Like most people, you’ll probably buy several houses over your lifetime. And with each sale, you anticipate walking away with a profit, but this doesn’t always happen.
Home values in the neighborhood can depreciate, and if your equity takes a hit, this affects the resale value of your property. Fortunately, there are several things you can do while living in the home to gradually increase your home’s value.
1. Update the bathrooms and kitchen
An ugly, outdated bathroom and kitchen can pull down your home’s value. Additionally, since it takes more money to renovate these spaces, potential buyers might pass on your property. Rather than wait until you’re ready to sell to give these rooms attention, make gradual improvements over the years. You’ll not only make your home more attractive, but also increase your property’s value.
For a bathroom makeover, you can replace linoleum flooring with ceramic or porcelain tile. Replace vanities and outdated countertop, and update fixtures, faucets and redo the tub.
The same rules apply in the kitchen. Updated cabinets, countertops, flooring and fixtures, as well as newer, matching appliances will get a buyer’s attention and boost your resale value. On average, a kitchen or bathroom remodel offers 168 percent return on the investment.
2. Increase square footage of the home
Increasing the square footage of your house also adds value. If you don’t have the cash flow for a room addition, make better use of the space you already have. For example, convert an attic to a bedroom or office, or finish your basement and transform this space into a family rec room, which offers a 75 percent return on your investment.
Even if you can’t add square footage, you can visually make your home bigger. Remove clutter and oversized furniture, or knock down a wall between rooms on the first level to create an open floor plan.
3. Curb appeal
It’s important to make a first impression. If the outside of your house is dirty and cluttered, some buyers might refuse to step foot inside — despite the fact that your property might be the most beautiful home on the block. If buyers can’t see past your exterior, they might never know the treasure that lies inside. Plant bushes and flowers, mow and edge your grass, pull weeds, and make sure doors and shutters are painted and clean. Landscaping can increase your property value by as much as 20 percent.
4. Make the home energy efficient
When an appraiser walks through your house, he’ll look at the quality of your appliances, windows and doors. And unfortunately, if your house isn’t energy-efficient, it’ll lose value. To add value, replace your windows and doors with energy-efficient alternatives so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard. Also, look for energy-efficient appliances which use less water and energy.
5. Neutral home decor
You might be comfortable with your home decor. However, if your personal taste is very unique, your home decor might turn off some homebuyers and lower the value of your property.
Before listing your house, redo any rooms that reflect too much of your personal style. For example, repaint colorful, bright walls with a neutral tone. These changes might turn your eclectic-designed home into something boring, but it’s important for potential buyers to see themselves living in the property, which might be hard if there’s too much of “you” in the space.