Housing prices may have dropped in your neighborhood, but there are smart ways to invest in your home right now to help hold its value. Here’s what veteran real estate professionals from around the country have to say about what home improvement projects pay off, whether you are selling now or in the future.
1.) Create Space
Knock out a non-structural wall, or even remove that kitchen island. Anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house is generating a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy. For the price of a few hundred dollars, you’ll transform the feel of the house.
2.) Prune, Limb & landscape
Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views, darken interiors, promote mold, and block a good look at the house. Be sure to keep everything looking nice & Clean!
3.) Let in the Light
The number one item on the 2007 HomeGain survey, lighting—everything from a dimmer switch to the increasingly popular sun tubes—noticeably enhances a home’s appeal. Dimmers allow you to create a mood.
Also, less expensive than framing in a skylight, sun tubes—also known as light pipes, sunscoops, and tubular skylights—use reflective material to funnel natural light from a globe-capped hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture and into a room. A few other ways to light things up: Fix broken panes, make sure windows open, and consider lights that use motion detectors to turn themselves off. Remember high wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces.
4.) Don’t Put Off Care and Maintenance
Before thinking about a fancy upgrade to the kitchen, address the basics. Insulate the attic, repair plumbing leaks, replace rusty rain gutters, inspect the furnace and the septic system, replace or repair leaky windows, install storm doors, weed the flower beds.
5.) Go Green!
If your heating or air conditioning systems are old, “new ones are so much better, with savings of up to 30 to 40%.” Another example he points to: for $7,000 for the unit and installation, with $2,100 back in green tax credits, a solar-powered water heater could save you as much as 80% on your water-heating bills.
6.) What’s under your feet
Don’t undervalue the materials you’re standing on. Ninety-four percent of real estate pros recommend spending some money on floors. But it doesn’t have to be a lot of money. For an estimated average investment of $600 to $900, brokers report that the return in value comes in at up to $2,000.
7.) Easy bath upgrades
Brokers, one and all, say spiffing up the kitchen and bath is a sure bet for adding value to your home. Surveyed brokers say these kinds of improvements can get expensive. It may not be economical to do a major renovation if you are trying to spend as little as possible before putting a house up for sale. But some upgrades are cheap, easy, and fast…especially in the bathroom.
Replace frosted glass for clear glass, clean the grout, remove rust stains, apply fresh caulk, update doorknobs and cabinet pulls, replace faucets, and install a low-flush toilet. Even buying a new toilet seat can make a difference.
8.) Neutral wall colors
If you’re getting ready to put a house on this circumspect market, don’t allow walls with chipped paint to go unmaintained. If you need to do more than a touch up, choose neutral colors.
9.) Be patient
Remember that all markets are different and time frames may vary.
Hopefully these few tips will help get your home ready to sell and be sure to contact us to assign an experienced Listing Agent to help get your home sold as quickly as possible.
Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors