Professionals Answer: “How Do I Increase My Home’s Value?” (Part 3 of 3)
A common question for prospective home sellers is "How can I increase my home's value or get a higher selling price?" In our earlier articles on this subject, we discuss low budget and economical fixes and upgrades that can increase the perceived value of your home. In this article, we discuss those higher cost items that only give you a high return on your investment if you have high equity in your home or will lose more money if it doesn't sell quickly.
Many buyers look for a home they can move into immediately. While the specifics depend on the age and condition of your home, here are the priority renovations that increase your home's appeal and return on investment potential.
No matter what the other advantages of your home, if the buyers do not like the kitchen, they are less likely to make an offer. So, if you're planning major upgrades, head to the kitchen first.
No new homeowners want to feel as if they are using someone else's bathroom. Replace the vanity, sink and toilet. Use low-flow toilets, water-saving faucets and other green products. Replace the floor and shower surround with a neutral tile. If your bathroom has a built-in tub/shower replace it or have it professionally refinished to look fresh and new.
Carpets harbor dirt, dust mites and stains. Replacing the carpet in major living areas with hardwood increases the visual appeal of your home. As an instant upgrade, hardwood gives your home that updated look. It also attracts buyers that cannot live in carpeted homes for health reasons.
Heating, air conditioning and water heater
These major home appliances often are out-of-sight and out-of-mind, but a new buyer wants to know they'll work when they need them.
To increase the value of your home, improve the "R" rating and make your home more economical, consider replacing the roof, insulation, siding and windows. If your home has hail or other storm damage, check with your homeowner's insurance to see if they will cover the replacement. Using better quality, energy-saving products gives your home more curb appeal and buyers know they won't have to worry about leaks and drafts when weather hits.
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We can assess the potential R.O.I. for these and similar upgrades to your home. Call us for an evaluation of your home's fair market value.
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- Paint, refinish or replace the cabinets. If your cabinets are dated, damaged or dark, consider replacing them or painting them with a lighter, newer version that still fits into the home's style. If you've never painted cabinets, consider hiring a professional since they are more difficult than painting walls, and poorly painted cabinets actually decrease the appeal of your kitchen.
- Replace countertops. If granite is all the rage in your neighborhood and comparable homes have granite countertops, consider this upgrade. Granite requires professional installation to measure, cut and polish the rock correctly. A less expensive version, granite tile, is easier to install, but has less overall value.
- Add new appliances. New, matching appliances including ovens and stovetops or ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators, microwaves and refrigerators instantly update a kitchen.
- Upgrade lighting, fans and fixtures to match the style of your new cabinets and countertops.
- Kitchen floors with carpeting, vinyl or worn and broken tile should be replaced with new ceramic or other tile, wood, or another new product. Make sure you only replace kitchen floors with flooring that can handle the traffic, spills and constant cleaning that a kitchen requires.