8 Best Home Improvements to Increase Your Property Value

Father Time takes his toll on each of us. There’s no avoiding the wear and tear each of our bodies experiences as our lives press onward. Our homes are no exception.

When you own a home you take on the wonderful responsibility of maintaining every nut, bolt, nook and cranny. And while it can be a tough job, the investment is well worth it.

It’s unavoidable, parts of your home are going to lose some of their sparkle and charm over time.

Never fear! Projects within your budget and skillset are out there waiting to help you increase property value and keep your home organized and looking fresh. They all vary in size, but each has the potential to boost your property value while keeping your wallet happy. Home improvements cost about .20 to .25 cents on the dollar. The other .75 to .80 cents spent goes directly back into the home through increased value.

Invest in your nest and try these eight value-adding projects.

8 home improvements that increase property valueWell-Kept Landscaping

Nothing ads curb appeal like a carefully planned out and maintained landscape.

Ask yourself, “If there were two houses for sale in the neighborhood, would I go for the home with overgrown shrubs and dead grass or the one with the nicely edged plant bed full of luscious manicured shrubs and color?

That’s what we thought…

Overgrown or patchy lawns and overgrown bushes cause your home to stand out — in a bad way. The good news is that taming your jungle is an easy fix that requires a small budget and a little bit of elbow grease.

  • Plant Beds – Every home benefits from the installation of well-planned out landscape beds. Beautiful shrubs and welcoming perennials make guests feel at home and beckon to potential homebuyers.
  • Backyard Gardens – A backyard garden consisting of stone pathways, lush green bushes, seating and accents create beautiful outdoor living areas. Yes, the installation of plants does increase your need to maintain the area, but the increase in property value and appeal is worth the time.
  • Upgrade Your Fencing – Separate your home from your neighbors with high quality fencing. Whether you’re refinishing an existing fence or putting up a brand new one, a great looking fence tells potential buyers that this is a well maintained property.

8 home improvements that increase property valueA Fresh Coat of Paint

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, painting your living and dining rooms a neutral color will certainly help prospective buyers envision themselves in your space. Not only that, these colors also open up the rooms to make them appear bigger in size. Grab some paint swatches and get rolling because this is definitely an upgrade that is easily accomplished.

On average, a gallon of paint costs $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!

And don’t forget the outside. Paired with a well-manicured landscape, your house will have the type of curb appeal that turns heads.

Don’t think you can choose a suitable color? Visit Clark + Kensington’s site, The Paint Studio for color schemes, tips and inspirations for your space.

Installing Energy-Efficient Windows

Upgrading the windows in your home adds another layer of increased property value. Not only do they add to the aesthetic feel of your home, but by adding energy efficient windows to your house, (inbound link to Ritter Article; the Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows) you can also begin to reduce your electric bill.

Add Molding to Spruce up a Room

Framing cabinets or windows with nice molding is the perfect way to add luxury to your home for a reasonable cost. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but these finishing touches also make smaller rooms appear larger. For tips on how to select and install your molding, read our Secret to Perfect Crown Molding Installations.

Refinish Your Wood Floors

Quality wood floors guarantee a spike in your property values. Refinish the ones you have, or install new ones to add to your homes worth. Whether it be laminate or hardwood flooring, simple touchups to your wood floors can impress potential buyers and absolutely increase your ability to get a higher asking price. For a full list of pros and cons for both, read our article and see the potential.

8 home improvements that increase property valueFresh Carpet Throughout Your Home

How old is the carpet in your home? 10 years old? 15 years old? 20? Chances are your carpets are overdue to be replaced. Don’t worry, you don’t have to change every room all at once. Do a couple of rooms each year if it suits your renovation plans better.

The bottom line, however, is that a dingy carpet screams out to potential homebuyers “This house was not taken care of.”

So upgrade and impress them instead.

Nothing turns buyers off more than the thought that they will immediately need to replace all of the flooring in a home. Ideally, you may want to replace them all, but if a limited budget puts a snag in that plan, start by replacing and installing the right carpet in the high-traffic areas and renovate as your budget allows.

8 home improvements that increase property valueBig Return on Bathroom Updates

Bathroom updates are always a smart move. Even if you can’t afford a full remodel, small changes like replacing dated wallpaper with a faux or textured finish and replacing old lighting will update the room without denting your wallet.

Of all the rooms in your house, the bathroom is the workhorse. There is lots of wear and tear.

  • Focus on your faucet. Bathrooms are not utilitarian anymore. People like to feel relaxed, like they are in a spa. Drop-sinks are old news, people want the under-mount sinks.
  • Go granite or marble with your countertops. If you are toying with the granite idea, your bathroom counter is most likely smaller than your kitchen counter and less expensive. This is a great place to start your first granite project.
  • Nix the overhead lighting in favor of wall mounts to add warmth and value to your bathroom. Make sure you have enough lighting around your mirror to avoid shadows on your reflection.
  • Upgrade your bath area. With an 85 percent return, install a shower with body sprays and stone surround tile. Even if you are not selling right away, you will feel like you are in a Zen garden every time you step into your bathroom.
  • Keep it clean. Dirt and grime can become embedded in bathroom surfaces very quickly. Freshen it up with new grout.

8 home improvements that increase property valueAny Kitchen Update Equals Added Value

Ask any real estate expert what the No. 1 upgrade with the greatest return is, and the answer will be the kitchen. You don’t have to start from scratch to create a winning recipe. Start by swapping out just one item, such as a stained sink or ancient microwave for shiny new stainless models. Even small kitchen updates will add big value to your home.

  • Do a mini-remodel. Change the paint. It sounds simple, but it works. You can also paint a faux-wood finish onto your cabinets.
  • Add a splash of color with a new backsplash. New tile is attractive.
  • Go stainless steel. The cold feel of steel is a hot ticket item for buyers. Transition your appliances as they wear out and go with a similar metallic look in your light switches.
  • Make your kitchen rock with a rolling island.
  • Hang a pot rack with fresh new pots, pans and a hanging wine bottle holder. With the rolling island, your kitchen will catch every buyer’s eye. You can take some of these things with you to your new home.

So this summer, make a list, set a goal and get to work! Visit any of our locations and let’s make a plan, set a goal and put your money back where it belongs.

Ritter has you covered! Our knowledgeable associates are here to help answer your questions and help you find what you need.