Wondering how to add value to your home? There are plenty of ways to help you increase the price of your home when it comes to selling up, and not all of these are expensive or time-consuming. In fact, some of them can be drip-fed over a series of months, and are so manageable you could get a few done in just one weekend.
For example, research (opens in new tab) from Consumer Reports states that adding a fresh lick of paint to the outside of your home and improving your home’s overall energy efficiency both add dollar signs to the sale-price of your home.
So whether it’s small tweaks or larger renovations you’ll be undertaking, keep reading to find out how you can make a return on your investment and add value to your home. And if you’re in two minds about renovating, consider using the best home design software (opens in new tab) to help you envision what your end design could look like.
Adding value to your home is much easier than you think. But, if you don’t have the time, money or headspace for major renovations – even the smallest home improvement tweaks can increase the value of your property. These are the areas to focus on...
Update your kitchen and laundry appliances
How to add value to your home: Update your appliances
The appliances already installed in your property influence its overall market price. This is because appliances are one of the first things prospective buyers notice. Its especially true with any appliances that are integrated into your home, as new owners will either have to live with them or rip them out and replace at extra cost.
So when it comes to updating a big-ticket items, such as a refrigerator or cooking range, you need to get it right first time. But before you decide which appliances to buy, figure out where your home sits in the market.
For example, if you live in a medium-income neighborhood, don’t pick high-income appliances. You might think that more expensive appliances will boost the sale price, but your property value will be in line with other homes in your area, so you may be wasting money on high-end kitchen appliances that will leave you out of pocket.
In the property world, a brilliant kitchen can be a huge selling point. Stylish fridges have major insta-appeal and are often a focal point in the kitchen. We'd recommend researching French-door refrigerators (opens in new tab) for the maximum instant impact, or a side-by-side refrigerator (opens in new tab) if you live in a larger home and want to capitalize on the storage space available.
Keep your fridge clean, scuff- and fingerprint-fee, and well-organized inside (use dividers and baskets), especially if you're showing your home to a prospective buyer.
Depending on the existing energy supply for your home, the third thing to consider is a built-in stove. These also help increase the value of your home, and if you match the stove to your fridge in terms of brand, material or color, it creates a polished appearance. For inspiration, take a look at our best electric ranges (opens in new tab) guide.
Appliances are often part of price negotiations in home purchases, so choose ones with a good Energy Star rating to help boost the overall value of your home.
Enhance your home's curb appeal
Whether we like it or not, first impressions count. Your home might not be the prettiest on the road, but with a few quick updates you can enhance its curb appeal quickly. After all, the outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers see, so this is important.
First off, consider investing in some low-maintenance shrubs to add a hit of greenery. Secondly, if you have a grass front, keep it neat and vibrant, as a tidy, healthy lawn makes a big impact. If you don't yet own a good mower, we've rounded-up the best gas lawn mowers (opens in new tab) for all budgets.
Other features that enhance your home’s curb appeal include unobtrusive security features. Choose from a motion-activated flood light, a stylish video doorbell from a respected brand, or a wireless security camera. These send a clear message that your home is protected, and will help prospective buyers feel like it's a more secure place to live.
If you have one, convert your cellar
If you're wondering whether converting your cellar adds value to your home, the answer is yes. In fact, converting your cellar is one of the home improvement areas where you’re likely to see a return on your investment. Converting your cellar helps to add value for a number of reasons, including:
- Cellar conversions provide your home with another living space, whether you turn it into a gym, pool room, office, spare bedroom or sleek cinema room.
- It gives your home a competitive edge, as not all properties in the same neighborhood have cellars.
Converting your cellar can set you back anywhere between $3,500 to $4,000 per sqm. So before you go full steam ahead, find out how much your property is worth before you give a cellar conversion the green light to ensure you are investing wisely in your property.
Add value to your home with landscaping
A well-landscaped home has a significant advantage over a home with no landscaping, according to research (opens in new tab) conducted by real estate company HomeLight. Over 75% of the top real estate agents across the US estimate that well-landscaped homes are worth 1%-10% more than homes with no landscaping.
A study conducted by Virginia State University discovered that potential buyers attach 5%-12% more value on landscaped homes based on plant size and design sophistication than they give to homes that have had not been landscaped.
One of the simplest and most effective landscaping tools is also one of the cheapest: proper lawn care. Getting rid of lawn weeds, keeping hedges in shape, and making sure your grass always looks neat and tidy (see our electric lawn mowers round-up for inspiration), are simple steps you can take to make the grounds surrounding your home look appealing.
To step things up a notch, download some landscape design software (opens in new tab) and use 3D landscaping tools to design and cost your outdoor project before you begin, giving you a feel for what the end result might look like.
