5 Ways to Increase Home Value
1. Add natural light.
People love homes with abundant natural light, especially during seasons of the year when days are shorter and more likely to be overcast. Granted, if parts of your home already get blasted by afternoon sun, you've probably taken steps to keep those rooms from becoming ovens, but it's far more common for potential buyers to pass up a home because it's too dark.
Install a skylight. (If you're getting the roof replaced, that's a perfect time to look into it.)
Cost: Starts at around $600 installed, increases with size and complexity of installation.
Install a solar tube. These are perfect for hallways and small rooms where a traditional skylight won't fit. Velux and Solatube are two popular brands.
Cost: Starts at around $500 installed. Do-it-yourself kits are available at hardware stores.
2. Open up interior spaces.
The trend for years has been towards living areas that are open to each other, especially when it comes to the kitchen and the family room. This accommodates the way people live these days, which often means preparing food while conversing with guests or keeping an eye on kids or the television.
Opening up a floor plan sometimes requires a substantial remodel, but simpler options can also work wonders.
Turn a full wall into a half wall. This isn't an option for every floor plan, but when it is you'll see a huge boost in openness, and usually also in natural light.
Cost: Starts at around $600. Could be more if electrical or venting features are involved. Always make sure a wall is not load-bearing first!
De-clutter. Again, this doesn't apply everywhere, but many homes have rooms that would appear more open if some non-essential furniture or decor were rearranged or removed.
Cost: None, unless you have to bribe friends or family members to help you shuffle furniture around. :)
3. Create a retreat.
You've heard it before, and it's still true: budget-conscious homeowners want ways to check out while staying in.
Turn the master bath into a spa. People are installing Jacuzzi tubs, high-end rain shower fixtures, and flat screen TVs to duplicate the experience they would have if they went out for pampering.
Cost: On the low end, rain shower fixtures start at around $300. On the high end, whirlpool tubs start at under $1,000 and can go up to $20,000. Installation can be more than the cost of a low-end tub.
Make a media room. This can be any room with enough wall space for a screen projector display and enough floor space for a couch. Try wall colors that are dark, yet still warm, to create what one interior designer describes as a "womb-like environment."
Cost: Starts at under $1,000 for equipment, furniture, and paint. (Can go much higher depending on the items you choose.)
4. Repaint with new colors.
One of the fastest, least expensive ways to rejuvenate a home's interior is by giving it a fresh coat of interior paint.
Go for updated colors. If the primary goal is good resale value, you'll need to play it somewhat safe, which probably means saying no to "Honeysuckle" even though it was Pantone's Color of the Year. You'll still find many excellent choices that let your home say good-bye to a look that might be making it look dated.
Here are some of Benjamin Moore's Fall 2011 paint colors; click on the image below or on this link to see more fall colors on their website.
Switch from cool colors to warm. Regardless of trends, warm colors make people feel welcomed, which is a huge plus when you're selling a home. Be sure to compare paint swatches carefully! Undertones of blue, grey, or pink can turn your warm colors into cool ones, especially in the lighter shade range.
Cost: Starts at around $150 if you do one or two rooms yourself.
5. Spruce up curb appeal.
What impression do visitors get as they approach your home? On a subconscious level your home's exterior appearance affects you the same way, so when curb appeal is maximized everyone benefits.
Add exterior plants. Work with plant sizes, shapes, and colors to create visual interest that guides people to your home. Even just framing a doorway with some potted plants can make a huge difference.
Cost: Starts at under $100 for plants. Extensive landscaping can easily run into the thousands.
Paint or replace your front door. This can add a vibrant color spot to your home's exterior appearance, and it creates a clean, fresh environment for potential buyers who usually have time to look around and notice details while they wait for the front door to be opened.
Cost: Painting a door yourself could cost under $100, although it's not always simple because glossy paint shows errors easily. Low-end exterior doors start at around $300, and many popular models cost between $1,000 and $3,000.
Are you thinking of making any changes to your home in the near future? Before you do, I'd love to share my "two cents" with you about what choices will increase your home's value the most. Please call me, or click ''Reply" to this email today.
(What the lawyers make us say: The information in this newsletter is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please always consult a qualified expert before making decisions based on this content. Nothing in this article is meant to be taken as expert legal, financial, or medical advice.)