People are always asking how they can get more money for their house when they put it on the market. While some of the things that determine your home’s value are out of your hands (location, age, layout), many buyers are willing to fork over a little more when certain upgrades have been made. Below are some suggestions for projects and improvements that can increase your home’s resale value.
Invest in Energy Efficiency
It’s the 21st century, and green is the name of the game! Not only do energy-efficient updates help protect the environment, they also save you more money by reducing utility bills. Now we’ve all heard of those little energy-saving hacks like unplugging your phone charger and washing your clothes in cold water — but those aren’t the kinds of things that are going to add value to your home. If you want a greater resale value, you have to think bigger. Consider one of these upgrades:
- Make your home a smart home by adding security systems and thermostats (can be purchased online for under $100) that you can control from your smartphone.
- Add extra insulation to walls, floors, attic, and basement and crawl spaces.
- Replace your heating, cooling, and water heating systems with innovative, high-efficiency models.
- Replace your roof with a cool roof that reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat. This is especially helpful in hot places like California!
- Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances. Bonus: Most cities offer incentives and rebates for people who invest in Energy Star units.
- Energy-efficient windows help filter heat and light for lower cooling costs.
- Solar panels are the future. If your roof can support them, consider installation.
Make Roof Repairs
If you don’t plan on replacing the roof, you’ll still need to make sure it isn’t in need of major repairs before selling. A well-maintained roof can mean a quicker sale, since potential buyers will notice its appeal during showings. It’s best to hire a contractor to inspect the roof and give you an estimate for any necessary repairs. If your budget allows it, definitely schedule for the repairs. If not, you’ll need to decide if it’s worth leaving the roof as-is, keeping in mind that it can affect negotiations with the buyer and result in a lowered home price.
Remodel Your Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of a house. Giving it a modern and functional remodel instantly makes it more attractive to buyers. The average cost for a minor kitchen remodel is $20,800. It can be a costly upgrade, but remember you can expect a 60 percent to 120 percent return on investment from those costs when you put your home on the market. Keep these tips in mind:
- Don’t go over the top. While you want your remodeled kitchen to be modern and functional, you don’t want it to look out of place in your home.
- Start with a fresh coat of paint. According to an analysis released by Zillow, painting the kitchen blue is your best bet for attracting a higher offer.
- Energy-efficient appliances are also a great place to start (see above).
- A designer back-splash adds a bit of style to the room.
- Look for upgrades that add function to the kitchen: touch-sensitive faucets, under cabinet lighting or butcher block counter top are great places to start.
Don’t Forget the Great Outdoors
People love outdoor entertaining. Adding a deck to the backyard or any kind of outdoor living space is an easy way to attract more buyers. It’s not exactly the cheapest update — depending on what materials you use, it can cost upwards of around $10,000. However, if you fancy yourself quite handy, you can save some money by foregoing a contractor and doing it yourself.
- Outdoor living spaces get more use when they are covered. Not only do they provide much needed shade in the summer, a covered deck or patio also protects the furnishings underneath it.
- Pick a focal point — an outdoor sofa or a work of art — and plan the rest of the area around that.
- Establish borders with walkways and shrubbery.
- Make sure there is plenty of light so the outdoor space can be used once the sun goes down.
- A fire pit adds a rustic touch. Plus, when in use, the smoke helps to deter mosquitoes and other bugs.
If you want to add resale value to your home, always keep function in the forefront of your mind. Energy efficiency makes the house greener and saves money on utility bills — all very attractive to potential home buyers. A well-maintained roof can help the house sell more quickly. Renovating your kitchen is a big project, but it has a guaranteed return on investment. Finally, don’t underestimate the appeal of an outdoor living area to attract buyers.