How to Increase Your Home's Value
There are things you can do to increase your home value, from free to expensive, that will make your home more appealing to today's buyers while increasing your homes enjoyable qualities for you.
Before you get carried away, keep your property's value within 15-20% of your neighbors. Don't complete repairs or improvements that buyers simply are not seeking in your market. For example, in this Texas heat, putting in a fireplace is not going to do as much as a fresh coat of paint inside and out.
Projects that may increase your home’s value include: Jacuzzi (4 jets or more); permanent hot tub; in-ground pool with nice deck area; security system; sprinkler system; substantial out buildings such as a two-car garage or finished workshop; and vaulted or trey ceilings. Think twice about the following projects however, as they may not add value to your house: above-ground pool; ceiling fans; garden pond; and light fixtures.
Some tips when attempting value-increasing remodeling:
l Remodel with mass appeal in mind. Potential buyers are usually attracted more to neutral, mainstream design.
l Don’t go cheap when it comes to construction. Use durable, quality materials. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, honestly evaluate your ability to do it right.
l Don’t remodel in a different style from the rest of the house. Additions and improvements that look “tacked on” may detract from a home’s appeal.
l Turning a bedroom into a bathroom is a mistake – it reduces the number of bedrooms, a chief selling point.
l Don’t do a $30,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 house – unless you plan to continue living there. It is a waste of money.
l If you don’t sell, there are improvements that actually reduce your tax bill. Qualifying improvements are those that increase your home's value or prolong your home's life, including: a fence, driveway, a new room, addition, swimming pool, garage, porch or deck, built-in appliances, insulation, new heating/cooling systems, a new roof, landscaping, etc.
If you don’t have the kind of money it takes for even minor remodeling, there are low-cost ways to increase your home’s value. At the very least, the following things will make your home more attractive and inviting to prospective buyers.
Make sure the outside of your home is spic-and-span. Clean out the gutters. Wash the windows and remove cobwebs and bugs. Trim the hedges, cut and edge the lawn, sweep the sidewalks and driveway. Plant some colorful flowers out front. The reason for these small things is simple: If two similar homes in the same are area are both for sale, the one with the cleanest and most appealing front yard will sell first.
You may want to add to or improve your landscaping while you’re at it. According to a study conducted by Money Magazine, landscaping may be the best investment to improve a home's value. The study found that well-planned, attractive landscaping was estimated to have an actual recovery rate 100 to 200 percent higher than a kitchen or bathroom renovation.