When you’re looking to increase your property value, it’s smart to approach potential home improvements from the viewpoint of a prospective buyer. To increase the value of your property, pay specific attention to the desires of prospective buyers when doing upgrades in your home.
With that said, bringing your home up-to-date does not need to cost an arm and a leg. In general, it can cost just an afternoon and less than $1,000 to create a look that buyers and appraisers will fawn over.
Give these easy and inexpensive home improvement ideas a try to increase the value and aesthetic appeal of your home:
1. Crown Molding
Rather than hiring a contractor to install luxurious real crown molding for hundreds of dollars, there are numerous inexpensive faux techniques you can use to create the same look yourself!
- Use a nail gun to mount decorative molding adjacent to the ceiling along the top of the wall. Four inches below the decorative molding, nail a second strip of decorative molding around the room. To finish the faux look, simply paint the blank 4-inch area with white paint.
2. Hardwood flooring
Having new hardwood flooring installed can be a very costly endeavor, often well over $4 per square foot. However, new materials like bamboo flooring can be surprisingly inexpensive. Bamboo flooring costs as little as $1.79 per square foot.
- For a 1500 sq. ft. home, the cost of bamboo flooring at the price quoted above would be approximately $2,700. Keep in mind of course that it is not recommended to put hardwood floors in bathrooms and kitchens. Omitting these rooms would obviously result in an even lower total cost.
- Many modern homes put hardwood flooring only in the entryway, living room, and dining room. Kitchens and bathrooms are generally floored with tile while bedrooms, hallways, and stairs are carpeted.
3. Updated landscaping
Your home only has one chance to make a first impression. Curb appeal sets the tone for how a buyer will feel toward your home before even walking through the door. Dingy siding and unruly landscaping that don’t match the interior will lower expectations.
- Simply tidying up can go a long way. Use a power washer to give your home’s siding a thorough cleaning. A quick wash of the deck, driveway, and entryway would be a good idea too. You can rent a power washer for as little as $70 for a whole day. That’s a tiny price to pay to increase your home’s curb appeal which could add thousands to the price tag in the right market.
- Flank your porch entry with flowers and plants on both sides. This is the perfect way to say, “welcome home” to prospective buyers (and the appraiser). Purchase plants and flowers that are in season and grown locally to save money. If you time the seasons right, flowers planted from bulbs can save a few dollars, although the effects will not be as instantaneous.
- Exterior shutters are traditional and add charm to your home. It’s easy to find shutters for as little as $65 per window at home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot.
4. Add a backsplash
A simple tile backsplash added to the unoccupied space between your countertops and cabinets can transform the look of your kitchen from dated and bland to one that appears high end.
- Minimize the expense by using a low-cost tile and then place a single strip of more expensive patterned tile in between. Coordinate the colors and you’ll save money using the cheap tile as a filler and making the expensive materials count.
- Consider some unconventional materials such as tin ceiling panels, tile flooring, or even painting a faux backsplash. Taking your creativity out-of-the box will usually pay off nicely when re-decorating.
5. Upgrade a bathroom
A bathroom upgrade does not need to cost $10,000 to look beautiful. Add together small upgrades to achieve an impressive impact.
- Frame your low-end mirror with a $100 mirror-framing kit from a company like MirrorMate or Moen.
- Add a set of brand new hardware to your vanity for less than $25.
- Paint an outdated vanity. This can cost as little as $25. Paint over tired laminate with a $50 faux-granite paint kit from a company such as Giani.
- Adding a fresh coat of neutral paint to the walls will go a long way.
- A simple bathroom upgrade like this would cost around $200. Now that’s a big bang for your buck!
As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your home routinely increases in value. It makes sense to upgrade your home with small value-adds that you know are sound investments because they’re highly sought after features by buyers.