How to Increase the Value of Your Home

by on September 22, 2015

Purchasing a home is not only a symbol of the American dream but the most substantial financial investment for most people. The recent rebound of the housing market means that the value of your home should be on the rise. However, you cannot count solely on a rebounding marketplace to ensure that your property values rise to previous levels. It is important to be proactive in improving your property and working with your neighbors to improve your neighborhood. By increasing the value of your home, you can sell your home in the future with peace of mind.

The exterior of your home offers passersby glimpses into the homeowner’s interest in maintaining the property. An unkempt property with long or patchy grass, poorly maintained façade, and cracked driveway will be ignored by a prospective buyer. You might be put out by spending your nights and weekends maintaining the exterior of your home but these are critical steps toward improving value. A well-maintained lawn without visible patches is possible with regular mowing, mulching, and a fence around the property. Replacement of your concrete driveway when cracks emerge might seem inconvenient but a perfectly paved drive is extremely attractive to buyers. An audit of your home’s exterior each spring should include reviews of your exterior paint, roof, and gutters. A handful of minor adjustments like replacing an aged mail box or adding a small garden can boost property value.

Staying on top of maintenance concerns of all types not only prevents property damage down the road but increases your home value. You should consult with a home inspector or general contractor to look for areas in need of improvement throughout your home. A common problem is deteriorating roof panels that can lead to leaks and damage to items in the attic. An older home might feature pipes and fixtures entering their twilight years, which could present an obstacle to high home value. Another pesky problem is an aging home-heating system that can be expensive to replace especially during the winter. A vigilant approach to home maintenance not only keeps you and your family safe but improves home value in the long term. You should develop relationships with plumbers, carpenters, and contractors in your area that make regular maintenance more convenient for you and the buyers who purchase your abode.

Your search for higher home value will require some research into current design trends. An older property with wallpaper, outdated appliances, and worn flooring is an instant rejection for most buyers. You can check out home improvement magazines at your local library, attend home shows in your area, and watch TV shows dealing with home renovation. A popular trend in home renovation is to use natural materials like stone and wood throughout a property. You can opt for wood laminate and replications of stone and marble to achieve this look at relatively low cost. Natural building materials add interesting touches to your home that attract buyers in the current market.

A home with a good kitchen and a finished basement is also very attractive to prospective buyers. Your investment in a modern kitchen with ample prep room, relatively new appliances, and convenient storage can drive up home value. Additional features like an island with drawers, attached dining room or a breakfast bar can increase interest in your home. Your basement might seem fine for daily use but buyers are looking for more than a storage space that isn’t covered in water. You can improve home value by simply adding carpeting, painting the walls and creating a versatile living space in your basement. The underlying theme when improving your kitchen and basement is to show rooms where prospective buyers would want to spend their off time.

A popular way to increase the value of your home is to improve energy efficiency throughout the property. State governments and the U.S. Department of Energy offer financial incentives for homeowners who invest in energy-efficient improvements. Homeowners throughout the United States can improve value by swapping out existing windows with new windows that stabilize interior temperatures. Older washers, dryers, and washing machines are huge sources of energy loss as well as wasted water. You can head to your local home improvement store to find high-efficiency machines that have been certified by ENERGY STAR. A simple step like swapping out old light bulbs with LED bulbs not only saves money but shows your commitment to property improvement. You can also install a flow meter as a way to keep track of how much water you’re using and adjust from there. Prospective buyers are concerned as much with ongoing costs as upfront expenses so these investments can be quite valuable.

Improvements to your home value are not only reliant on adding quality but eliminating sore points on your property. A major liability for new homeowners is a swimming pool in an otherwise intriguing property. Swimming pools might seem like great sources of entertainment especially for families but they are expensive to maintain and create unnecessary risks. Another liability is a garage that might fit your unique needs but does not appeal to the typical family. Your garage could be perfect for a smaller car or as a storage unit for your boxes but a high-value home has a versatile garage useful for parking and storage. A simple search of similar properties at your desired value shows if these features are attractive to buyers in your area. You may need to remove these problems immediately to complement aforementioned improvements.

An oft-overlooked area of improvement for property value is working with your neighbors to maintain an attractive neighborhood. You need not harass your neighbors into spending thousands of dollars on improvements in order to achieve these goals. A good model for maintaining neighborhood value is to develop a neighborhood board that coordinates on major issues for your immediate area. This board can welcome new neighbors, develop a watch program, and create basic standards that keep the area attractive to newcomers. You can encourage the board to handle sidewalk shoveling in snowy areas, encourage water conservancy in summer, and create neighborhood events. Active involvement by your neighbors can draw positive attention from realtors and prospective buyers, which will increase home values surrounding your home.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Briggs March 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm

I would also add that there is value in hiring an appraiser with a good reputation prior to completing expensive improvements. We just had our home appraised for a HELOC, and it appraised for more than the assessed value – and it needs some improvements. If we made the improvements before the appraisal, I’m convinced the money would have went down the drain.
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