There are cost effective ways to add value to your home, whether you’re thinking about selling your personal residence or just want to maintain its value for your own enjoyment. These tips to increase the value of a home are just as important if you have an investment property you are ready to put on the market.
Here are my five top ways to add home value at a low cost:
No doubt you have heard it said, “You can’t tell a book by its cover”. Well, in real estate that couldn’t be further from truth and when exploring how to increase home value it is of utmost importance. The front of a home can reveal a lot about the inside. You can tell the basic style and if it is updated or out of date. A simple thing like having the lawn maintained can tell you if the house is being cared for. Something very easy to do is to bring the yard alive by adding color to flower beds. The walkway and front door can also say a great deal about the house. Make sure the walkways are clean, no cracks or weeds coming through. The front door is key (no pun intended), fresh paint and new hardware are a must.
Kitchens are known to sell houses – the kitchen is the heart of the home, where most families spend their time. It is important that the kitchen fit the home and price range. Bringing light into the kitchen can make a huge difference. An easy way to do this is under cabinet lighting to provide a custom look. Another idea is to replace the window over your sink with a good garden window. This will bring in more light and give the feeling of more space, and more space can mean an increase in home value (even if it is just perceived). Cabinets can be expensive, so if you don’t have the time or money to put in new cabinets, at least have them cleaned and add new hardware.
Really, do I need to say more? Fresh paint is amazing; use one of these neutral colors:
- Shale, by Benjamin Moore
- Storm, by Benjamin Moore
- Accessible Beige, by Sherwin-Williams
- Backdrop, by Sherwin-Williams
- Montpelier Ashlar Gray, by Valspar
- French Grey, by Behr (Yes, they call it “grey” instead of “gray”)
Also, make sure the paint job is done well, this takes a little extra time but makes a world of difference. It would be a shame to go through the time and expense of painting only to realize the sloppy job decreased the value of your home instead of adding to your home value.
The popcorn ceiling trend started in the late 1950s as a way to finish projects quickly and hide imperfections. This type of ceiling is now largely frowned upon however, so smoothing the ceiling can add home value and make for a quicker sell.
There are three ways to accomplished covering/removing popcorn ceilings (on a side note you should be aware that these ceilings can contain asbestos and lead– if built before 1979).
- Scrape to create a smooth surface. A thin layer of compound should be added to smooth things out, then sand and paint.
- Cover with gypsum board (this is much lighter than drywall), then tape, mud, sand and paint. This is a good method if you want to avoid the asbestos and lead issues.
- Put a new skim coat on which creates an old school look.
Staging can be simple or complex. Do it yourself or hire a professional. But do it! If you want to learn more, we have a whole segment on staging in OTA Real Estate fix and flip class.
Making these updates can be the difference between your property sitting on the market for months or selling in a flash at or close to your asking price.
About the Author
With over 30 years of experience, Diana brings a wealth of real estate knowledge and expertise with her timely and insightful articles, videos and webinars.