How to Improve Your Home Value

A strategic plan to focus on value-boosting improvements ensures you get the most return on investment.

Smart moves can help boost your home’s value.

When increasing your home’s value is the goal, you need to think about what will appeal to potential buyers and boost the property’s listing price. This means you need to put aside personal preferences and think about what will have the widest appeal to the largest number of buyers. In other words, you may think that having an octagon-shaped storage shed to house your collection of bobbleheads is awesome, but that probably won’t be a huge hit with people looking to buy a home. You can still make décor and other minor (or reversible) changes that make the home comfortable for you for however long you live there, of course.

Most likely, you only have a certain amount of money to devote to improvements or remodeling projects. Maximize your budget with a strategic plan that focuses on areas that will give you the biggest return on investment.

  • Don’t try to do too much at once.

    Many of us know the feeling of trying to tackle a bunch of home improvement projects all at once—only to finish few, if any, of them. You don’t want to have a bunch of rooms ripped apart or in various states of remodeling when it’s time to sell your home. Concentrate on one project or room at a time, and finish one project before trying to tackle something else.

  • Boost the curb appeal.

    A buyer forms their first impression of your home before they ever walk through the door. The home should look appealing and inviting as soon as someone gets their first glance of it from the street. Think about the landscaping, lighting, and paint. You want the home’s exterior to project warmth, safety, and a general homey feeling.

  • Address any issues.

    Start with the basics by ensuring all main systems such as heating and electrical are in top working order. Unless you are advertising the property as a fixer-upper, buyers don’t want to tackle repairs or worry about maintenance issues in a new home, and any major issues could derail a potential sale at the home inspection phase.

  • Maximize living space.

    Each family is unique, so they want to be able to adapt a home to their individual needs and preferences. Spaces that are flexible enough to be used in multiple ways allow your home to fit a wide range of household combinations. Finished basements, guest rooms that can also serve as offices, and spaces that can be used as a rental unit or in-law suite are all options to help buyers envisions ways they can customize the property while getting the most out of that square footage.

  • Make the kitchen count.

    Real estate professionals constantly cite kitchens and bathrooms as the rooms that buyers notice most. The kitchen in particular tends to play a critical role in homebuying decisions. For many families, the kitchen serves as the heart of the home, so it makes sense that buyers want to feel a connection. Avoid anything too trendy, but a few pops of color or whimsical touches can give the room a personality. Stainless steel appliances tend to have the most mass appeal.

    Study the local market to see what sells—and what buyers will pay for. You need to strike a careful balance: trying to make your home stand out without pricing yourself out of the market. Invest in high-end end finishes if those are expected in your local market. Otherwise, pick a few splurges that buyers will notice. The perfect paint color and an eye-catching backsplash can give the kitchen a whole new feel without breaking the bank.

  • Make the bathroom a relaxing retreat.

    Beautiful bathrooms are also high on a buyer’s wish list. In today’s hectic, high-stress world, people want to come home and escape into their little personal oasis. A bathroom should be like an at-home spa, with as much luxury as you can manage within your budget constraints (again, consider the local market).

    People want to relax and de-stress in the bathroom, so consider upgrades like a steam shower with a bench and stone or tile. Heated floors and speaker systems for relaxing music are also great extras that buyers will appreciate. For maximum return on a limited budget, the right countertops and fixtures can make a big difference.

  • Convenience and efficiency are key factors.

    We’re all busy these days, so we want tools and gadgets in our home that makes our lives easier and help us get things done. Features that let buyers stay organized and connected will likely be a hit. Think about ways to incorporate hidden storage that hides clutter. , also want the home to accommodate the latest technology. Energy-efficient upgrades will help your home score points with earth-conscious buyers.

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