This is a guest blog post by Jeff Anttila with Redfin.
If you’ve been living in your home for a while, chances are a lot of little things go unnoticed. And now that you’re also probably finding ourselves at home more often these days because of the coronavirus, you may have begun to notice these things, like faded paint, chips in the tile, and the mildew on your home’s siding that has been building up over the years. Whether you live in a townhouse in Atlanta, GA and simply want to maintain the value of your home, or you are planning on moving to Dallas, TX, and looking to spruce your home up for resale, these are things even the most budget-conscious homeowner can address. To learn how to increase home value on a budget check out these top five home improvement projects that not only bring a return on your investment and appeal to potential buyers but will also add joy to your life.
1. Deep clean and declutter
Now is a great time to start going through your closets, storage areas, and everything else you own and begin eliminating things you no longer need. Not only does decluttering and deep cleaning help retain the value of your home, but it can also help reduce stress and anxiety in these uncertain times. Pay particular attention to your kitchen and bathrooms, as well as your living room as these are most often a home’s best selling points.
If you’re selling your home and already moved out, for less than $1,000, you can have professionals come in and deep clean your home. What that includes, exactly, will vary by company so be prepared with lots of questions. Make it clear that you don’t just want the range cleaned, you want it pulled out and the floor and wall cleaned underneath. What value does this bring to your home? According to a 2019 survey by HomeLight, deep cleaning can add as much as $4,000 to your home’s resale value. And you’ll have newfound joy every time you come home.
2. Paint inside and out
When selling your home, you want the prospective home buyer to picture themselves living there. That’s not going to happen with your teenager’s black walls or your mother-in-law’s flowery wallpaper. Neither will faded and dirty paint make them feel at home. Painting the interior of your home in a neutral color requires a relatively small investment for what you’ll get in return, which is usually more interested home buyers and hopefully more competing offers.
Painting the exterior of your home may cost a bit more, especially if you hire a professional, but the increase in curb appeal could sell your home faster. Does it need it? Take a walk outside and look around. Do you see any cracks or peeling? Has the color faded? If the answer is yes, the time to repaint is now.
3. Replace the garage door
While taking that walk outside, look at the garage door. They take a lot of abuse. How did it sound the last time you opened and closed it? Telltale dents from bike wrecks or flying balls go unnoticed after a while. Check the sweep, too. If blowing rains come under the door, chances are critters do, too and the sweep needs replacing. For less than $5,000, on average, you can reap an ROI of almost 95 percent when you replace it. Enhance your home’s character with windows or decorative panels and watch as the neighbors slow down to admire the improvement.
4. Add a manufactured stone veneer
To really spruce things up, consider giving your home a stone veneer facelift. Manufactured stone pairs well with many home styles and gives it a rich feel. If you have vinyl siding, this upgrade is something to seriously consider. On average, you can cover 300-square-feet of the bottom third of your home’s street-facing facade for less than $10,000 and reap a whopping 96 percent ROI, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report.
Why would you want to spend money on an upgrade like stone veneer if you’re just selling your house anyways? If your home is competing with several other homes in your area that are also for sale and are similar in appearance, a stone veneer is a great way to draw attention to your listing over others in the area and could help you sell your home quicker and for more money.
5. Increase home value by upgrading your kitchen
If a total kitchen remodel or renovation isn’t in your budget, consider a few upgrades. Staying under $5,000, there are quite a number of things you can do. To create the popular farmhouse style, remove your upper cabinets and replace with open shelving and repaint the lower cabinets a creamy white. Replace the countertop, flooring, or all the appliances so they match. Or, add an island to a large space. No matter which project you choose to do in the heart of your home, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry gives it a Joy Score of 10 in their annual Remodeling Impact Report.