When you make the decision to put your house on the market, your first concern will be how much money you can get for it. You will then ask yourself how you can increase that number. Understanding how home values increase is how savvy homeowners get the most they can when it is time to sell.

Even if you are not thinking of selling anytime soon but just want to make some home improvements, knowing how to increase home value will help you make the right renovations. After all, increasing the value of your home does not only benefit you when you sell it. Understanding how to increase home value for appraisal can help with getting a loan as well.

Regardless of your motivations for upgrading and renovating your house, knowing how to increase your home’s value is a good idea. Here are some great ideas to consider that will make your home more valuable while you live in it and when it is time to sell.

Home Value Factors You Can – And Cannot – Control

There is only so much you can control when trying to sell your house, such as the general appearance, what it might be missing, and whether everything is in working order. You can usually improve your house’s “curb appeal” with some paint or landscaping, to make the best first impression as buyers arrive. You could consider upgrading the kitchen appliances. And you definitely should fix any broken cabinet doors.

Yet you are unlikely to have control over some of the biggest price factors in housing, such as your home’s location or whether you are in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. But even with these obstacles, you can apply some smart sales practices to increase the value of your home.

Whatever upgrades you choose to do, the impact will vary with location, age of your home, price range, and a few other factors. You may not directly recoup the total cost of any home improvement but each improvement packaged together can help your house meet your buyer’s expectations and lead to a quicker sale. Real estate agents and home renovation contractors can help you decide what is worth spending your time and money on.

Ways To Increase Home’s Value

1. Boost Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is that undefinable something that draws you to a home at a glance. It is a combination of visual charm, good upkeep and attention to detail. It is the general attractiveness of your home and its surrounding property visible from the front sidewalk, street and/or lawn.

Options include planting new flowers along your walkway, painting the front door, replacing the mailbox, installing new lighting or changing out the drab patio furniture.

Keep in mind that these projects can easily jump from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands, so it is important to determine which project will give your home the greatest value to your dollars spent on upgrades.

Home Exterior

As you contemplate improvements, stay true to your home’s style and avoid being tempted by trends. Adding or improving curb appeal can be expensive, depending on the scope of the project and the size of your front yard, so some things might just have to be repurposed or cleaned up. Luckily, exterior home improvements usually offer a strong return on investment depending on the preferences of buyers in your market. At the very least, an investment in curb appeal will help you attract buyers and possibly sell sooner.

Pay attention to detail, because potential buyers (and sometimes even guests) will be paying close attention too. Remember, this is the first impression of your home, so you need to make sure it sparkles.

Spruce Up Front Door and Porch

The front door and porch are some of the first things appraisers and prospective buyers see when they approach a home. If you don’t get the entire exterior of your home repainted, it’s worth at least having these items freshened up to make a good first impression.

Front porches in particular have come back into fashion since the start of the pandemic, as it serves as a safe way to visit with neighbors and keep up with what’s going on in the community.


Before their eyes even get to the exterior of the home, potential buyers and guests are looking at the landscaping. It’s the very first thing they notice when it comes to curb appeal. Check out your lawn, trees and shrubs. Are they vibrant and green or withering and brown?

  • Trim and prune trees and shrubs.
  • Add some colorful plants, bushes and trees to the landscaping.
  • Use plants from your local garden center. Ones that are native to your state will do best.
  • Add some landscaping bricks, mulch and rocks.

2. Make Floor Plans Work Harder

Bigger is not necessarily better in today’s market, but strategically increasing the amount of living space is sure to boost home value. An “open floor plan with flexible living space” was second only to an updated kitchen on millennials’ list of most desired features.

Many younger buyers will envision the additional living spaces as a dedicated office, especially if they work from home. And at the other end of the spectrum, a lot of the boomer generation babysit their grandkids and want a playroom that they can close the door to after the kids leave.

  • Flex Rooms:Also known as double-duty rooms, you will see flex rooms advertised as an additional living area that can serve a variety of purposes, from a guest bedroom to a game room to an exercise room to a study room for the kids.
  • Mother-in-Law Apartment: These spaces can house an additional family member or provide rental income—­allowing baby boomers to afford their house once they retire or helping millennials pay the mortgage.
  • Laundry Rooms: Younger buyers in particular say they want a dedicated laundry room, perhaps off the kitchen or even near second-floor bedrooms.

