Being a homeowner can be a notoriously stressful undertaking. Outside of the everyday maintenance and upkeep that is intrinsically linked to owning real estate, there is any number of disastrous calamities that could happen on any given day.
Being proactive when it comes to home maintenance and improvements is in every home owner’s best interest. Not only can these measures help to avoid unforeseen issues, they can also greatly increase your home’s value. Here are seven ways to make a big difference when it comes to improving your home.
1. Make Your Kitchen Appealing
The kitchen is the heart of every home. Most buyers state that a kitchen can make or break the entire house. Here a few easy and affordable upgrades you can do to make your kitchen a big draw for potential buyers:
• Replace the kitchen faucet set
• Add new, decorative handles to your cabinets
• Replace old, dated light fixtures with updated ones and replace old bulbs with brighter, energy-efficient alternatives
• Replace old cabinets or, if that is outside of your budget, give them a facelift with a fresh coat of paint
Pro-tip: Upgrade your appliances. USA Today states that most people are willing to pay a full asking price or even over asking price for fresh, stainless steel appliances.
2. Focus on Improving Your Bathrooms
Bathrooms are another big selling point or drawback, depending on the state of them. Like the kitchen, big changes can be made to your bathroom without emptying your savings account:
• Replace your toilet seat with one that is clean and fresh
• Replace an outdated vanity with a nice pedestal sink, though these should be used for powder rooms only
• Re-grout bathtub or shower tile and replace any tiles that may be chipped
• If your bathroom floor is old and discolored, replacing it with fresh tile does wonders
Pro-tip: Some flooring can be placed directly on top of the existing floors, negating the need to pull flooring up and making the job much easier and affordable.
3. Upgrade your Bedroom to a Proper Sanctuary
If a buyer is looking for their “forever home,” or a home in which they plan to spend a lot of years, the master bedroom is going to be an important detail for them. Most people are going to want their bedroom to be spacious, have a master bath, and a walk-in closet. USA Today estimates that buyers are willing to pay 49 percent more for an ensuite master bath.
• Make sure when you are showing your house that your bedroom is clean and free of any clutter or debris, to maximize its size
• If it is within your budget and the master does not already have one, explore the options of adding a master bathroom or a walk-in closet
Pro-tip: Add carpet to your bedroom, as most buyers prefer the warmth if offers over the shock of bare feet on cold hardwoods.
4. Focus on Your Flooring
The current demographic of home buyers is all about hardwood floors. While they tend to prefer carpet in their bedrooms, the preference ends there:
• Carpet wears down quickly, and people do not want to live in a home with carpeting that has collected years’ worth of your family’s dirt and germs
• There are many alternatives to expensive hardwoods on the market now, and many of them look exactly like the real thing, but are more resilient and significantly less expensive
Pro-tip: For those who want to be environmentally friendly with their upgrades, there are tons of green options on the market today that can let the conscious homeowner breathe easier.
- Morph Unused Rooms into Bedrooms in a Flash If you live in a three-bedroom house but want to increase your value by adding a fourth, that is an easy task if you happen to have an unused room that you are willing to part with, like a den or an office. According to Realtor.com, a room cannot be listed as a “bedroom” unless it meets a very specific set of standards:
• This varies from state-to-state, but typically a bedroom must be at least 70-80 square feet
• The room must measure at least seven feet horizontally in any direction
• There must be two egresses, or two ways to evacuate a room to be called a bedroom, i.e.: a door and a window
• There is a minimum ceiling height in which at least half of the bedroom must have a ceiling that is a minimum of seven feet tall
• There must be at least one window, and it usually must measure 5.7 square feet
• There must be an affixed heating and cooling element available to be considered a bedroom
Pro-tip: While it is not legally required for a room to have a closet to be considered a bedroom, adding one adds huge appeal for buyers.
6. Landscaping is Key
The exterior of your house is the first impression a buyer gets when they pull up. Never underestimate the power of curb appeal:
• There are a ton of lovely, low-maintenance landscaping options out there that even those with the blackest of thumbs can keep alive
• Make sure your yard is always trimmed and cut in case a surprise showing arises
Pro-tip: Visit your local nursery so that they may direct you to lush, green plants that are native to the area so that your investment can grow and flourish.
7. Paint, Paint, Paint!
The quickest and most cost-effective method of home improvement is undoubtedly painting. It is something almost every homeowner can do on their own:
• Spring for the higher-quality paint. The price tag may sting at first, but it covers better, meaning you need less of it, which may ultimately end up saving you money
- You can use a sander to remove the old paint.
• Don’t forget to paint your ceilings! A fresh coat of ceiling paint can freshen up any room.Pro-tip: If you are painting with the intent to sell, pick light, neutral colors that make your rooms look brighter, and aren’t a turn-off for buyers who may not share your tastes.