Best Ways to Upgrade Your Home (And What Not To Do)
Want to increase your home’s value? Here are our top 5 house projects, inside and out, that will up your home’s value and increase your day-to-day enjoyment of living in it.
What To Do
Kitchen Appliances (energy-efficient)
One of the best ways to upgrade your home starts in the kitchen. Yes, we love the look of those farmhouse apron sinks and stylish cupboards, but nothing beats an all-around appliance upgrade. Appliances are what makes a kitchen functional and your time in it enjoyable. These days, refrigerator options range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, and the same for stoves, dishwashers, and other extras (did someone say built-in espresso machine?).
So what should you choose when upgrading your kitchen appliances? You don’t need to spend your entire year’s salary on a remodel to increase your home’s value. Go with energy-efficient, sleek, and consistent. Make sure your kitchen has a coherent, modern style with unquestionable function, but don’t go all-out. It’s easy to get all kinds of inspiration from websites like Pinterest!
If you can find the space for it in your home’s footprint, adding a bathroom will give you the highest return on the dollar. But even if you’re just looking to upgrade your existing bathrooms, doing so will add instant resale value. A new vanity and mirror, or even just a fresh coat of paint, go a long way here.
Finish that basement. You’ll add to the square footage of your house, giving you and the future occupant more living space or even the option to create a room for rent or an apartment for an aging relative!
Boost your home’s energy efficiency by upgrading insulation in the walls and attic (or installing insulation where there previously was none). You’ll reduce your energy bills and appeal to prospective buyers who are looking to do the same.
To the same effect, installing Energy-Star rated windows can increase energy efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling bills.
As we’ve mentioned above, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in making a home look modern and well-kept. Add landscaping to this list for curb appeal. Trim shrubs and plant a couple of dozen water-wise plants to bring aesthetic appeal to your front yard. Again, it doesn’t have to be the most elaborate landscaping design and expensive hardscape features. Keep the outside looking good, and buyers assume the insides are just as well-maintained and attractive.
We’ll also throw in a note about decks, while we’re outside. Decks add square footage without as much of a cost investment as adding another room, so they can be a great outdoor upgrade to increase your home’s value, as well.
What Not to Do
Basically, the what not-to-do list can be summed up as “don’t go deluxe.”
Don’t go all out with a swimming pool (which can read as more of a safety hazard than a luxury for some buyers), or with the fanciest, most expensive hardware, appliances, and finishes unless it’s just something you can’t live without while you still call this house your home. Most buyers don’t want to pay extra for something they consider unnecessary, so those high-end bathroom fixtures probably won’t add to your home’s overall value.
Remember, these upgrades can increase your own enjoyment of your home while you’re still living in it – so you don’t have to wait until you’re ready to put your house on the market! And you don’t have to go deluxe to see the benefit of these upgrades. If, or when, you sell, you’ll recoup a lot of the cost in the value you’ve added to your home, and in the meantime, you’ll enjoy a little added comfort and aesthetic pleasure.
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