3. Renovate the Kitchen and Bathroom

Major renovations can give a big boost to your home’s value, especially those that add to the square footage of your home. The amount you recoup from home improvements varies not only by region or city, but also from neighborhood to neighborhood.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the room that ranks high on buyers’ hierarchy of needs. An attractive kitchen will significantly improve your home’s value. If you have a non-load bearing wall, consider removing it to give it a more open look. You could also install a kitchen island, replace old appliances, update the backsplash, repaint or replace cabinets or install granite countertops.

Keep in mind though; kitchen remodels are not usually cheap. With so many potential changes, the numbers can add up quickly. It is reasonable, however, to expect to recover about 60% of your cost when you sell.

The Bathrooms

We spend more of our lifetimes in the bathroom than we care to admit. So if you are thinking about improving any room in your home, a bathroom remodel may be a good place to start. 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.

A bathroom remodel can have nearly the same effect as a kitchen remodel. Depending on when your home was built, transforming them into sparkling, contemporary spaces with a well-planned bathroom remodel can go a long way.

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.

4. Paint Your Walls

Sometimes the word “renovation” can turn people off from making changes to their home. It sounds complex and expensive but the truth is, some renovations do not require much time or effort at all. If you are looking for a cheap and quick fix for a room in your home, simply paint your walls.

Painting your walls is an easy way to refresh the living room. Paint the walls a shade of light beige or gray to give the space a neutral, contemporary finish. Dark colors tend to make rooms look smaller, so avoid them in rooms that do not get much natural light.

Painting may not seem to add a lot of value to your home, but it tends to have the best return on investment because it costs far less than other home improvements.

5. Add Value to the Garage

Unlock the hidden potential of this utilitarian space with easy upgrades buyers will love. It may come as a surprise, but replacing your garage door is one of the best home improvements you can make when it comes to return on investment, recouping on average 97.5% of the costs.

Paint the Floor

Painting your garage floor is a quick way to transform the room. The reflective surface will bounce light, making the garage appear brighter and more spacious. Plus a good finish will also protect against oil and fluid stains from your car.

Comparing the range of products available, your best bet is epoxy or a stronger than epoxy alternative as they are the most durable. Opt for neutral colors for mass appeal or faux metallic stone for a sleek finish.

Replace the Garage Door

When replacing your garage door, choose a model that will increase curb appeal and efficiency. Match the design and color to that of your home’s front door, windows and trimmings for a custom look. The best part about this upgrade is how easy it is, with little invasion to your space.

6. Think Energy Efficiency

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. Homeowners and renter who have felt the sting of escalating energy costs tend to be driving the interest, especially in regions of the country with more extreme weather.

  • High-Efficiency Windows: Energy Star certified windows can lower your home’s energy bills by 7 to 15 percent. That will be a selling point with buyers, though replacing every window in a home costs anywhere from $8,000 to $24,000, so you probably will not recoup the entire investment if you plan to sell right away.
  • LED Lights: Installing LED lighting will go a long way in raising your “green energy” credentials and will be a nice selling point.

Myths That Do Not Boost Home Value

Before we dive into how to improve home value, it is 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:

  • Extreme Landscaping
  • Water Features
  • Bridges
  • Swimming Pools
  • Hot Tubs
  • Saunas
  • White Appliances
  • Solar Panels

As you read this list, you might have begun to realize why these items typically do not increase the value of your home. In fact, they can sometimes decrease the likelihood that potential buyers will choose your home.

For example, let’s take a look at swimming pools in more detail. While swimming pools can be sought-after commodities in hot climates, many people prefer not to have a pool at their home for several reasons, mainly because they do not want to deal with upkeep or safety issues.

Swimming pools require regular cleaning, sometimes need to be covered, might require a gate around them to prevent young children from falling in when unattended, and can be very expensive to maintain. Some buyers will actually ask sellers to fill or remove a pool as a condition of a home purchase, so adding a swimming pool to your home probably is not necessarily the best way to increase the value of your home.

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