Selling a house is never an easy task. And, let’s be honest, the current state of the real estate market doesn’t make it any easier. Houses lose their value easily and in just a decade they can worth much less then what they were purchased for.
Whether you’re planning to sell your house right away or sometime in the future, it is useful to know which home improvement projects can increase your home’s value and which can actually hurt it. Read on for a list of the most profitable DIY projects you can undertake and those that you should definitely avoid.
Home improvements that increase value
Remodeling your kitchen is usually the best way to increase your home’s value and one of the first things that any real estate agent will recommend. For many, kitchen is the most important room in a house and families tend to spend a large part of the day there. That is why it is the first thing most buyers focus on.
Even if you don’t have a budget for a major kitchen makeover, it’s comforting to know that some minor upgrades or small improvements can go a long way.
The first thing you can do is repaint. Refresh your walls and cabinets with a new coat of paint or change the colors into neutral. You can even replace cabinet doors and handles to give them a brand-new look. If your budget allows it, consider replacing your countertops as well, including appliances that are significantly outdated.
To upgrade your bathroom, you can follow the same principle as with the kitchen – keep things simple and pay attention to details. Adding too many accessories or too extravagant bathroom fixtures (such as a hot tub) isn’t really necessary.
One of the most important things is to make sure your bathroom looks clean and maintained, and that you check if anything needs to be repaired. Beautiful and elegant faucets are what really catches the buyer’s eye, just as the popular granite-look countertops that can be purchased at an affordable price. Change a few more details, such as towel bars, and your bathroom will look just like the one from a magazine!
Here is a simple, yet a very valuable home improvement. Repainting your house will add significant value because your house will look fresh, new, maintained, and clean. You can repaint your entire house or just certain rooms that need it. And best of all, you can do it yourself or with the help of some family and friends.
Try to focus on neutral and light colors throughout. They open up the space and make it look bigger, which appeals to buyers. White is the safest option because it easily combines with all the other colors, and it is also easy to paint over. It gives a prospective buyer the option to repaint it easily if they want.
Proper insulation is incredibly important for a good quality of life in a house, and therefore buyers take it very seriously. Good insulation ensures that your house is warm or cool enough – but without wasting too much energy. It makes the house energy-efficient, decreases utility bills, and therefore increases its overall value.
On the other hand, poor insulation is the main cause of air leaks that result in excessive energy drainage and water leaks that can damage your house even further. Therefore, even if it turns out to be a bit bigger investment, make sure to inspect your insulation and fix it. It’s an investment that will pay off and benefit you greatly.
What is the first thing a buyer sees when approaching the house? The outside of it – the front yard and the landscape around it. And the outside usually reflects the inside, at least in the buyer’s eyes. First impressions matter here, and you want to leave a good one.
Plant some trees and plants around the house or add a nice walkway to your entry door. Maintain you front lawn regularly and keep it clean. You can even repaint your front door to make it more noticeable. It will all increase the curb appeal and add significant value.
Improvements that can hurt your home’s value
When renovating a house, many people are guided by their own taste, and we all know that tastes are very different. Therefore, try to forget what you like and to focus on what would appeal to the buyer. The safest thing to do is to try to be as neutral as possible and not to exaggerate with anything. Here are some tips on what to avoid when renovating your home:
Adding a swimming pool is a big project to take on, and it demands a lot of maintenance in the future. It is a costly addition and most homeowners don’t like the idea of having one. It doesn’t pay off unless you live somewhere hot, where you can use it for at least six months during a year. It will decrease your home’s value and probably put off most of the buyers.
Wallpapers, Patterns, and Colors
Wallpapers are not a good idea if you aim to add value, especially if there is too much of them. They don’t appeal to everyone’s taste and they are very difficult to remove. If you already have them, think about removing them and repainting the walls before showing your house to potential buyers.
As we already mentioned, buyers also don’t like to see too many colors or patterns, especially if they are very bright and bold. It makes it more difficult for them to see beyond it, too see the bigger picture. They like neutral because it seems like a blank canvass they can tailor according to their own taste.
Reducing the Number of Rooms
Combining smaller bedrooms into a bigger one usually isn’t a good idea. Quantity is better in this case, since every room adds more value to your home, and allows you to raise its price.
For families with children, for example, it is much more important that every child has their own room. And even those without children will always appreciate one extra room to function as a guest room, home office, or whatever they might need it for.
Having a garage is very important for many homeowners, and for many it is an indispensable part of a house. They want a place where they can safely park their car, and a place where they can store some of their things. Converting your garage into a living space, an additional room or a gym may seem like a good and convenient idea to you, but to most buyers it will most likely only take away from the value of the home.
Conclusion: Look at the Bigger Picture
The most important thing to consider when starting home renovation is what will appeal to the majority of buyers. Think about what is simple – yet attractive, neutral – yet noticeable. Buyers like a clean and maintained house, one that they feel comfortable in and that they could easily adapt to their own needs and tastes. Don’t go over the top with anything. Update and present your house as a functional, efficient, and beautiful living space.
About the author: Matt James is a freelance writer specialized in home improvement, smart technology, architecture & design. He has a love of outdoors and spending time with his dog Cooper. You can reach him on Facebook and Instagram.