For most Americans, homeownership is still the ‘American Dream.’
Having a place of your own is something we all covet, essentially because homeownership also happens to be the number one way most adults build wealth. The increase in a home’s equity made possible by appreciation is how many Americans can build wealth over time.
Home equity and the mortgage industry shot through the roof in 2020, even amid a Worldwide Pandemic, indicating to many that no matter what – homeownership is still one of the best routes you can take for a healthy long-term future.
That said, what if you plan on selling shortly? You might wonder if there is a way to increase the value of your home without waiting for the natural appreciation to occur… and of course, there is!
Today, we will share some of the most effective ways to increase your home’s value, from things you can do yourself to large overhauls that have a large return on investment!
Ten Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value:
First, before doing anything related to increasing your home’s value, make sure you look at your budget and use this list to create a plan for yourself.
As you read, you might get a few ideas that pique your interest; our best recommendation is to start with the free ideas before you start spending money!
1. Declutter Your Property
Perhaps one of the quickest ways to increase your home’s value if you’re selling is to decrease the amount of stuff you have outside your home. All the things sitting around collecting dust can make a property feel cluttered, thus smaller. A cluttered-looking home is a less valuable home in the eye of a potential buyer.
2. Deep Clean
Like decluttering your property, you can give your home a deep clean for free and make it look nice, thus increasing the value. Power washing the front steps won’t increase your home value tenfold, but it will make them look better and be more attractive to prospective buyers. Something as simple as washing all the windows, both inside and out, will make the home sparkle and look well maintained.
3. Stage The Outdoors
Everyone has a realtor friend, be sure to call them and ask them to help you stage your home the right way if you’re close to selling. Focus on staging areas where buyers can see themselves relaxing. Areas like outdoor patios can be updated with new throw pillows or furniture moved around to best take advantage of the space.
A realtor can give you valuable input considering it’s their job to sell homes. They may know how to position furniture, get rid of things, and provide you with the right course of action to increase your home’s value.
It’s free to call a realtor and have them look at your home. Their input on what to replace can also save you money in the long run (if you decide to go that route) by helping you avoid overspending on things that are not worth it.
4. Add Some Curb Appeal Outside
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are simple ways to make your yard look better and add curb appeal for under $100 and sometimes for free without hiring a landscaping company.
A green lawn looks great from the street. Start with your lawn if you have one, cut your grass, and trim around your mulch beds, sidewalks, and home. Next, add some seed and soil to the bare spots.
After you handle the lawn, a simple fix to your home’s curb appeal is to trim the shrubs, trees, and anything else. Bulky trees and overgrown bushes take away from the look of your home.
Lastly, a simple fix that doesn’t cost a ton is to pull all the weeds out of your mulch beds, lay down a fresh layer of dyed mulch, and add some color with inexpensive flowers. Not only will fixing your landscaping add some home value, but it will also help with erosion and other issues like bugs.
5. Consider Replacing Outdoor Light Fixtures
Updating and replacing life fixtures is a sure-fire way to update your home without breaking the bank.
Old, outdated light fixtures stick out like a sore thumb when someone looks at a home to purchase. For example, the builder’s grade outdoor lights do a decent job providing light – but they don’t cut the mustard for aesthetics.
Nowadays, lighting technology has made it simple to add unique lighting to your home. The new technology, such as LED lighting, keeps your electric bill down and makes replacing your lights less expensive.
6. Door Handles – Replace & Install Them
Some doors come with knobs; others don’t. Consider replacing them with something more fashionable.
Adding a little flavor to your door handles is an easy fix. While you won’t increase your home’s value by $1,000’s, updated door handles do look nice! Get a new door handle, grab your drill, and work!
7. Power Wash Your Deck, Fence, and Patio
When the warmer days approach, it’s never a bad idea to go ahead and trip to your local hardware store and rent a power washer, especially if you plan on selling shortly.
Wooden decks and fences age quickly, and because they are naturally porous, the wood will collect dirt, grime, algae, and organic build-up. If you have ever seen a greenish-looking deck or fence, it requires a good power washing!
Power washing helps restore your wood surfaces to a close original state. Consider staining your deck or using “Deckover” paint to add some value! But for under $100, you can rent a power washer, and all in one Saturday, you can quickly knock out power washing your deck, fence, patio, and driveway.
Don’t power wash your siding or roof!
While the terms are often used synonymously, pressure wash refers to highly pressurized water, and power wash refers to the same, only with the element of heated water added to the washing – but neither should be done on your siding or roof.
You can cause more damage than good if you start power washing everything, so be sure to stick to the hard surfaces!
8. Replace Your Roof and Siding
Depending on your home's age, replacing your roof and updating the siding may be a smart move to increase home value. A new roof can have over an 80% return on investment, and siding comes in at 75%.
Updating your home with some architectural shingles and new modern-colored siding can add curb appeal and significantly increase your home's price. A roof replacement and new siding may pay for themselves if you’re selling shortly. The cost to replace your roof or siding varies depending on your home's size, the type of material you select, and other add-ons.
A brand new roof and new siding are massive selling points for a buyer.
9. Add Updated Systems
Depending on your home's age, updating the appliances and some mechanical systems might be a wise investment.
Frequently, builder-grade appliances start to go bad around the year 15 mark, and if you’re still using the old school appliances, it could be a smart move to replace them to increase your home’s value.
The same can be said for your AC unit, water heater, and HVAC systems. Keep in mind when you start replacing these types of systems, it can be costly, so while it will increase your home’s value, unless it is a safety need or the systems are failing, there are more effective ways to increase the value of your home like remodeling the kitchen.
10. Replace Your Gutters
You probably wouldn’t think of this, but your gutters can stand out for better or worse.
For example, right now, black gutters on light-colored siding are in. New construction homes are taking advantage of all the current trends in gutter, trim, and siding colors, and they have gotten away from the popular colonial colors of the 1990s and 2000s.
You also don’t have to search far to find out how much gutters cost; they’re inexpensive compared to most remodeling items.
Some gutter calculators will tell you exactly how many new gutters cost by simply inputting your home’s measurements. Replacing your dull white gutters with black, grey, brown, or something else is a sure-fire way to increase your home’s value for under $1,500 (on average).
How To Pay For Home Projects
Lastly, how to pay for your home value increase projects
There might be a natural inclination to finance your remodeling projects, new roof, appliances, or even take out a HELOC to bankroll your remodel but pause on that idea. Here is a concept to start with:
Don’t take out debt to finance your projects; consider saving instead and doing the small things first!
Instead of just diving right in on a full-blown renovation, consider saving money each month for a year and see what smaller items you can address along the way. Just be aware that the Diderot Effect – the idea of buying one thing and then needing something else after – jumps on you fast when you start updating your house.
So instead of increasing your home’s value at the cost of taking out debt, consider coming up with a plan, consulting with a real estate agent who can lead you in the right direction, and lastly, be very patient.
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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
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Josh writes about ways to make money, pay off debt, and improve yourself. After paying off $200,000 in student loans with his wife in less than four years, Josh started Money Life Wax and has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post and more! In addition to being a life-long entrepreneur, Josh and his wife enjoy spending time with their chocolate lab named Morgan, working out, helping others with their debt and recommend using Personal Capital to track your finances.