Real estate has always been a lucrative investment and also a sort of ritual that helps people come of age.
It is something that has boosted economies and living standards constantly. In times like today, when you do not know which city or even country you’re going to be in five years from now — owning a house back home can still bring a sense of comfort.
Now, even though it may seem futile to invest in a home especially because we have to move around so much for our jobs these days — it becomes even more important to do so just because. The biggest consideration while moving is getting a good price for your property. Not only do you need to cover the costs of your move and the investment, but also make some profits in the process.
Even if you don’t plan on moving anytime soon, you can always invest in your house in a way that it improves your living experience while simultaneously adding value to the property. In this article, we list down time tested ways to improve the value of your house.
Expert Recommended Ways to Increase the House Value
1. Remodeling the Kitchen
The kitchen is the center-piece of your entire house. Most homebuyers mention it as their top priority while looking for a house to buy. So almost anything you invest in your kitchen will certainly be recouped. The standard kitchen remodeling route is:
- increasing the storage space,
- upgrading the appliances,
- changing the lighting,
- If possible, adding a kitchen island.
Despite the sure-shot return on investment, you should refrain from going overboard. A mid-tier renovation is the sweet spot when it comes to increasing your home value. There is definitely an upper limit on the value that can be added, and splurging too much might not be worth it.
- Avoid adding technology that might be a new fad as technology tends to get outdated and sometimes even tacky over a very short period of time.
- Avoid adding over-the-top features like chandeliers or fancy plumbing.
- Make sure that you don’t end up gourmeting up your kitchen to the extent that it feels out of place with respect to the rest of your house. It can be a turn off for most potential homebuyers.
Related: Kitchen Remodeling Costs
2. Bathroom Renovations/Addition
Not far behind in terms of adding value to your home from a kitchen remodel, bathroom renovations are a great way of attracting homebuyers. The same rules apply to bathrooms pretty much, as in they need to be upgraded but splurging should be out of the question.
Here are some additional tips for bathroom remodeling:
- Provide your bathroom a theme. It can be light and breezy or classically suave. Make sure all the accessories are in harmony with each other design-wise.
- Add storage spaces. People tend to ignore utility for style, which is not necessary at all. There are plenty of smart storage solutions out there for small to large bathrooms which are guaranteed to bump your asking price.
- Revamp the plumbing and the electrical. No matter how beautiful your bathroom is on the outside, a leaky pipe will certainly override any goodwill generated through design.
If you have a single bathroom, you can also consider adding a half bath somewhere in your house. Areas under the stairs, unutilized closets, or even a spare room — if you can find the space, turn it into a bathroom. It is important to note that a half bath would require at least 18 square feet of space. A full bath with a shower will need 30 square feet, whereas a bathroom with a tub should be at least 35 square feet in area.
Related: Kitchen and Bath Design Ideas
3. Energy Efficient Solutions
In today’s climate, being eco-friendly is a highly sought after virtue. Informed homebuyers do not want to live in an energy-guzzling home where even turning up the heat makes them feel guilty. Finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint is a win-win solution not only for the homeowner and potential homeowners, but for our planet as well.
There are plenty of ways you can achieve this.
- Energy-efficient windows help retain the heat, thus reducing your heating and cooling bills while also adding resale value.
- Depending on where you live and how much sunlight your house receives, solar panels can power your entire house independently. You can even store any extra watts produced and sell it to the grid to make a nice profit.
- Make sure the appliances in your home are energy star rated, and also make sure that you advertise the fact during an open house.
- Most of the houses with old constructions have several spots which ‘leak’ energy. These can be remedied using insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy (USDE) estimates that the average house has enough leaks to equal a 3×3 foot hole in the wall. Most of these leaking spots are around doors, windows, attic hatch, basement, sockets, etc. Take some professional help and figure out a way to plug these leaks.
Making your house energy efficient will probably have the biggest and most pronounced impact in terms of return on investment. Even if you do not plan on selling the house, you should consider making it as much efficient as possible. The cost of the renovation can potentially be recouped just be savings in power bills, and the increase in your property’s value will just be an added bonus.
If that’s not enough, there are plenty of federal and state tax rebate schemes that incentivize going green!
4. Miscellaneous Upgrades
Apart from the major upgrades mentioned above, you can always do little things around your house that will surely make it easier to sell.
- Keep the paint updated. A dull and out of favor paint job is an eyesore that will never go unnoticed.
- Increase storage space across your house. Cubbies for living room, closets in the bedroom, cabinets in kitchen, etc.
- Make sure there are no leaks in the roof, especially if you live in a place that gets plenty of rainfall.
- Check the house for mold and rotten wood. This is a necessity even if you’re not selling, as mold can have disastrous health consequences.
- Check the plumbing and wiring. Those pipes and wires are the arteries of a healthy house, and they should not be ignored until it’s too late.
Making sure that your house is healthy and presentable will showcase how serious you are and give you an upper hand in negotiations.
There’s a lot you can do in terms of home improvement projects which will increase your resale value, but there are plenty more tricks you can follow once you have listed to get the most out of a house sale.
- Understand the market and your potential buyers. Millennials, empty nesters, middle-aged people — every group of homebuyers will have different requirements. For example, an elderly couple buying a house would prefer a place with ease of accessibility, whereas millennials would prefer modern and technologically up-to-date homes.
- Hire a realtor you can trust. Do a background check and even interviews to figure out how serious they are about their job. Research their previous sells to know-how in sync they are with the market.
- Organize open houses in a professional manner. Be presentable when someone drops in to check out the place.
- Pick a realistic price point. Instead of depending solely on your realtor’s advice, do your own research. And if you have the money to spare, you can even get an official appraisal done.
- Remove personal clutter once the open houses start. Keep it minimalistic, so that the visiting homebuyer can envision herself living there without your personal belongings coming in between.
- Realistically, it is always hard to get the price you want. Be flexible and willing to negotiate, especially if you are on a time limit.
- Clean up your lawn and trim the shrubs. It is the first thing anyone visiting would notice before entering your home.
- Make sure you have all your ducks in a row once an offer has been made and accepted. Any delays can be off-putting and can potentially turn the buyer away.
- When you vacate the property, make sure it is in the same condition as when the buyer signed the contract. The buyer has the legal right to delay or even cancel the settlement if there are any major changes in the condition of the house.
It is natural and very easy to fall down the rabbit hole of unnecessary and over the top renovations, assuming they would fetch you an unreasonably high price. Your investments in the house must be practical and aimed at extracting the maximum value. Don’t just focus on making the house look cool or unique.
A lot of it will depend on your neighborhood and potential buyers, so do your research well.