15 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

For most Americans, homeownership is very much so still the ‘American Dream.’

Having a place of your own is something we all covet, largely 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 in the midst of 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 be wondering if there is a way to increase the value of your home without having to wait 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 ranging from things you can do yourself all the way to large overhauls that have a large return on investment!

15 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!

Home Value Increase Ideas That Cost You Nothing:

1. Declutter your house.

Perhaps one of the quickest ways to increase your home’s value if you’re in the process of selling is to decrease the amount of stuff you have in your home!

All the things sitting around collecting dust can tend to make a home feel cluttered, thus smaller. A smaller looking home is a less valuable home in the eye of a potential buyer. While currently, the market for buyers is limited, this isn’t always the case!

To make sure you get the highest value for your home, be sure that you keep it clutter-free and remove bulky furniture that is eating up space!

2. Deep Clean

Like decluttering your home, you can give your home a deep clean for free and really make it look nice, thus increasing the value. Cleaning the carpets won’t increase your home value tenfold, but it will make them look better and prevent you from having to replace your carpets (thus saving you money).

Consider these ideas to deep clean your home to increase its value:

  • Clean the baseboards
  • Use a magic eraser on the walls
  • Deep dusting
  • Clean windows inside and outside if possible
  • Consider steam cleaning your carpets
  • Deep cleaning appliances and their surfaces

3. Stage your home the right way.

Everyone has a realtor friend, be sure to call them and help you stage your home the right way if you’re close to selling.

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!

Increase Your Home Value for Under $100:

4. Paint some walls.

There are small updates to your house that will increase your home's value, such as painting some walls. If you have the ability and time to paint, for under $100, you can grab a few gallons of paint, a few rollers, and a drop cloth and spend a Friday night and Saturday painting!

Colors and styles change quickly, and what you will find is that what was in ten years ago is now considered outdated! Before painting, visit websites like The Spruce to gather ideas to help you decide on trendy paint colors.

Painting your kitchen, the living room, bathrooms, or even adding a fresh coat in the bedrooms can go a long way in giving your home a sharper appearance, thus increasing the resale value!

5. Add Technology

Remember iPods? They were cool in 2007, before the release of the iPhone. Having an iPod dock installed in your home was also really cool – but now it’s worthless.

Keeping this in mind, consider updating some of the technology around your home. While some of these items might exceed $100 (cut us some slack), this can mean getting rid of outdated technology, adding wifi activated thermostats, using energy-efficient bulbs, looking into solar options, and even installing security cameras.

Whether you go down this road of increasing your home’s value, keep in mind that over time some of these upgrades will pay for themselves depending on how long you stay in your home!

6. Add some curb appeal outside

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are simple ways to make your yard look a lot better and add curb appeal for under $100 and sometimes for free without hiring a landscaping company.

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. A green lawn looks great from the street!

After you handle the lawn, a simple fix to your home’s curb appeal is to trim the shrubs, trees, and anything else that needs trimming. 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!

7. Consider replacing 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 walks into a home to purchase. For example, the builder’s grade chandelier hanging over the dining room table or the fluorescent kitchen ceiling light both do a decent job providing light – but they don’t cut the mustard when it comes to aesthetics.

Nowadays the lighting technology has made it really simple to add recessed and unique lighting to your home. For example, recessed lighting, which often had to be installed during the building process or required a professional install, can now be done under $100. Halo lights are under $20 apiece! The new technology such as LED lighting also keeps your electric bill down and makes replacing your lights a lot less expensive.

8. Cabinet Knobs – Replace & Install Them!

Some cabinets come with cabinet knobs; others don’t. If you have them, consider replacing them with something more fashionable for $2-$4 apiece.

Don’t have cabinet knobs? Get a cabinet knob, install stencil, grab your drill, and get to work! Adding a little flavor to your kitchen or bathrooms can be done with some cabinet knobs. While you won’t increase your home’s value by $1,000’s, cabinet knobs do look nice!

Go to Hobby Lobby and get cheap cabinet knobs that are unique and be sure to avoid hardware stores that carry a huge uptick on knobs (the same knobs everyone else gets too).

9. Power wash your deck, fence, and patio.

When the warmer days approach, it’s never a bad idea to go ahead and make a 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!

