10 Ways To Make Your House More Valuable

With the prices of properties on the increase recently, it is wise to invest in your home and capitalize on its value. Here are some tips on how to increase home value and the rewards for home improvement projects returns, whether you are selling now or in the future.

#1. Create Space

Get rid of clutter so as to create space and to provide a sense of flow in the house. Get rid of the kitchen island, knock down a non-structural wall, remove all personal items and furniture, etc. This would generate a response from potential buyers quickly, who tend to be choosy.  Kristin Wellins, Senior Manger of Program Development for ERA Real Estate says, “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces”.

A kitchen island can be a real asset as it creates the much-needed storage space. However, if the kitchen has sufficient cabinets, it would be wise to remove the island. In fact, most homeowners prefer the option of a movable island as it can be easily adjustable to suit your needs.  For just a few hundred dollars, the house can be transformed instantly.

#2. Prune, Limb, and Landscape

According to a survey carried out way back in 2007 consisting of 2000 brokers conducted by HomeGain, an online real estate marketing site, an investment of about $500 in landscaping can incur a return of four times that amount.

Unkempt bushes, shrubs and tangled trees can obscure the view, promote mould, darken interiors and most importantly hinder a great view of the house.  If your buyers can’t see what they are about to make a deal on, then they just move right on to the next property.   Overgrown, neglected landscaping poses a problem, as they go wild at a considerable cost.  Roger Voisinet, a thirty-year veteran of the Charlottesville, Virginia real estate market Voisinet, looked at one house recently where a fallen limb from a neglected tree caused $2,000 in damages.

#3. Let In The Light

Lighting enhances a property’s appeal, from a dimmer switch. This helps to set the mood to the more popular sun tubes (also known as light pipes, sun scoops, and tubular skylights) which provide excellent lighting, especially at night.

California broker Robert Bailey says, “With tubular skylights, sunlight is nice, and moonlight is even nicer. I’m putting six of them in my house. I don’t need a skylight, but I do want the natural light.” Open the windows, fix broken

Open the windows, fix broken panes, consider using lights that use motion detectors to switch themselves off. Take note that soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces and high voltage, wattage bulbs make small spaces feel bigger.

#4. Don’t Put Off Care and Maintenance

Investing in maintenance and repairs should be a priority. Before thinking about aesthetics and whatnot, address the fundamental problems with the house- repair all plumbing leaks, replace broken windows and doors, weed the garden, insulate the attic, inspect the furnace and septic system. These fixes go a long way to get you the best return as possible.

A couple of hundred dollars can increase the value of your house by a few thousand dollars. The intention is to give prospective buyers the impression that they can move right in and start enjoying their money’s worth instead of spending more money and time fixing things up.

#5. Go Green

Research published by The Appraisal Journal estimates that energy-saving adds multiple times the annual savings to the property’s value. Energy savers make your house more desirable so go with the flow and get the greenbacks into green efficiency.

#6. Home Begins At The Front Door

Focus on the exteriors of your home. I mean first impression matters. A potential buyer can be swept off instantly by just the front door and easily notice things such as a portico above the front door or a working door bell. In less than five minutes, they might get sold on the idea of buying your property already. Even the right deck on the right house can enhance the area, generate interest in your property and of course, raise its value.

#7. What’s Under Your Feet…

Take note of the floors: repair broken tiles, patch damaged floor boards, discard wall-to-wall carpeting or better still, get a new floor.  Don’t disregard the materials you’re standing on.  For an estimated average investment of probably $700, brokers estimate the return value to be as much as $2000. A few strategically placed nails can eliminate distracting squeaks. If you want a durable wood floor, Broker Reba Haas suggests using designed hardwoods.

#8. Neutral Wall Colors

Get a fresh coat of paint for the walls and in doing so go for neutral colours. Potential buyers want to be able to project their own designs and ideas onto the available space and a toned-down colour would work just fine in that regard.

#9. Remove the Question Marks From Your House

Get impartial advice from a friend or family member to tell you features of the house that would generate much interest and at the same time, raise questions for the wrong reasons.  Reba Haas calls it the ‘What’s that?’ factor. For any broken flooring, cracked threshold, plumbing leaks that would raise the ‘What’s that’ question, get it fixed or better still, get rid of it.  The more the questions, the interest in purchasing the house dips to a down low.

#10. Be Patient

Consult a trusted realtor to give you advise on particular changes to make to your property.  The realtor would keep you abreast of changes in the market; that and a little bit of patience would get your house sold faster than you think.


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