Adding value to your home doesn’t always mean spending a fortune on costly home improvement projects,” says Terry Churches, real estate broker from Grand Rapids, Mich. “There are also many smaller improvements you can make to your home in a series of targeted weekend projects.” These weekend projects, says Churches, not only help to spruce up the look of your home, but they also can add value when it comes time to sell.
And although everyone loves compliments on their home improvement projects, the real payoff is watching the value of your home rise as a result of hard work. We’ve looked into some of the home improvement projects you might consider that can pay off in the long run, and help you avoid breaking the bank in the process.
Before anyone steps into your home, the first thing they see is the view from the curb. And, if that view is lackluster, a potential buyer may never even get past your front door. A few simple updates can fix that:
1. Painting– If your home’s exterior is in disrepair, it’s easy to assume the inside is also. Spruce up the exterior by pressure washing, or repainting it. But be careful when choosing a color. One that is too bright — or too dull — can make it less appealing to buyers. Look for online resources such as Behr.com, which offer helpful inspiration galleries for choosing exterior paint.
2. Lighting- Tasteful outdoor lighting is an important — and visible — asset that reflects the care and attention you’ve given your home.
3. Doors- Touch up the paint on your front door, or if it’s in rough shape, consider replacing it with one that matches the style of your home.
4. Hardware- Gone are the days of shiny brass fixtures. Replace them with updated brushed metal hardware.
5. Planting- Trim overgrown bushes and plant a few flowering shrubs. Mature trees are always desirable, so planting a new one that can grow over the years is also worthwhile. A potted plant by the door, flowers along the sidewalk or edging along your lawn also add curb appeal.
When it comes to the interior of your home, focusing on projects that create a clutter-free environment with great lighting, well-designed spaces and updated flooring, fixtures and cabinetry will shorten a potential buyer’s “to-do” list.
1. Windows- If your budget allows, installing new energy-efficient insulated windows or well-placed skylights can add value, and you may even enjoy a tax credit.
2. Flooring- Natural flooring materials are considered very desirable in today’s market. Wood, ceramic tile and “green” options, like bamboo, are popular choices. Even updating carpeting can give your home a boost.
3. Lighting- Ditch the tacky lighting and replace it with tasteful, but not overly expensive, fixtures. If your room is dark, consider upping the wattage of your bulbs. Well-lit rooms feel more cheerful and make the space feel larger and cleaner. Consider installing updated light switches and outlets.
4. Trim and Moldings- Add a “wow” factor to a room with baseboards, chair rails, wainscoting or crown molding. And, some of these architectural details can be relatively cheap and easy to do yourself!
Replacing dated carpet or tile in your home can make a big difference, says real estate broker Terry Churches. “These days the value in doing repairs is not just in dollars and cents, but it also may determine whether the home sells at all.”
1. Appliances- If your appliances are dated or mismatched, consider an upgrade. Stainless-steel, energy-efficient appliances are “gold standard” choices.
2. Fixtures- Replacing outdated faucets and light fixtures can immediately update the look and function of your kitchen and bath.
3. Finishes- Refinishing your kitchen and bathroom cabinets is a relatively simple project that offers a big bang for your home improvement bucks. If your room is small or dark, consider a lighter finish on your cabinets, and don’t forget to choose brushed-metal hardware for a polished look. Also, be sure that your countertops are updated and in good condition.
4. Space- Many buyers are looking for roomy master baths and kitchens with a lot of workspace. But, if expanding your space isn’t an option, maximize it with appropriate cabinetry and by eliminating clutter.
5. Function- Consider creating functional spaces that do double duty, like an eating area with bench seating/storage space or a bathroom vanity that can stock your toiletries. Areas like these maximize space while adding storage, which is in high demand for homes today.
You don’t have to spring for a complete bathroom remodel to reap financial benefits. Modest bathroom upgrades that include new cabinetry and fixtures go a long way.
Equinox II Sofa // Sofa Mart
Equinox II Chair // Sofa Mart
Monaco Sisal Rug // Oak Express
Sonoma Barstool // Oak Express
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