Create a stylish patio area
When learning how to add value to your home, creating a stylish outdoor living spaces rank as the number one special function room among consumers, according to the results (opens in new tab) of a recent American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey.
With just 4% of realtors in the National Association of Realtors advising homeowners to add a new patio before selling, don't splash lots of cash to build one. That being said, if you already have a patio there are some simple ways you can spruce it up to help add value to your home. A great starting point is to string up solar lights (opens in new tab) to create cozy atmosphere.
The best patio heaters (opens in new tab) are also a winner for creating warmth and allowing you to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space even when the temperatures begin to dip, further expanding the living space of your entire home.
Add in a few nice plants and some comfortable patio furniture and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous outdoor living area for all occasions.
Make your home more energy efficient
When it comes to the sexy sell in 2021, nothing beats energy-efficiency. Prospective home buyers are becoming more environmentally savvy and more conscious of their energy footprint, so showing you’ve put some thought into that can give the selling power of your home a serious boost.
One of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste is to ensure your home is well-insulated. Adding insulation to your attic, basement and walls will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It can also net you a 116% ROI (opens in new tab).
Something that could shave an estimated 30% per year off your energy bill is investing in a good central air conditioning unit (opens in new tab) or upgrading your existing one if it’s older than 12 years. For maximum savings, look for AC with a high Energy Star rating as well as a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of over 15.
Use new flooring to add value to your home
You need to look at your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer, and when they walk through your door the first thing they will see is the floor. Are your carpets thinning? Are your tiles or wooden floor chipped? Does the vinyl look faded or stained?
When it comes to ROI, hardwood floors reign supreme. According to data (opens in new tab) from the National Association of Realtors, 54% of home buyers are willing to pay more for hardwood floors - around $2,000 more.
Don’t have hardwood floors and are unsure if they’ll suit your house? Use of one of the best interior design software (opens in new tab) programs and give yourself a visual before you make a decision. If hardwood floors are outside your budget, get the look for less with vinyl flooring.
Reconsider that swimming pool
Adding in a swimming pool is bound to increase the value of your property, right? Well, that depends. In some areas swimming pools make homes harder to sell as a lot of people don’t want the maintenance and upkeep costs.
The average cost to install, equip and fill a 600-square-foot pool starts around $30,000, and then you have your monthly utility costs and the chemicals needed to keep it clean. Little wonder potential homeowners see pools as a liability rather than a luxury.
Under the right circumstances though, a swimming pool can boost the value of your home by as much as 7%. Homes with pools sell well if you live in a neighborhood where most other people have them; where the climate is warmer and the pool doesn’t take up too much of the yard space.
If you’re wondering whether there’s any difference between pools and hot tubs (opens in new tab) in terms of home value, there isn’t. They fall into the same camp insofar as some buyers find them appealing while others will be put off by the required maintenance. Another option is to consider installing one of the best swim spas (opens in new tab) for fitness and relaxation.
Add a fresh coat of paint, inside and out
Painting the exterior and interior of your home work wonders when driving up the price of your property. This is according to a survey (opens in new tab) by HomeGain, looking at the top DIY home improvements that add value to your home.
Sprucing up interior walls results in a 107% ROI, while painting the exterior could net you a 55% increase. For the interior, steer clear of bold colors and go for warm neutral shades instead (think beiges, tans and grays), as these colors go with just about anything, helping buyers to more easily envisage themselves living there.
Can’t afford to paint every room in the house? Focus on the ones that look the most tired, or on small rooms where light paint makes them appear larger (and in turn helps your home feel more spacious).
For the exterior, stick to no more than three colors. A clean, fresh look that almost everyone loves is a neutral gray for the body, white for the trim, and a pop of color on the door. Going for mass decor appeal increase your chances of a sale.
Increase the square footage of your home
One of the biggest questions homeowners often find themselves asking is whether they should renovate before. Research (opens in new tab) by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has found that home remodeling spending is on the rise, up 7.5% in recent years, but is investing in trying to fix everything really worth it? Unless your home poses a health and safety risk, experts suggest your dollars are best spent on projects that improve the appearance.
Top real estate agent Peter Clark, suggests (opens in new tab) talking to your agent to figure out which cosmetic fixes will bring the biggest benefits. “There are very specific areas that increase the resale value of a home. They are, most of the time, found by region rather than nationally," says Clark.
"For instance, for a mid-range priced home in Portland, if you put in attic insulation, you should be able to recoup 145.6% of your investment. If you do a major kitchen remodel for a medium-priced home in Portland you can expect to get back only 80.9% for every dollar you spend."
If you do renovate, The National Association of Realtors ranks (opens in new tab) kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations as having the greatest ROI of interior projects. For exterior projects, new roofing, vinyl windows and garage doors come out on top.