10 Home Improvement Updates to Increase Your Home's Value

Increasing the value, look and feel of your home is much easier than you might think and not always as expensive as you may fear. We have found that the most important ingredient in a successful home rehab is planning. Whether you have just bought a house or you have lived there for a while the easiest road to success in improving your  home’s value is by starting with a plan….then sticking with it. You will fare better if upgrades are made intentionally and not on impulse. Home improvement projects cost about 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 to 80 cents spent go directly back into the home through increased value.

If your home is new, or even new to you, we recommend getting to know it a bit before diving into any projects.  If you have already been there a while, get started. List the things you want to change and the updates you would like to make. Don’t worry about organization, just write it all down. Take a guess on how long you may want to live in the house. If you’re planning on selling, talk to your realtor and make a selling plan.Take the list and categorize by how much it may cost, including your time and money. Be realistic. It’s OK to list an outdoor pool with a waterfall, but keep your financial picture in mind.

Now that you have a categorized list you can begin to prioritize what is a real “must have” and what is more of a dream and if you can come away with a reasonable balance. Compare notes with a realtor, builder or an online research source to see what sort of return your listed improvements may bring. Some improvements will add considerably more value to your home than others. We’ve put together a helpful list of 10 relatively simple home improvement upgrades that you can make to quickly increase your home’s value. 

Pro Tip #1 : Update your home’s entrance.
The look of your front door and entrance play heavily into the overall curb appeal of your home. As visitors enter, the front door serves as the transition into your home and is part of their first impression. Entry doors are architectural components that should complement your home’s overall design, not detract from it. If your existing front door isn’t up to par contact our office for a more energy-efficient and attractive replacement door. Whether you choose a solid wood door or one with decorative stained or cut glass panels, a welcoming entrance will definitely increase your home’s bottom line.

*Adding a Steel Entry Door to your home offers up a 102% return on investment

*The color of your entrance can generate a surprising range of emotion. A brighter hue can offer energy to the front door, while a more subdued one plays up a traditional feel. A darker hue is more somber, a lighter one tends to be playful.

Pro Tip #2: Bring the outdoors in.
Consider turning two standard windows into an opening for beautiful French Door or sliding glass doors. Full-view glass doors really brighten up the space and a light and airy room is always more attractive. Also, with a view of the outdoors, the room will feel much larger. Another bonus is that modern doors are energy-efficient, cutting down on heating and cooling costs. That means more cash in your pocket now and a financial bonus should you decide to sell.


**Did you know spending more time outside in your outdoor living space can improve your overall mood and health? According to the article “A Prescription for Better Health: Go Alfresco” by Harvard Health Publications,“…the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined to not venture out.” But, when homeowners add features and entertainment to their backyards, they naturally spend much more time outside with their family and friends. And, without noticing, they receive the many health benefits that come with spending time outdoors. **

Window Walls

Pro Tip 3: Paint, paint, paint.
One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!


10 Home Improvement Updates to Increase Your Home's Value

Pro Tip 4: Visually increase your home’s square footage.
The size of your home dramatically affects the value, but square footage isn’t the only space that counts. Visual space or how large a home feels also counts. The key is to make each room in your house feel larger. Replace heavy closed draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in — a sunny room feels larger and more open. Also, try adding a single large mirror to a room to visually double the space. Finally, clear the clutter. The more clutter, furniture and plain old stuff you have in a room, the more cramped it will feel. For less than $400,  add an attractive shelving unit to an underused space and store your clutter out of sight.

Pro Tip 5: Add new energy-efficient fixtures.
A functional, decorative ceiling fan is a beautiful thing. It provides necessary light and, in warm months, creates a soft breeze reducing the need for expensive air conditioning. But, an outdated, wobbly, loud or broken ceiling fan is a useless eyesore. Replace old fixtures with new ones to make your home more enjoyable for you now and to increase the bottom line should you decide to sell.

Pro Tip 6: Replace old windows

Savy homeowners know that it’s important to consider the return on investment when prioritizing home improvements. If you spend $15,000 to replace your home’s windows, your home could rise in value by roughly $11,000. This represents a return on investment of 74 percent, which is a great financial payoff. You can select windows that evoke the look and feel of your existing ones, capture more natural light with bay or picture windows, or choose easy-to-clean double hung windows. Low-e glass blocks UV light and solar heat to improve your comfort and protect your furniture from fading. When you add in all the reasons that replacing your windows benefits your comfort, your wallet, and the environment, it’s a no-brainer. If you’re thinking of selling your home in a few years, replacing the windows can help your home stand out in a crowded market, plus raise its value before you list your home. Since buyers love buying houses that are not only move-in ready, but updated with modern amenities, new windows improve your home’s marketability and help you command a higher selling price.

Replacement Windows Are A Great Return On Your Investment

Pro Tip 7: Save the popcorn for the movies.
What’s on your ceiling? Few structural elements date a house more than popcorn ceilings. So dedicate a weekend to ditching the dated look and adding dollar signs to the value of your home. This is a project you can tackle yourself. First, visit your local hardware store for a solution to soften the texture, then simply scrape the popcorn away. Removing a popcorn ceiling may not seem like a big change but one of the keys for adding value to your home is to repair, replace or remove anything that could turn buyers away.

Pro Tip 8: Small bathroom updates equal a big return.
Bathroom updates are always a smart move. Even if you can’t afford a full remodel, small changes such as replacing dated wallpaper with a faux or textured finish and replacing old lighting will update the room without denting your wallet.

10 Home Improvement Updates to Increase Your Home's Value

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Pro Tip 9: Any kitchen update equals added value.
You don’t have to start from scratch to create a winning recipe. For maximizing your home’s value, kitchen updates are key. Start by swapping out just one item, such as a stained sink or ancient microwave for shiny new stainless models. Even small kitchen updates will add big value to your home.

10 Home Improvement Updates to Increase Your Home's Value

Pro Tip 10: Green flooring choices equal more green in your wallet.
Worn, tired carpet will not only turn off homebuyers, but it can make you feel worn and tired too. Replace it with the hottest trend in flooring: renewable, environmentally friendly bamboo. Solid-surface floors are easy to keep clean and give your home an upscale look and feel. Green flooring choices, like bamboo, minimally impact the environment and are a big selling point to today’s environmentally conscious homebuyers.

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