When we purchase a new home, most of us dream of the day when our property values rise. Home ownership used to be a logical and safe investment; we could expect that the value of our homes would grow over time. Today’s fickle real estate markets make home purchases a risky bet in many cases, but there are several ways we can improve the value of our homes. Here are several great ways to add home value while getting more enjoyment out of the houses we live in.
Tips for Improving Home Values
Home improvements that improve values don’t always have to cost a lot of money. Take paint, for example. A fresh coat of paint on the exterior makes the house look like new. Inside, new paint can transform the look of living spaces, and can even be used to refresh tired-looking kitchen cabinets. If you’re planning on selling your home, new paint costs only a few hundred dollars at most and can easily recoup the costs in a home sale.
Here are some other economical tips to improve values:
Get a home energy audit – yes, by assessing your home’s energy efficiency, you can not only find out where energy is being wasted but can also take the steps needed to improve efficiency. While an energy audit may not contribute directly to increased home values, the process is an important one to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Replace fixtures with water-saving models – prospective home buyers are more likely to buy a home that has energy-efficient features. Water-saving showerheads and faucets are inexpensive and easy to add to any home. Saving water costs is one benefit, and improved home value is another.
Upgrade insulation – just like with low-flow plumbing fixtures, bringing your home’s insulation “R-value” is an inexpensive way to attract home buyers. Blow-in insulation in the attic and wall cavities is a small investment that pays big dividends in terms of utility savings as well as home value.
Planting trees – improving the look of your landscaping is a job that can be done by almost any homeowner. Trees are a great value, and even add value once they become established. Plant a few and enjoy improved home values!
Add outdoor entertainment areas – while this home improvement project may require a bit more investment than some of the other tips, it can greatly increase home values. Outdoor patios and decks make the home more inviting; prospective home buyers can easily imagine hosting backyard parties and barbecues, and this may sway them to buy your home instead of your neighbor’s.
These are only a few of the many home improvements one can make to his or her home. With careful planning and budgeting, these improvements can boost home value and add interest in a potential home sale.