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. Power washing helps restore your wood surfaces to a close original state. To really add some value, consider staining your deck or using “Deckover” paint!

Don’t power wash your siding or roof!

While the terms are often used synonymously, pressure wash refers to highly pressurized water, power wash refers to the same, only with the element of heated water being 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!

10. Add a DIY accent wall!

Accent walls are all the craze right now, and they’re inexpensive to make happen if you do it yourself!

The DIY pallet walls, shiplap walls, and painted judges panels are all doable if you possess the necessary tools and the will power to make it happen! Just make sure you plan, give yourself enough time and don’t rush!

Depending on your price point, a pallet wall is free after finding enough pallets to break apart. The judge's panel or board and batten walls are reasonably priced when you factor in the cost of the fresh coat of paint they require.

Shiplap walls or “Tongue and Groove” walls can be a little more expensive depending on your wall size and the number of boards your project requires. These accent walls really stand out and can be fun to complete. Consider these locations:

  • Master bedroom
  • Bathrooms
  • Living room
  • Kitchen Walls

Increase Your Home Value With These Long Term Ideas:

If you plan on staying in your home for some time, or perhaps you have an older home that really needs some updating, here are the longer-term but higher-cost areas to consider remodeling!

11. Replace your roof and siding

Depending on your home's age, replacing your home’s roof and updating the siding may be a smart move to increase home value. In fact, a new roof can have over an 80% return on investment, and siding comes in at 75%.

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 you select. Updating your home with some architectural shingles and new modern-colored siding can really add curb appeal and greatly increase your home's price too! Not to mention, a roof replacement and new siding may pay for themselves if you’re selling shortly!

A brand new roof and new siding is a huge selling point for a buyer!

12. Add Updated Systems and Appliances

Depending on your home's age, updating the appliances and some of the mechanical systems might be a wise investment.

Oftentimes, 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!

13. Remodel your kitchen or master bath

A remodeled kitchen and updated master bathroom have been shown to have the highest return on your investment. Before just diving in, recognize that taking on a kitchen or bathroom remodel requires money, time, and expertise.

Start with weighing some of the pros and cons:

Pros of Remodeling:Cons of Remodeling:
  • Better resale value
  • Modern look, feel, and spacious design.
  • More energy efficient
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • High ROI
  • Price – most kitchen remodels are pricey, like $20,000 and up!
  • Time-consuming and messy
  • Not all contractors are created the same!
  • Hard to plan and budget

Something else to weigh is how long you will stay at your current home?

If you plan on staying at your home for some time, an updated kitchen might be nice for you to experience while simultaneously increasing your home’s value in the long run. The same goes for your bathroom.

Another point to factor, “How old is your kitchen and bathrooms?” If you’re approaching the 20-year mark for your kitchen's age, you might want to do some small at least remodels like replacing the sink, counters and painting the cabinet if you’re on a tight budget.

14. Replace your gutters.

You probably wouldn’t think of this, but your gutters can really 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 actually inexpensive compared to most remodeling items.

Some gutter calculators will literally tell you exactly how much new gutters cost by simply inputting your home’s measurements. Replacing your boring 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).

15. Add square feet to your home

Last but not least, one of the best ways to increase your home’s value is to add square footage to your home.

While the average price per square foot nationwide has certainly gone up since the 2017 number of $111 per square foot, some places easily exceed $200 per square foot. Knowing this, if you can add square footage to your home, you can thus increase the price of your home’s value.

Perhaps knocking down a few walls that are not load-bearing or combining two rooms into one can help you add some square footage. Of course, the more expensive option is to finish incomplete areas, such as your basement.

Adding an addition to your home is something you’re welcome to consider, but keep in mind that sometimes an addition can exceed the return on investment. Unless, of course, you have the means to make it happen!

Just be sure to do your research and planning when you start knocking out walls and adding square footage!

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 kitchen remodel, for example, consider saving money each month for a year and see what smaller items you can address along the way.

Just be aware, the Diderot Effect – the idea of buying one thing and then needing something else after – jumps on you fast when you start remodeling your house! Replacing the sink might lead to replacing the light above the sink, followed by painting, and before you know it, new counters!

So instead of increasing your home’s value at the cost of taking out debt, instead 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!

This post was written by yours truly (Josh) and originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks and was republished with permission!

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.