If you’ve ever watched HGTV or spoken to a REALTOR®, then you probably already know there are a million and one ways to renovate your home and increase its overall value. But what if you don’t have a million hours to work on fancy home improvements, or a million dollars to spend? Here are five easy ways you can increase your home’s value, without breaking the bank or breaking your back.
- Dig in the dirt. First impressions are incredibly important when it comes to marketing your home, and the exterior of your house is the first thing potential buyers will see. If interested buyers notice that the exterior looks neglected, they might assume that the inside has suffered the same fate. The type of landscaping is largely a matter of your personal preferences; just make sure that your yard looks tidy and cared for. Another way to increase the aesthetics of your home's exterior is by upgrading items like windows, shutters and siding. While this can be more expensive than a small landscaping project, these are things that will probably be noticed immediately.
- Light the way. Lighting can actually help rooms of your home appear more spacious, so it is especially important to have good lighting in smaller rooms. Improving your home’s lighting is a very quick and easy way to make things look warmer and more appealing. You may also want to look for energy-efficient lighting solutions – and that goes for both interior and exterior lights. Outdoor security lighting, such as floodlights and motion-activated lights. Provide an additional way to make your home appear appealing – and safe. Plus, a well-lit home can help deter burglars since they’ll have fewer shadowy places to hide.
- Use wireless services. Nothing makes your home look messier than a tangle of wires. By using wireless devices (keyboard, mouse, cable box), you’re making your home look sleek and modern. You can find Internet bundles with wireless services – you’re saving money and showing visitors to your home that it’s modern and keeping up with technology trends. Plus, the money you can save by bundling your home services can go toward something else – like fixing up some facilities.
- Fix up the facilities. If you don’t have the funds for an extensive interior remodel, start with the bathroom. Real estate experts largely agree that remodeling your outdated bathroom is a good way to instantly improve your home’s marketability. Perhaps it’s because buyers are impressed that someone would put so much effort into such a small space. Regardless, installing new tile, buying a fresh shower curtain and stripping out that bubbled wallpaper is a good place to start.
- Improve energy efficiency. Many people are interested in conserving energy and saving money, especially with ever-rising energy prices. If you can market your home with energy-saving solutions, you will be a step ahead of the game. There are many ways you can improve your home’s energy efficiency, including sealing up cracks, improving insulation and installing programmable thermostats. If you like the idea of a long-term investment in making your property greener, consider planting a couple of trees. Believe it or not, having shady trees near your home can reduce your home’s cooling costs by up to 40%.
Energy efficiency isn't just for inside the home, though. You can switch out incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent, halogen and LED bulbs in your exterior fixtures. Roofing, siding and windows are all available in energy-efficient models and can help you save money on your overall energy costs, even if you have to put a lot of money up front.
There are also do-it-yourself methods. If you can't afford to upgrade every window in your home to an energy-efficient model, consider adding weather-stripping and strategically applying some caulk. Certain window treatments and coverings can even help keep your home cooler in the summer months and warmer in the winter.
Author: Drew Smithfield
Tom Branch and Gina Branch, The Branch Team with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs, service the greater North Dallas suburbs including Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, Frisco, Lewisville, and Carrollton. While Gina concentrates on traditional listings and buyer/tenant representation, Tom specializes in assisting distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure. Tom and Gina have published two books (Achieving Rock Star Status and The Field Guide to Short Sales) and are available for speaking engagements in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex. Subscribe to The Branch Team Blog.
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