If you are looking to increase the value of your home to sell, or are just looking to make some upgrades you will need to know the improvements that will hold their value.

Many of the tips are DIY, while others require some professional assistance. But whichever route you decide to go, select the options that make the most sense for you and your home. Last thing you want is to spend more on improvements than you will get back when you sell.

Below you will find some of the most cost-effective things you can do to improve your home’s value, while also ensuring a healthy return on your investment.

1. Increase Useable Square Footage

Adding to the square footage of your home is another way to increase your value, although consulting with a professional will ensure you make the right addition and yield the best return on your investment. When real estate agents and prospective buyers pull comps (comparable sales) to see if the home’s value aligns with the asking price, this is a significant factor.

Here are options to consider:

  • Accessory dwelling unit: This could be an additional living space on your property, such as a garage or shed that has been converted into a guest living quarters, an additional room for a large family, an office or a rental unit.
  • Finished basement: Turning your basement into finished habitable living space for guests, as a recreational room, gym or office can significantly boost value and eye-appeal for prospective buyers.
  • Finished attic: Just like the basement, turning your attic into a habitable space can increase your home’s value.
  • Bedroom addition: The more bedrooms you have, the higher the price of the house. Depending on how much space you have to work with, add another room or rooms to match preferences and trends in your local housing market.
  • Bathroom addition: Likewise, the more bathrooms, the greater the property’s appeal, especially for families. An additional bathroom or half-bath is worth it, particularly if you only have one bathroom.

2. Small Changes Can Add Up to a Big Difference

The little things matter. Compared to remodeling your kitchen or installing hardwood floors, it’s relatively inexpensive to:

  • Add a new coat of paint or change loud paint colors
  • Stain your deck, fence, cabinets, or any other area where wood is looking worn
  • Update dated light fixtures, knobs, ceiling fans, and hooks
  • Plant a tree or some flowers near the walkway to the house
  • A new mailbox is inviting and feels homey

3. Improve Your Outdoor Space

When people talk about adding value to your home, you often hear curb appeal, but don’t forget the backyard (or the sides). Your property is another opportunity to expand its living space. Adding a deck or patio, with room for seating and a built-in or freestanding grill, is a way to create a defined space for outdoor living on a large or small scale.

But whatever you do, really weigh the pros and cons before you add expensive features like a swimming pool. While buyers in some markets see pools as a major plus, others do not want the added expense, ongoing maintenance, or potential liability.

4. Update the Bathrooms

Bathrooms are one of the most critical rooms in a home. If your bathroom is over 10 years old, a facelift is necessary if you want to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers, or sell it at a higher price.

Upgrades like a fresh coat of paint; replacing the cabinets, faucets, showerheads and countertop; or installing a new sink or tiles can go a long way. Many of these ideas, you can also do yourself for a few hundred dollars.

5. Remodel Your Kitchen

Many buyers narrow in on the kitchen as the central feature of a home, so if yours is outdated, it can ultimately affect how much you garner from a sale. If updating your entire kitchen is too big of an undertaking, a minor remodel could still have an impact on your home’s value — think coordinating appliances and installing modern hardware on your cabinets. Talk with a real estate agent about what makes the most sense and what will command the most dollars from prospective buyers.

Before embarking on a kitchen remodelling project, speak to an interior design or real estate professional to understand what features will help your house sell or enhance its value. They will also be able to tell you the types of kitchen trends that customers prefer now, and are willing to pay more for. That way you can avoid wasting your money.

6. Do a Deep Cleaning

It should go without saying, but you can increase the value of your home with only a little elbow grease plus the cost of some sponges, gloves, and cleaner. And now more than ever, homebuyers want a home that feels clean and safe.

Move furniture and appliances. Take out personal items and clean out drawers.

7. Making the Home Energy Efficient

Lowering your home’s energy costs will save you money for as long as you live there and is expected to be a major selling point down the line. Indeed, “energy-­efficient” was second only to “safe community” on the list of attributes that would most influence a purchase decision.

Things That Do Not Actually Increase Value

Before we dive into how to improve home value, it’s important to be aware of some myths about what increases home value, so you can avoid spending too much on upgrades that don’t typically boost home value.

These home value improvement myths include:

  • over the top landscaping
  • water features
  • bridges
  • pergolas
  • fancy electrical wiring e.g. copper pipes
  • swimming pools
  • hot tubs
  • saunas
  • white appliances
  • solar panels

Find the Right Agent

Home improvements that add value mean more money when you sell and more joy while you live in your home. When you understand how to increase the value of your home, you are setting yourself up for success now and in the future. Be sure to add unique touches to make your home feel cozy and welcoming. These steps will go a long way toward helping your home stand out from the crowd.

Windermere’s community of real estate professionals is our greatest asset. We have experts in all areas of real estate, from your typical starter home to condos, luxury properties, and new construction. While residential real estate is the mainstay of our business, Windermere also has offices and associates who specialize in property management, commercial real estate, and relocation services. To further facilitate the home buying process, Windermere has affiliated partners in certain regions to provide mortgage, title, and escrow services.

Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Real Estate Agents will help you through this exciting process. (951) 369-8002