Home renovations and home improvements are more popular than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you plan to stay in your current home for 5 years or 50 years, it’s always a good idea to boost your home’s value.
Because of home appreciation, owning a home is one of the most reliable ways to build equity and wealth. Additionally, your house is likely your biggest asset, meaning taking care of your home and making improvements is of paramount importance. There are a number of ways to increase your home’s value, and we’ll go over a few of our favorites below. Let’s dive in!
Updating and Upgrading your Space
One of the most traditional and reliable ways to increase your home’s value is to improve your existing space. Home staging —simply making your rooms more attractive—is an incredibly cost effective way to upgrade your space. Some commonly staged rooms recoup most or nearly all of their value:
- Kitchen: returns 84% of value
- Bedroom: returns 78% of value
- Living Room: returns 93% of value
- Dining Room: returns 72% of value
By adding aesthetic appeal to the above rooms you can improve your interior spaces and add value to your home!
If you’re not sure which rooms you want to update, or if you don’t even know where to get started, consulting with local experts is always a good idea. Find local professionals such as home inspectors, contractors, or interior designers, and bring them in for a quick consultation. It will also often be free or at a discounted rate, as a professional courtesy for first-time consulting.
Add Space and/or Make Renovations
Adding raw square footage is a tried and true method to increase your home’s financial and intrinsic value. Potential home buyers always recognize the value of additional space.
If you’re considering adding new rooms or making other home upgrades, make sure to consult and work with local experts. Talk to multiple contractors to review your floor plan and proposed changes. When you are ready, work with the contractor you are most comfortable with and start renovating!
Adding space can be as simple as adding a new bedroom or bathroom. Alternatively, it can mean transforming an existing space, such as a garage, into something completely new! You can also add space by finishing a basement, or through outdoor additions like building a deck.
Be Environmentally-Friendly and Energy Efficient
Another great way to increase your home’s value is by promoting and adding energy efficiency. You might immediately think about solar panels, but there are a number of ways to make your home more energy efficient.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), potential home buyers ranked the following environmentally-friendly features in order of importance, with the percentages designating a feature as very important:
- Heating and cooling costs (32%)
- Commuting costs (31%)
- Windows/Doors/Siding (30%)
- Energy-efficient lighting (24%)
- Energy-efficient appliances (22%)
- Environmentally-friendly community features (12%)
- Landscaping for energy conservation (11%)
- Solar panels (4%)
Looking for even more ways to increase your home’s value? Zillow conducted a study and compiled a list of additional home features that can help with selling your home for more and at a faster rate. For example, having a tankless water heater increased the expected value of a home by 4%.
There is no shortage of options when it comes to adding energy efficiency to your home. When it comes time to sell your house, buyers will definitely value green additions. And if you’re not looking to move, adding these additionals will still cut down your energy costs and add value to your house via:
- Environmental impact
- Lowering energy expenses
- Increasing the literal financial value of your house
Add Smart Home Technology
- Automated blinds and curtains
- Built-in speakers with app control
- Climate control with smart thermostats
- Smart appliances
- Smart lighting
- Smart locks
- Smart garage door opener
- Smart home security system
All of the above can attract home buyers to your home. Essentially, any permanent fixtures that are installed can help boost your home value. We recommend any or all of these smart technology additions!
Not all upgrades are created equal, however. There is a wide array of technology that is not permanently installed, and as such will not help attract buyers. These include:
- Home assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home
- Portable cameras
- Portable lamps and lighting fixtures
- Speaker systems
Work on your Home’s Aesthetics!
A basic way of increasing your house value is to improve your existing space, aesthetically. Have an outdated kitchen and bathroom? Renovate them! A set of brand new stainless steel appliances and cabinets goes a long way towards increasing appraisal value and appealing to potential buyers.
Do you have generic carpet installed throughout your home? Consider adding wood flooring instead. Once again according to the NAR, 90% of real estate agents say that homes with hardwood floors are easier to sell and that they tend to sell for over 10% more than homes without.
Another simple way to increase value is through painting. Spruce up your home’s interior with popular neutral colors such as creams, whites, off-whites, and grays. Such “cool neutrals” ranked most popular in 2020.
If the outside of your house is due for a paint job—whether the front door, garage door, or exterior walls—similar paint colors are recommended, with white and gray ranking as joint most popular.
Increasing Home Value for Appraisal
Whether you are planning to sell your home or refinance your mortgage, it is important to find a qualified appraiser in your area. It is the appraiser’s job to view and assess your house through a critical eye—try to put yourself in their shoes. Remember that the appraiser is assessing the quality and condition of your home. Fancy furniture and gadgets will not help, but a tidy interior will!
To start, put away any non-essential items such as sporting equipment or tools. Make sure your lawn is mowed and any weeds are picked; bonus points if you have a nice garden or flowers! Fresh paint also helps, both on the outside and inside of your home.
For your interior, make sure everything is nice and clean. Vacuum and sweep your rooms, clean your bathrooms, and don’t leave any dirty dishes in the sink! Declutter and clean.
Make sure you have plans for any pets or children that could interfere, and make sure you have the day off as well. View your appraiser as a hypothetical home buyer and act accordingly. You will want to make the best impression possible to maximize your appraisal.
Once an appraisal is established, it is extremely rare for the appraiser to change the value, so make sure you do your best!
The Bottom Line
Whether it is time to sell or you’re just looking to boost your home’s value, there are a number of steps you can take. Update an existing space by renovating your kitchen or add a new space with a deck. Be environmentally-friendly and increase your home’s energy efficiency, or add permanent smart technology fixtures. Improve your home’s aesthetic with brand new flooring and paint, or do some gardening and maintenance to up your home’s curb appeal.
There are endless options, so just follow some of these steps and you’ll increase your home’s value in no time! While these home improvements and renovations may be costly, they will be a good return on your investment.