The Best Home Improvements that Increase Value

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Everyone’s always wondering what home improvements add the most value. The problem is that lots of home improvements don’t have a great return on investment financially. They may bring you great joy and pleasure, and be an expression of you and how you want your home to be which is totally fine, but that does not convert to getting your money back when you go to sell your home. There are lots of things you can do to improve the look and feel of your home without breaking the bank. Today we’ll look at some project ideas in 6 different areas that can really freshen up the look of your house without spending tons of money or time.

1.) A minor bathroom remodel- Re-caulking the tub, removing those old nasty shower doors and either replacing them with new ones or a nice shower curtain and rod can be a big step towards bringing your bathroom into the 21st century. Another project that can really help with the refresh is replacing or re-glazing the tub. Deciding which of those makes more sense depends on the age of the tub, what the surround is made of and whether you are doing other things to the bathroom. Another low-cost way to modernize the look of your bathroom is with a new light fixture and a new mirror.

2.) Landscaping – A green lawn and colorful plantings can really enhance the front of your home and make it pop in the pictures that buyers will see. Often times local gardening centers have people on their staff who can help with basic suggestions regarding plants that go well together. Make sure to take a few pictures of your house and the areas you want to change so they can get a sense of what you’ve got to work with.

Here’s an interesting tip that I picked up: if you have slate or flagstones, you can clean and seal them to give them a fresh look and a deeper color. Click on the link in the remarks to see some before and after pictures I found.  If you’re looking for more ideas to make your house look great when buyers first arrive, check out my earlier video about curb appeal from the street.

3.) Minor kitchen remodel – if your kitchen could use a refresh and you don’t want to change the floor-plan, then a minor kitchen remodel might be just the thing for you. You could consider options like refacing the cabinets and putting new hardware on or possibly just painting the old cabinets, depending on their finish and the style of the doors.

More contemporary lighting can also provide a whole new feel for a dated kitchen. Well placed, recessed lighting and under cabinet lighting can help brighten up the whole room and shed more light directly on the counters.

Speaking of counters, if you’re thinking about replacing them don’t just assume that granite would be the best choice. For many installations, quartz countertops have become a popular alternative

4.)Hardware- Another way to give an updated feel to your house is to install some new hardware. Doorknobs, kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls, front door hardware, and maybe some new hardware in the primary bathroom. Good choices distributed throughout can give the key spaces, a much fresher, more contemporary look, without really changing many of the major components.

The front door is the place where most buyers are going to “ shake hands” with your house for the first time, so if you’re interested in some good tips about what to do there, check out my earlier video about dressing up that part of the house.

5.)Let there be light!! A couple of strategically placed new fixtures, and fresh new bulbs throughout the house that are a consistent hue, can make a real difference in how the house feels. LED bulbs have come down in price substantially over the past few years, so replacing bulbs with these energy efficient alternatives isn’t nearly as expensive as it used to be.

Paint, Paint, and a little more paint. One of the best things you can do to freshen up the look of your house is getting out the roller and brush, or in my world, calling your favorite painter. It may be a good idea to change the color scheme of your home a bit. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the post below from the Sherwin Williams site with the 50 most popular colors in 2019.

If you don’t feel up to the agonizing process of picking a new color, then you may want to consider a strategic re-painting of high traffic areas to get rid of those nicks and marks that life throws at your walls. You can start with the magic eraser before you paint, that’s sometimes good enough, but if that still doesn’t do the trick, then a fresh coat of paint may be in order.

So, we’ve looked at some great low-cost, high return home improvement projects to get your house ready for sale. If you’re considering some other projects, and you’re wondering whether they’re going to give you a good return, then put them in the comments or reach out to me directly, I’m happy to give you some feedback about that. If you know someone who might be interested in this information, please share this with them, and if you have any suggestions for real estate questions you’d like answered, please let me know. I’m always on the lookout for topics you’d like to hear about.

Here’s a great paint color from Sherwin Williams: 

Flagstone before and after: