As most homeowners know, the housing market is always in flux. There are ups and downs, and despite our best efforts we cannot accurately know the state of the market or how long it will last. The prolonged pandemic has altered many situations significantly, from buying and selling homes to costly renovations.
Since we are currently living in a world of drastic unknowns, many homeowners are electing to focus on upgrades, improvements, and renovations instead of flipping houses or looking for the next great property. A reconfiguration of your property doesn’t need to be drastic, but there are a number of things you can do to increase the value of your home, especially if you are in the market to sell and are hoping for a good ROI (Return On Investment).
Home buyers want space, they want smart locations, they want comfort—regardless of income or city. If you are looking for ways to upgrade your home so that it fits either your needs or the needs of the buyer, there are a number of things you can do to satisfy your investment.
1. Open That Floor Plan
Anyone who has watched the many popular shows on HGTV knows that improved floor plans often start with knocking down the right wall. Sometimes, the thing that is stagnating your home or your imagination is its layout, and this layout is more temporary than what you might believe. The average home has many walls that are not load-bearing but instead exist for placement or decor, and the modern style is “more space.”
Knocking out a pesky wall can create a more spacious, open setting and drastically alter the appeal of your house, especially downstairs. If you have a wall that is occluding the view of the kitchen or making the hallways too tight, removing that is an improvement itself. Knocking down walls creates more natural light, gives you more space to play with, and can drastically improve the size of a particular room such as the kitchen or dining room. Real estate agents such as those at Leo Chen attest that opening up the floor plan is especially attractive to new buyers.
2. Repaint (or Touch Up) The Exterior
If you are planning some upgrades on a budget, there are many things you can do that fall short of full renovation but still increase your home’s value. One chore that many of us put off is buying some paint and taking the time to touch up the exterior. After many years of weathering, paint looks worn, diluted, dull. A fresh coat of paint adds excitement and newness to any home, especially if you decide to go with a new color.
If you don’t have the budget for a full repaint of the exterior, there’s nothing wrong with a good touch up. Painting the more weathered spots or doing small things such as repainting the front door or accents can give the home a fresh look. If you pressure wash your exterior first, it will be easier to see where the touch ups are needed.
3. Swap Old Fixtures For New
One aspect of the home that goes unnoticed by the owner is interior fixtures. Door handles, shower handles, kitchen sink knobs—we are used to them day in and day out, but if you want to spruce up your home, start here. New, clean, shiny fixtures have a huge impact on potential buyers and they can make your home look more modern. Matte fixtures work well if you are trying to lean into the more contemporary look, or you can lean into your home’s natural age with bronze or nickel.
4. Low-Effort Landscaping
Shrubs, trees, and colorful plants add eye-catching appeal to any home, but it can be a mistake to sink a bunch of money into the wrong foliage. When adding new landscaping to your exterior, think about how the plants will look year-round, and how they will look compared to the rest of your area. It’s very important to install native plants, plants that are weather-tolerant, plants that need less water and little maintenance. When adding in shrubbery to your lawn or the front of your home’s exterior, think about seeing the layout of these plants for the first time as you walk up the drive toward the house
5. Replace Light Fixtures With Energy-Saving Variants
When was the last time you thought about that old ceiling fan above the dining room? How long has it been since you replaced all the bulbs in the house, or checked the condition of the air conditioning unit? Replacing old fixtures with new ones is always good, but consider the look of the appliances and their energy-saving variants. A beautiful (but functional) ceiling fan that requires low energy can provide good lighting and a soft breeze. Sometimes our old fixtures are more than eyesores, they can be costing us money in the long run. You can use energy-saving fixtures as a selling point when showing off your home to a potential buyer.
6. The Bathroom Is A Big Deal
The average homeowner can upgrade or update their bathroom for less than $1000. Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen and the bathrooms benefit the most from small renovations. When renovating the bathroom, you can re-tile the floor, add new fixtures, replace the mirrors, fix the sink plumbing, and more. Giving your bathroom (especially the first floor bathrooms) a modern, new look will go a long way with potential buyers.
7. Get To Know The Area Around Your Home
While this upgrade might seem different from the others, if you are preparing your home for a sale it’s good to see the home, neighborhood, and city from the eyes of the buyer. Take some time to really get to know your area, looking at it through fresh eyes, noting the benefits and boons that might make someone say “Yes!” to a home purchase. Become intimate with your area’s perks, such as favorite parks, restaurants, jobs, schools or children’s dental offices. Knowing your home’s major interior and exterior benefits—as well as the location—can make or break the big sale.
Making small (and continual) updates to your home gradually increases its value over time. If you are a homeowner looking to sell, you might be surprised at the ROI generated by incremental changes and renovations. Home upgrades can seem daunting, but if you start small and safe you can happily make changes that fit into your schedule and budget.
Alison Brown is the Marketing Strategist at Children’s Dental Fun Zone. She has been inclined towards oral care since her childhood as she comes from a family of dental background. She loves spending time with kids and contributes her insights by writing and promoting informative blogs for families to help them adapt to their new homes and localities without any hurdles.