Today’s unsettled real estate market has prompted homeowners on the selling end to reevaluate the appeal of their property by tweaking some of the downsides and increase their home’s value. Here is a snapshot of what professionals say are the best ways to boost the value of your house and get the most return on your money:
1. Open up the Space
New buyers are looking for open floor plans with large spaces that are family-friendly. Knocking down a non-structural wall between the kitchen and den, for example, is one of the most popular ways to appeal to new homebuyers. For an investment of a few hundred dollars, you can transform the feel of your house and appeal to a wider range of buyers.
2. Spruce up the Yard
Pruning overgrown bushes and trimming trees can be the first step in eliminating obscured views of your home and increasing curb appeal. A well-landscaped yard presents the impression that you take pride and care in your home, and creates a positive mindset of what’s to come on the inside of the house. Experts say that landscaping is one of the top three investments that bring the highest return on your money. An initial investment of $400-$500 in landscaping can bring a return of up to four times that amount. For more tips about sprucing up your yard, check out our blog post, titled “Money-Saving DIY Landscaping Tips”
3. Let the Sunshine In
It’s no secret that light enhances moods and creates a positive environment. Installing sun tubes (also known as light pipes, sunscoops and tubular skylights), is a modern way to welcome natural light into your home without the hefty price tag of installing skylights. For interior lighting, dimmer switches are an easy and inexpensive way that allows you to set the mood in any room.
4. Go Green with Solar Panels
Installing solar panels to power your water heater could save you as much as 80% on your water heating bills. Today’s homeowners are more environmentally-sensitive and budget-conscious, which makes the creation of a home with solar panels more appealing. As a major incentive to homeowners, The Solar Federal Tax Credit, first enacted in 2009, allows homeowners to claim up to 30% of solar power costs for a new solar electric system from their Federal Taxes. Existing homes and new construction qualify, although rental properties do not. The Tax Rebate is scheduled to expire December 31, 2016.
5. Front Door Appeal
Experts say buyers make up their minds within the first seven seconds of entering a house. Welcoming your guests with a beautiful front door is key to making a stellar first impression. Make sure the doorbell has a pleasant tone and is in working order and that the entrance has some form of overhang (like an awning or portico) above the front door to shield you and your guests from the elements.
6. Don’t Forget the Floors
An estimated 94% of real estate professionals suggest that investing even a small amount of money in flooring can bring big returns when it comes to increasing the value of your home. Make sure to take care of small repairs first (such as eliminating squeaks, repairing broken tiles, patching damaged floor boards and ripping out wall-to-wall carpeting).
7. Quick Bathroom Makeover
Real estate professionals unanimously agree that upgrading kitchens and baths are a sure fire way to increase the value to your home. But renovations can be expensive. To spend as little as possible (while making the best impression), quick and easy upgrades in the bathroom can have a lasting impact. Try replacing frosted glass for clear glass, cleaning grout and removing any rust stains, replacing the toilet seat, applying fresh caulk, updating doorknobs and cabinet pulls, and replacing the faucet to a modern one. For an investment of about $500, you can have a more modern, tuned-up bathroom.
8. Keep the Walls Neutral
A fresh coat of paint can go a long way, but remember: keep your personal taste out of it and keep the color neutral if you’re trying to sell your house. You want to create a clean palette for the buyer to see their own taste and furniture in the house without confusing it with too much color. Avoid painting accent walls and remove all wall paper borders, because these are decorating trends that have seen their time come and are long gone.