Homes are typically the biggest investment most people make, so it is crucial to ensure those homes maintain their value through the years. Fortunately, there are several changes owners can make to increase a home’s value and make properties easier to sell. Upgrades can also “future proof” homes, so they are safe and comfortable for residents as they age.
Increasing living space, building an outdoor kitchen, fixing structural issues, updating critical systems, and improving energy efficiency are wise investments. Painting, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, improved landscaping, and updated flooring are also smart upgrades.
- Install an Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchens have become very trendy because they offer tremendous value for the money. Many house hunters are adding them to their “wish lists.”
The prices of an outdoor kitchen can vary widely, depending on which features clients choose. Kitchens may be as simple as patio barbecues or as elaborate as custom entertainment areas that include a pizza oven, built-in storage, a bar, stereo, and seating.
- Correct Structural Problems
Over time, a house can develop structural issues that lead to other problems, and it is essential to correct structural problems before spending money on home improvements. A bad roof, foundation issues, rotten timber, and dampness are just some of the problems that homeowners should fix before spending money on renovations.
Repairing structural problems is typically expensive, but it is crucial since neglecting issues can reduce the value of homes. A surveyor, contractor or structural engineer can inspect a home and determine what, if any, structural problems exist.
- Update the HVAC System
A home’s heating and cooling system (HVAC) is another major investment that should be in good repair for several reasons. A properly functioning HVAC system is energy efficient, keeps the home comfortable, and helps to improve indoor air quality.
Just upgrading the heating in an old home can increase values tremendously. Installing central heating in an older house is a smart investment that adds more value than it costs.
- Add Energy Efficient Features
Features that reduce energy use are good for the environment, cut household costs, and can really boost home values. Per Consumer Reports, smart devices such as programmable thermostats lower costs and create the impression of a high-tech home. Solar panels can also be excellent upgrades.
If homeowners are interested in selling, adding solar power and smart technology can help boost asking the price. Research shows that millennials are willing to pay as much as five percent more for housing with features such as smart door locks, lights, and security systems.
- Increase Living Space
While not everyone wants a huge home, every house hunter appreciates floor plans that maximize living space. That can mean redesigns that make use of wasted space and showcase open-concept floorplans.
Homeowners can add space by converting attics or finishing basements. Rearranging kitchen-dining room areas to flow together creates an airy feeling and makes each room more usable. HGTV professionals also suggest that homeowners visually increase space by making rooms look as big as possible. For example, replacing heavy curtains with blinds, adding mirrors, and reducing clutter make space appear far more spacious.
In addition to adding square footage, many forward-thinking homeowners are now adding features that make it easier for residents to remain in their homes as they age. Whether current owners stay or want to sell, the features add value and accessibility. Changes can include widening doorways to fit walkers or wheelchairs and creating master bedrooms on the main floor.
- Refresh with Paint
Painting rooms is one of the easiest and least-expensive ways to increase home values. Painting is cost-effective and can quickly give spaces an entirely new look. A freshly painted home also looks neat and clean, which appeals to buyers.
Professionals recommend that homeowners who are planning to sell use neutral colors that appeal to the most people. A gallon of paint costs about $25, so it is easy to fit painting projects into home improvement budgets.
- Renovate the Kitchen
As any real estate professional can attest, kitchens often sell homes, so upgrading a kitchen can pay off handsomely. While a complete remodel can dramatically increase property values, it isn’t always necessary to spend a fortune to freshen up a kitchen.
Simply updating appliances, countertops, and flooring can make a huge difference and cost as little as $5,000. Adding a new coat of paint to walls and cabinets and replacing dated hardware will give a dated kitchen a sleek, modern look.
- Give Bathrooms a Facelift
Home bathrooms need to look and feel hygienic, so upgrading those that are unappealing is crucial. With a little work and inspiration, owners can also transform many bathrooms into relaxing oases. Updating the paint and flooring can brighten and freshen spaces, and replacing outdated or non-functioning fixtures like sinks and toilets is essential. New cabinetry and lighting can make a huge difference, too.
Owners who are planning a complete remodel can update plumbing and install a shower to a space with a bath and extra room. For those who want to add extra style, replacing a conventional tub with a freestanding model really adds elegance and value.
- Spruce Up the Landscaping
A little work on landscaping can make a huge difference in curb appeal. Removing clutter, mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, and pruning trees create a clean, well-manicured look.
For those who want a more dramatic change, adding flower beds and pavers creates beauty and interest. Homeowners can also turn backyards into outdoor retreats by installing a fence, adding comfortable furniture, or building a deck.
- Replace Worn Flooring
Few things are less appealing than stained or worn flooring, so upgrading floors can pay off by increasing home values. If owners cannot afford to replace all flooring, just upgrading those in the worst condition can still be a big improvement. Homeowners can then budget to upgrade other flooring as the budget allows.
Some home improvements are excellent investments that significantly increase home values. Smart upgrades include correcting structural problems, upgrading bathrooms and kitchens, and making homes more energy efficient. Increasing living space, painting, upgrading floors, and cleaning up landscaping also make a huge difference. Many homeowners also add futures that make it easier for residents to age in place.