The Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Value
We’re often asked "how can I increase what my home is worth?" The right home improvement projects not only make your home more enjoyable to live in, they can also add value. While some projects, like adding a new coat of paint, are considered more maintenance than improvement, other projects are investments that can add significantly to your home's value when it comes time to sell. The value you add may outdo the cost – and if the home is your main residence, you may not pay capital gains tax on any increase in value when you sell.
When you’re considering what home improvements to make, we recommend finding the right balance between making your home somewhere you want to live and making it attractive to future buyers. Here are a few home improvement ideas for increasing your home’s value:
1. Landscape to Let the Light In
In today's real estate market, curb appeal improvements can make the difference between someone walking in a home or someone driving away. Unkempt bushes and tangled trees can darken interiors, promote mold, and obscure views. With landscaping considered one of the top investments to enhancing your return, adding as much as 10% to a home's value, hiring a landscaper can make a significant difference in your eventual sale price.
There are many places where additions can make a big difference. If your home only has one or two bathrooms or no powder room, take a look at any extra rooms or underutilized spaces, as well as closets or areas under the stairs, to find room for an extra bathroom. An additional full bathroom can generate up to 150% of your investment. Other additions that add value to your home include decks and attic bedrooms. Additions to avoid? In-ground swimming pools, with high maintenance costs and potential safety worries, and whirlpool baths, which can result in high energy bills.
3. Addition by Subtraction
Anything that opens space and creates open flow in your home can make a difference to buyers. Knock out a non-structural wall to create better sight lines. Add mirrors and glass to create reflections and reflect light. Create built-in shelving that uses wasted vertical space so you can remove bulky furniture. Pick window coverings that don't cut off light when they're open. These can transform the feel of your home to make the most of space, and a professional designer can help you with these and other ideas.
4. Green = Green
Buyers more and more are shopping for homes with energy efficiency in mind. There are several ways to up the efficiency and lower your utilities:
Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models: Stainless steel models usually wear better and add more to value. The end of the month, weekdays, and any holiday weekend are the best times to buy.
Use LEG light bulbs in all light fixtures: These bulbs use 85% less energy than traditional bulbs and are “instant on” compared to older CFLs – important when a buyer agent turns on the light when showing a home. While these things seem small, when a buyer sees a home and asks about your utility costs, you'll have something to brag about, which adds value.
5. Ask Us...We're Your Resource!
As always, we're just a phone call or email away. We’re happy to recommend a quality professional to you. Since the pros we know what us to continue to refer them, they are invested in doing a better job for you than another contractor to whom you’re just a “one off” job. We're also happy to help you understand how a renovation, addition or upgrade project will impact your home's value, and help you make the best decisions for house and home.