Top 10 Ways to Improve the Value of Your Home

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Each year, homeowners spend countless dollars on improvements and additions designed to increase the value of their homes. Unfortunately, many of these upgrades will only provide little - if any - return on their investment. Before you take out a costly loan or tap your savings account for a home remodeling project, learn what types of improvements increase property value.

Function vs. Beauty

When most people think about home improvements, they imagine remodeling projects that improve a property's aesthetic. While this can help pique interest in prospective buyers; it isn't always enough to earn a larger asking price. To add actual monetary value to a home, it's important to focus on home improvement projects that provide both function and aesthetic. For instance, instead of paying for upgrades that make your property more beautiful; look for ways to make your home more beautiful, functional and/or energy efficient.

Intelligent Upgrades

When it comes to adding resale value to a home, you need to choose your upgrades wisely. It's fine to spend thousands of dollars to improve your home if you are doing it to make the space more enjoyable for yourself. If you are doing it to add property value, however, you need to choose your upgrades wisely.

The following enhancements are great options for boosting your home's resale value.

1. Install new siding. Attractive and cost-effective, exterior siding replacement enhances a home's overall beauty and durability.


2. Get a new deck. A custom deck can extend a home's living space while also enhancing the overall beauty of the property.


3. Add a bedroom to your attic. Whenever you are able to transform a relatively useless space into something functional, your property will become more valuable.


4. Remodel your kitchen: The beating heart of almost every home, the kitchen offers diverse upgrade potential. New fixtures or granite countertops are great options. Even minor additions and improvements can add value to your home.


5. Install steel security doors: This easy upgrade consistently offers the greatest investment return of any home improvement project in the midrange or upscale category.


6. Finish your basement. You can increase your home's living space by turning your basement into an office or spare room. You can even turn it into a rentable apartment to generate extra money.


7. Repair your concrete surfaces: If you have damaged or sinking concrete surfaces, hire a concrete raising company to fix the problem so you won’t have to lower your asking price. You can also enhance curb appeal by investing in asphalt paving for exterior surfaces that are damaged, old or unattractive.


8. Replace your doors and windows: These simple improvements can add some real value to a property. To get the most bang for your buck, however, you should choose energy-efficient doors and windows which bring lower utility bills and potential tax benefits. You can also update your HVAC to improve energy efficiency.


9. Refresh your bathroom. Just like your kitchen, your bathroom provides a variety of options for simple and significant upgrades. New countertops, hardware, and low-flow toilets can all increase your home's resale value.


10. Pay for an addition (with caution). You can add value to your home by adding a barndominium. You can also add an addition to your home to increase its overall value. That said, while expensive additions can make a home more valuable; it can also price a property above the local market. This can ultimately make the home harder to sell, especially in a buyer's market.

If you want to add value to your home, you need to make sure it is free of serious flaws. If you have leaky plumbing, get it repaired. If you have an old roof, contact a roofer to install a new roof that will make a buyer feel more confident. You can also pique buyer interest by installing a gas firepit or hiring a landscape design company to spruce up your home’s exterior.

Things to Consider

It's common for people to look toward swimming pools as potential ways to increase a home's value. Although they can bring endless hours of memory-making backyard fun, swimming pools are typically bad options for people who are looking to increase property value.

Costing between $35,000 and $65,000 to install, modern in-ground swimming pools offer very little return on investment. They also cost about $2,000 every year to maintain and hundreds of dollars more to insure and heat. This is why they are often considered "money pits" in the real estate industry. It's also a big reason many prospective home buyers start running the moment they see one in a seller's backyard.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that a good in-ground pool can actually add about 8 percent to a home's resale value. Unfortunately, this can vary significantly, depending on the property's location in the United States. When you factor in the high maintenance and installation costs, this investment doesn't end up making a lot of sense for most homeowners. Above ground pools can be even worse, adding no real value to a home and creating an eyesore that may turn buyers away.

If you'd like to add an inground pool but aren't sure of the benefits, it's generally best to hire an appraiser to determine if it will add value to your home.

Comments (4)

Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

I agree with all except #10, I don't see an ugly metal building helping sell or adding value.  Not when they come in much nicer materials that blend with the home.

Jan 22, 2020 10:49 AM
Sean Hakes
SH RE - Denver, CO
Real Estate Advertising & Marketing

Hi Don! Thanks for the comment. I guess I could have re-phrased it. I was thinking more of a barndominium type building/house for the in-laws, kids, etc if there's room on the land. I've seen beautiful ones created for very inexpensively that have added tremendous value. Thanks! I'll see if I can update the post to reflect 'Barndominum.' 

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