For most of us that don’t have the paycheck of celebrities or CEOs, our house is likely the biggest investment we hold. In fact, it’s often been reported that about 70% of American homeowners believe that their house is their biggest asset.
And just like any other investor, all homeowners want to make sure they put their money where it matters most — and get a nice little return on their investment when they’re ready to move on.
Not to mention that the profit you stand to make by eventually selling your house is directly correlated with how your next home is going to look like, so planning ahead is more than just cautious thinking; it’s downright smart. That being said, a house can definitely be a money-eater, and there are so many areas you could invest our money in; but not all of them will have the same weight when you’re looking to cash out.
So which areas of improvement will bring your house value up the most? Let’s go over some of the most crucial aspects to take into account when looking to make your property more valuable — even if you’re not looking to sell right away.
The term ‘curb appeal’ stands for the attractiveness of a home and its surroundings when viewed from the street. The term was extensively used in the United States during the housing boom and continues to be used as an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.
A better way to think of it is that curb appeal is pretty much the first impression your house makes — and not only on potential buyers, but on people visiting your home or passing it by on the street. The nicer a home looks on the outside, the more curious (and excited) people will be to check out the inside.
So how do you add that valuable curb appeal? Luckily, it doesn’t necessarily take major property renovations or lots of money to land that great first impression. Without going into too much detail, here are some of the handiest ways to increase the curb appeal of your house:
- tend to your lawn: adding a green lawn, maybe even some well-placed bushes can be the most impactful way to draw attention to your house. The fresh green will frame your property nicely, and make it more vivid (extra points if you add some flowers, either next to the entrance or by adding some planters and window boxes).
- tend to your front door: people often forget just how big of an impression the front door can make. A simple paint job can transform the entrance to your home, maybe even add a splash of color to make it pop. If you want to take things a step further, you can also add a nice wreath or other decor items to give it more personality.
- use lighting to guide the eye: since the whole idea is to capture attention, what better way than by adding some proper lighting? Some light fixtures framing your front door, porch string lights to make it more inviting, or solar-powered lanterns to light up a walkway can all make a world of a difference (particularly after sundown).
Remember that not every home improvement is cosmetic. There are many hidden problems that could negatively affect your home’s value, some that you might not even be aware of. An outdated electrical system, a poorly maintained roof, termite infestation — these are just a few examples of ways in which your house may be gradually deteriorating (and losing its value in the process).
Many people wrongfully think that there are some repairs they can leave for later — and maybe just invest in fixing the issues when the home is ready to go on the market. However, that fails to take into account that any issue left unaddressed will simply grow over time — and something that could have easily been an easy fix may end up charging a hefty fee if addressed later on, once the damage has spread.
Fixing the roof or sourcing a foundation repair provider you can work toward repairing some of the major issues that might be plaguing the home. This will play a huge role in maintaining and increasing the value of your house, and you should prioritize these issues moving forward.
Normally, if the house’s interiors are not outdated, even real estate professionals might advise you to steer clear of renovations; and that’s because it’s a costly investment that might not pan out, especially since tastes are highly debatable, and the more personalized a home is, the more alienating it can be for prospective buyers with vastly different tastes than yours.
However, there’s one area of the house that’s always worth investing in: your kitchen. Arguably one of the most important rooms of the house (particularly for families), the kitchen can have a massive impact on the value of your property.
Try to do as much as you can to perfect your kitchen and take your home to the next level. Start small, by swapping out your old fixtures — try brushed nickel and matte-type stainless-steel fixtures for a contemporary style, or oil-rubbed bronze if your home has a more classic look — then gradually move on to light fixtures, paint jobs, and even replacing appliances. A good thing to keep in mind: the sooner you start the process, the more your own family will get to enjoy the nice kitchen before you move on to your next real estate purchase.
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