Do Your Research

If the goal of your home improvement project is to improve the value of your property, you’ll probably want to take a look at market preferences in your area.

How do you know what those preferences are without being in real estate? For example, you might take a look at the design trends of homes for sale within your area. Do they have updated appliances? Wood flooring? What does the house have in terms of outdoor seating?

After attending the open house, you may or may not be able to take care of all the improvements on your list, but this will give you a good idea of how to prioritize them.

Easy Ways To Boost Home Value

A good place to start is to think about what you can do to add to your home’s appraisal value. You may not be looking to sell your home right away, but improvements over time can save you from having to do a lot of work should you want to sell down the line. The appraisal value is also very important if you decide to refinance.

Fortunately for homeowners, a number of remodeling projects offer the potential for a high return on investment (ROI). According to Remodeling magazine’s annual cost vs. value report, some of the best renovations are those done on the exterior of the home—siding, window, and door replacements—because they immediately improve a home’s curb appeal.

The Little Details Help

When it comes to determining which home improvements to make, there are plenty of small things you can do to add to your property value.

Condition refers to how well your house is maintained. Basic maintenance like the occasional coat of paint or re-shingling the roof probably won’t add to your property value, but missing these things will certainly hurt it.

There are several things you can do as a homeowner to add to your property value on the inside and outside of your house.

Exterior

You might look at making the following improvements to your home’s exterior:

  • Adding shades on windows
  • Building trelliswork to frame and create a backdrop for your landscaping
  • Adding rails on the porch
  • Sprucing up your entryway with columns

Interior

When it comes to the interior, the things that will make the biggest impact are kitchen and bathroom remodels. Since these are expensive, there are small things you can do within these rooms that will make a difference:

  • Update appliances if you can. Stainless steel is popular with buyers.
  • If you have a smaller kitchen, granite countertops can probably be had for around $4,000. Other solid surface countertops like quartz and Formica are also popular.
  • A tile backsplash can be relatively cheap to install yourself and adds a really nice design touch.

Attic bedrooms.

According to Remodeling, you’ll recoup 73 percent of your investment when turning the attic into a bedroom. However, this also ranks as one of the most expensive projects, averaging $50,148 nationally. But if you have the money, an attic bedroom is a desirable feature among homebuyers. “Any time you add additional square footage like that can have a very positive effect on the selling price,” says Paul Wyman, a real estate agent with Wyman Group in Kokomo, Ind.

Kitchens.

Although a kitchen remodel returns only 66 percent, on average, Chris Dossman, a real estate agent with Century 21 Scheetz in Indianapolis, says kitchens are one of the first things home buyers look at. “If you have a house that doesn’t have an updated kitchen but you have a remodeled attic, that’s not what people are looking for,” she says.

The Whole Package

It’s important to consider your improvements as part of the whole package. Little things strung together can add up to a big difference.

Also consider bumping out the size of a bathroom. Many buyers looking for a three-bedroom home want two full baths rather than one full and one half bath, says bath contractor Baker.

Share your plans and ideas with other readers in the comments section.