Five Things You Can Do to Improve Home Value

A year ago, after weighing the pros and cons of buying versus renting during a transitional stage of life, we opted for a 10-year old home in an established neighborhood with decent property values. After watching prices plummet the past twelve months, we may have called the wrong side of the coin. So now the question is, how do we add to this home's value without over-investing? This is not our forever home, so we're sticking with a conservative, five-pronged approach.
Make it pretty
We've chosen to put the most bucks into beautification. A well-designed, attractive landscape can add 15% to home value; experts suggest 100-20 0% return on the investment can be expected. Mature trees, bushes, flowering borders, and well-placed herb and vegetable gardens contribute to curb appeal. If it looks good on the outside, potential buyers are more likely to take a look inside-so this is worth every dollar we spend.
Keep it efficient
We were concerned about the costs of heating and cooling a two-story house, especially after seeing the previous owner's utility bills. To save money, we blew extra insulation into the attic, added 3M tinted films to west-facing windows, and installed programmable thermostats. Savings were immediate.
Keep it up
Taking care of the little things increase value by 1% yearly. The furnace filters are replaced monthly, the gutters cleaned before rainy season, the driveway and decks power-washed yearly. Leaky faucets are repaired. Holes are patched. Carpets are cleaned and baseboards wiped down. Minor repairs are made as needed rather than ignored. Keeping maintenance records provide buyers with proof of an owner's care-that this is a home that's been valued, therefore a home of value.
Quality over quantity
Since we're not here for the long term, any remodeling would be a waste of money. So we'll opt for short-term fixes. Replacing cabinet pulls, switch plates, and door handles are relatively inexpensive weekend projects. Bathroom vanity lighting, dining room ceiling pendants, the fluorescent under-cabinet kitchen lights-all are do-it-yourself projects and budget-conscious. Walls can be cleaned to remove marks, dings repaired, and then freshly coated with the current favorite neutrals. We choose quality hardware and fixtures over quantity and make sure the work's done well.
Cull and conquer
Every year, we walk through the house and garage, separating items we haven't used in a year into three piles: give away, keep, or trash. After the clutter's cleared, cabinets, closets, and cubbies are straightened and organized. Those things of value stay and each item has its place. Living and storage spaces reflect order instead of chaos, thus creating a more harmonious environment.
In the long run, it's not just about improving our house's value. It's about making this house a home-even if our time here is short.

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment