For most people, a home is the largest investment they’ll ever make. With so much money on the line, making that investment wisely — and managing it well for years down the road — is critical to your financial stability.
But in addition to maintaining your large investment, you can also grow it over time by making updates to your home. Repair work is generally chalked up as home maintenance because it only serves to keep your home’s value steady. When you make improvements upon the quality of your home’s features, though, the value can increase, and sometimes considerably. This is particularly beneficial if your home is in an area where many of the houses are made from identical or similar blueprints — by differentiating, you can add even more value to your unique abode.
Here are some ideas to get you off and running in your efforts to increase your home’s value.
In some cases, you can increase your home’s value by giving a room a different type of functionality. One example is creating a sunroom to serve as a well-lit multi-purpose area catering to a variety of activities. But less involved upgrades can simply implement a new feature into a room and make it a more practical or fun space. That may include adding an island in your kitchen or a bar area in your recreational room.
And if you have a backyard, consider how a new deck — or an expansion of an existing one. Backyards sell homes, too, and your outdoor features will figure in to the home’s appraised value.
Appliances are one of the easiest ways homes get dated. Unlike the rest of an interior design, there’s nothing attractive about old, ill-functioning appliances. Potential buyers will shy away from homes where the appliances are old and unimpressive, and as the current homeowner, your quality of life won’t benefit from your frugality. Every so often it’s worth the money to upgrade your home’s appliances, including the refrigerator, stove, washing and drying machines, and microwave, among others. Your home value will increase accordingly, and the house itself will instantly become more attractive.
Finishes may be the easiest thing to replace in a home, but unappealing finishes can quickly turn off prospective buyers. But there’s plenty of other incentive for homeowners to upgrade these interior touches on their own: The increase in your home’s value is usually greater than the cost of making these changes. Plus, finishes are something that you can slowly transition to over time, and as money becomes available. Some popular upgrades to make include installing hardwood flooring, outfitting kitchens and bathrooms with marble counter tops, and adding other custom features like crown molding, modern cabinetry, beautiful woodwork and other appealing features. Just make sure these individual features are cohesive with one another.
Unlike other investments, a house isn’t something you can purchase and then sit on for years at a time. They require constant work if you want to maximize their earning potential. But that’s a great situation for industrious homeowners, because it increases their potential to make a good chunk of money off their investment. Always be on the lookout for changes that will both increase your enjoyment of the home and elevate its potential sale price.
Matt writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. He specializes in writing guest posts on home living and repair.