing, a sump pump, and making sure there is adequate heating and cooling that doesn’t drain the other units.
3. Lose the Kitchen Wall: Many older homes have a wall that separates the dining room and kitchen. By knocking down that wall, the space is opened up and voila! A new look that can allow you to recover 70 to 80 percent of the cost of the renovation. The rest of the kitchen may need to be updated with wood cabinets, non-laminate countertops, and non-vinyl flooring.
4. Try a Little Bathroom Remodel: Keep up with today’s amenities by updating your bathroom with double sinks, brushed nickel fixtures, powerful multi-head showers, and toilets in their own alcoves. Rather than spending $30,000 on a complete overhaul, you could purchase a new toilet, sink, and fixtures for a fraction of the cost.
5. Window Treatments: When we purchased our current home, one of the main features the real estate broker, the seller, and the neighbors kept talking about were the windows. They were double-paned Pella windows, which was as nice an accessory to a home as Prada handbag is to a fashion maven. According to Remodeling magazine, this investment could be as much as a 75-percent recoup upon selling.
6. Do the Little Things: While living in your home, there are projects along the way that will add value. First, have your carpets cleaned annually to improve the chances that the next homeowner will be able to live with them. In between cleanings, vacuum regularly and clean up any spills with a stain-remover. Another small step is taking care of your yard. Obviously, manicured grass, living plants and a groomed landscape make a home look better, raising its value. My husband was constantly enlisting the help of our sons to keep both our front and back yards clean and beautiful, and we get to enjoy them well before we sell our home.
What are ways that YOU improve the value of your home?
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)