This year alone, Americans are expected to spend more than $361 billion dollars on home improvements, maintenance, and repairs. Making improvements to your home is the most direct method for increasing its resale value. Remodeling’s annual Cost vs. Value survey indicates which projects will likely be recouped in the resale value and monitors these projects annually based on inflation in costs to complete the project. Among the most popular home improvement projects are kitchen and bathroom renovations, additions of an exterior deck, and the build out of a basement for an expanded living area.
But, what if you’re not in the market for tackling a major renovation? What can you do to increase the value of your home with an easy upgrade? In evaluating the options with the greatest return on investment, we qualified an “easy upgrade” as a project costing less than $1,000 and that would not necessarily require hiring a contractor or expert to complete. Many of these suggestions are DIY material. When you don’t know where to begin but want to make an improvement, try starting with these easy upgrades.
Clean and De-Clutter
Schedule a few hours to walk around your home and take inventory of areas that could be cleaned, organized, or re-arranged. Consider inviting a close friend or confidant who can offer you a fresh perspective. Things to look for may include clutter that has built up on a bookshelf or a closet that needs purging or re-organizing.
Look for small maintenance items that have been neglected, such as broken light switches or damaged dry wall. Make a list, and then plan for the necessary resources to replace or repair these items. Remember, you cannot tackle all these improvements at once; calendar out a schedule and address the issues one by one.
Improve Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is your home’s “first impression” by potential buyers. The best way to lure interest is by polishing up your home’s exterior. Pay attention to walkways and improve stone step paths or cracks in concrete. Consider planting some new native plants around the front to frame the home. New flowers and ground cover go a long way toward improving a neglected landscape.
What condition is your front door in? Many homeowners fail to recognize the importance of the main entrance to the home. While most front doors would exceed the $1,000 threshold for our “easy upgrade” recommendations, you can spruce yours up by sanding it down and repainting it. Replace the handle and door lock with a new one and you will be surprised what a difference this will make.
Improving the lighting in rooms within your home is an inexpensive way to update your space. Proper lighting makes a big impact on both interior and exterior areas. Consider installing or replacing your outdoor lighting. There are nice options available for pathway lights that are solar powered and installation is a fraction of the cost of traditional wired lighting
All It Takes Is a Little Paint
Freshening up a room with new paint goes a long way. Keep with neutral colors that present the home as a clean palette. Accenting baseboards with a brighter color will add dimension to a room and can give off a more polished look.
The Finishing Touches
While a bathroom renovation might not be in the cards when looking for “easy upgrades”, you can make a visible improvement by simply replacing and updating the finishes. New pull handles, knobs and towel rungs, for example, are a great way to give a bathroom (or kitchen) a refreshed look without incurring significant expenses.
For most of us, our home is the single largest investment we will ever make, so keeping up on maintenance and repairs is important. If you are considering putting your home on the market and need help identifying what you can do to get the highest dollar on your resale, we can help. Contact us and we can identify which upgrades you may want to consider to prepare your property for a successful sale.