Every home improvement you make today increases your home's value and helps you sell tomorrow—and, of course, makes your house more comfortable in the meantime. But before you head to the hardware store, be sure to consider projects with potential buyers in mind, even if you're not ready to sell. Here are some improvements that are guaranteed to make the strongest impression.
1) Remodel the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so expand and update it to modernize the feel of the entire house. Storage space is key. Personally, my wife has said she will NOT want another home without LOTS of storage space in the kitchen. In addition to plenty of cabinets and generous countertop space, buyers like breakfast nooks with pull-up stools, open floor plans that connect to family rooms, rollout cabinet trays, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Also, a separate cooking island might not be so easy to incorporate into your kitchen but adds so much flare it is a nice thing to look into.
2) Beautify the Bathroom
Add a master bathroom or update an existing one, and you’re boosting your home’s comfort and luxury factors. Buyers love spacious, spa-like retreats with deep tubs, stone or ceramic tiles, his-and-hers toilets in private alcoves and dual sinks. Large wall covering mirrors will add to the overall feeling you are trying to convey. Try to make a nice large walk in closet and your wife will love you for it.
3) Create Curb Appeal
A house’s exterior charm attracts buyers and creates that vital first impression. Hire a landscaper to prune or replace overgrown shrubs, a lawn service to green up a dead lawn, and a painter to scrape away peeling paint and apply a fresh coat of color. Cover bare flower beds with wood chips. Make sure the lawn is edged and all weeds poking through any cracks in the cement are pulled or killed with RoundUp or a similar chemical treatment.
4) Make More Room
Add a bedroom, office, family room or playroom to improve your home's value. Choose the addition based on who might move in: A new bedroom, for example, is great for a family-oriented neighborhood. Increase your living space by building up, bumping out, or by finishing a basement, attic, porch or room over the garage. Many people convert their garage to a livingroom or extra den or bedroom. You can actually keep some storage space from the old garage by just making the interior wall several feet closer inside than going all the way to the outside wall of the home.
5) Upgrade Cosmetics
Home buyers have a hard time seeing past dated details. Tear out old wall to-wall carpeting, swap linoleum and vinyl for new ceramic tile, refinish dingy wood floors, replace low-grade moldings, hardware and lighting fixtures, and paint the walls in neutral colors.
Many homes are not sold, sit on the market longer than needed or sell for less than they should because a shortsighted owner did not want to prepare their home for sale by seeing their property through a buyers eyes. Investing in your property in the short term will gain you much more money when it is sold to a buyer who sees an upgraded and well kept home.
Alexander Harb -- PSEM®, E-Agent®
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