How should you increase your home value? You can ask two different experts and get two different answers. Who should you listen to?
In the end, you’re the expert who matters most. You’ve lived in your house the longest. And your budget – not someone else’s – defines the boundaries. But it helps to know what will drive value [3 Ways to Increase Your Home Value], based on the needs of potential buyers.
Improving these 3 areas will make your home more attractive to buyers.
Increase your home value by:
1. Raising your efficiency
Cutting energy costs can’t help but … help. If you make your home more efficient, you’ll save money every time you flush, turn on the lights, run the heater, or shut the windows.
And buyers know that. Here’s their order of preference, according to a 2015 National Association of Home Builders survey:
There’s a higher desire for efficiency in older buyers than in younger. Perhaps they remember when energy cost less. Or, maybe they’re simply better at budgeting. The right realtor will be able to tell you which of the two is more likely to show interest in your home.
But that doesn’t mean younger buyers don’t care. Far from it. They just have other concerns higher on their wish list.
Raise values with:
High-efficiency windows. Do they have a low-E coating? What’s their rating? Windows certified Energy Star can give you a 7-15% break on your energy bill. Buyers love that. But this isn’t an upgrade you’ll want to make in full if you plan to move soon. The cost of replacing windows is likely higher than the bump in value you’ll see.
LED lighting. It’s an easy, cheap upgrade. And “green lighting” sounds good in the listing.
2. Adding new paint
If the paint looks fresh, the house looks well-maintained. Especially if you have children or destructive pets, a paint job is essential to help you get the price you want. But don’t spend too much, or you’ll squander your home’s gain in value.
You can paint with a purpose by focusing on high-traffic areas like your kitchen, hallways, and bathrooms. Doing the painting yourself will save you a bundle, but if you can’t find the time, hire a pro with good recommendations. There’s nothing more tacky than a bad paint job.
Add value with:
Light neutral colors. All the different shades of white and off-white give buyers a blank canvas to imagine adding their own flair to. Their imagination is your strongest ally to increase your home value.
High-quality paint. Better quality means you don’t have to use as many coats to cover. When you’re painting over darker colors with light paint, that can make a big difference.
3. Expanding living space
Your yard gives you a chance to add to your living space. A porch is good. But a deck is amazing. Put a patio at the bottom of the stairs and you’ve got a to-die-for outdoor entertainment setup. Don’t go so far as to build an outdoor kitchen, though – you won’t make your money back when you sell.
Whatever you do, remember that low upkeep is highly desired. Few buyers are looking for a home with a pool. In fact, a pool is more of a white elephant than an asset.
Expand value with:
A face-lift. No, not that kind. We’re talking about clipping bushes and shrubs and making small updates to the front of your house. Even simply painting the front door can expand value. In some cases, replacing old, beat-up siding may be necessary. But it’s not worth it in every case.
A fire pit. Fire pits win out over pools nearly every time. Buyers will be able to imagine outdoor relaxation at the low cost of sweeping leaves off the patio.
Don’t forget, not every improvement yields the same results. You have a unique home, a particular neighborhood, and buyers with different needs. Ask Jim Lea’s Team to help you know what you can do to increase your home value the most.