Add value to your home without breaking the bank
Most people have lofty plans of improving their home with décor or by adding a porch or another bathroom to create the home of their dreams. But what are the best investments you can make to your home – regardless if you plan to sell soon or stay for many years? Which ones seem to have the best return? There are a couple of things to consider before you start spending, such as how long you plan to stay in your home and what your neighborhood is like (because you don’t want your home to end up the most expensive one on the block. Here are some ideas to help add value to your home without breaking the bank.
A facelift in the kitchen is likely to add the most bang for your buck. So refinishing surfaces, upgrading appliances and painting will do wonders for the look of your kitchen and add value to your space – probably an 80+ percent return on your investment. If you need to gut, redesign and start over, you will obviously spend more and likely not get quite as much back. Either way, you’ll end up with a terrific new space to cook and entertain!
The simplest and least expensive way to spruce up your home, while adding value, is to repaint. Assuming you pick colors that stay on the neutral side, your home will be more up-to-date and feel fresh and clean. If you plan a whole-house repaint, you may want to consult with an expert to plan for your new look, so your home will feel current, but keep to a cohesive plan for a whole-house color scheme. Potential buyers will appreciate the time and effort put into updating your paint colors.
Enhanced Outdoor Space
Interested in some manual labor to help improve the value of your home? Outdoor spaces tend to be the easiest for homeowners to tackle on their own, if they have the time and energy. Can you trim bushes and trees, clean up shrubbery, plant fresh flowers, repair edging, pull weeds and maybe add some new plantings? If so, you can really add street-appeal and value to your home. Clean up the rock gardens, pathways and make sure your lighting is at its best and you will have an attractive home for yourself or potential buyers. New and improved decks and patios are also welcomed changes (but may be less of a DIY project).
People want master suites, home offices and updated bathrooms. Once again renovating an existing space verses gutting it, is your best bet. Freshen up the master suite with paint or added shelves for storage in the closets. Do you have a room that is not utilized – an old den or spare bedroom? Consider switching that out to a home office with shelving units to appeal to a prospective buyer. Also baths can be renovated relatively easily (and affordably) with updated lighting, hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Master suites, home offices and updated bathrooms are in high demand for the 2014 buyer.
If you are really ambitious, and need more living space, you may need to add onto your home – whether it’s a porch or sunroom, family room or an entire second level. First and foremost, you’ll want to hire a professional so that any additions to your home appear seamless and match the style and architecture of your home. The costs for home additions will vary wildly, as will your return on investment, yet most people add a room when they’re planning to stick around for a few years… so that if and when they decide to sell, they’ll have been able to enjoy their space for a while (and help get back more of their investment).
Bottom line is you need to spend money to make money. It’s your choice as to how extensive of a project you want to tackle to add value to your home. Will it be a simple paint job, a face-lift or an all-out addition? Much of your decision will depend on how long you plan to stay in your home. Planning to sell – then put in some of the work yourself and watch your dollars carefully so you can get the most from your investment. If it’s your “forever home” you can probably spend a bit more freely, knowing you will enjoy the improvements made to your home for years to come.
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.