How To Increase The Value Of Your Home
Your home will most likely be the biggest investment you make and no wonder. Property values continue to rise and often, this puts the dream of owning a home out of reach for many people. If you are lucky enough to own your own home, chances are you will sell it at some point to buy an even better home. When it comes time to sell you want the selling price to be a decent one so that you get a great return on your investment. Any projects you do decide to undertake needn’t be overly expensive and if you are capable of doing some of them yourself as a DIY project you can save yourself an enormous amount of money.
Here are 10 DIY projects you can do yourself that will increase the value of your home and get you the price you deserve.
1. Think About Street Appeal
The first thing potential buyers see when they arrive at your home is the view from the street. A shabby looking front is unappealing and will leave the impression that the interior is not much better. Before putting your home up for sale tidy up your yard. Make sure the lawn is neat and trimmed and any gardens are free of weeds. This is where a cordless lawn mower can be your best friend. They are convenient and will keep your yard looking stunning all the time.
A front yard that is bare may look neat but it also looks boring. That doesn’t mean you need to hire a landscape gardener to create something flashy. Consider planting a few shrubs or place several pots with different plants to make your yard look a little more inviting.
Cleanliness is also very important. Make sure your windows have been washed and apply a coat of paint to your garage door and fences if necessary. Garbage cans should be placed neatly at the side of the house somewhere but not in full view. Also keep any paths or your driveway clear of dirt, leaves and other debris.
2. Keep The Interior Clean
There is no point in having a pristine front yard if potential buyers walk into something that resembles a war zone. While it’s perfectly normal in a family home to have a few toys lying around and a couple of dishes in the kitchen sink, too much mess can be a real deterrent. Keep all areas of the house as clean as possible paying particular attention to the kitchen and any bathrooms. Remove any marks off the walls and floors and keep put away any kitchen gadget that makes the house look messy.
Once you’ve taken care of the main areas of the house go from room to room and make sure there is a certain level of neatness there as well. Beds should be made and clothes should be put away. One key point to keep in mind is that regular cleaning of your interior makes it easy to spot any problems before potential buyers do.
3. Let There Be Light
A bright, clean house is appealing to anyone that enters. If you have a lot of windows open those curtains and blinds and let your home be flooded with natural light. It will add to the feeling of a warm and cozy home. If it’s late in the day or cloudy outside and there is not much sun, make sure the lights are on if a buyer comes to inspect the home.
It’s not enough to just have the right lighting. You also need a variety of light fittings. A plain, stark looking light bulb in the middle of the ceiling isn’t very pleasant looking. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on good looking light fittings but they can do wonders at adding a little bit of charm to the room. Many fittings are simple in their design and just as simple for the DIY handyman to install.
4. Pull Out The Carpet
Once upon a time, the best houses all had carpets. They added color and warmth and people just loved them. These days, however, very few people like to see carpets in their homes. Sure, they look fantastic when they are new but after a while, they look worn and shabby. They also tend to absorb a lot of household smells and if some of those come from moisture, that moldy mildew smell can be quite nasty.
Depending on the age of the house, you may be lucky enough to have timber floorboards hidden under that unsightly shag pile. If you do, pull up that carpet and get rid of it. You’ll then be able to sand the floor down and give it a gorgeous coat of wood polish. This will make every room look rich and warm.
If you don’t have timber under the carpet, you can lay down tiles. The benefit of tiles is that you can choose colors and patterns that will make your home look classy and tiles are so easy to maintain and keep clean.
Pulling out the carpet doesn’t mean you can’t have any in your home. You can and should have rugs in certain areas like the living area and the dining room. Rugs add necessary color and warmth without being wall to wall. Plus they are easier to take out and clean as needed.
5. A Fresh Coat Of Paint Goes A Long Way
Let’s face it. Houses are not museums and families can be messy. Scuff and finger marks on the walls are inevitable in an average family home and some walls may even have dents or holes. Get yourself a small bucket of plaster compound and a joint knife and patch up those holes and then give the walls a fresh coat of paint. Choose bright, cheerful colors that will open up the interior giving it more depth and making it feel more family friendly. The new coat of paint has the added advantage of giving you pristine clean walls. Make sure you only use good quality paint as these are generally washed and torn meaning you can take to marks with a damp cloth and mild detergent.
6. Get Rid Of Popcorn Ceilings
The only popcorn you should have in your home is the type you munch on when you’re watching a movie. Unfortunately, many older homes also have those textured ceilings commonly known as popcorn ceilings. Once upon a time, these ceilings were considered quite chic but the reality was that this texture was added to cover up shoddy workmanship and uneven ceilings. Today popcorn ceilings look dated and unsightly. They are difficult to maintain and paint over so most homeowners are getting rid of them.
Getting rid of a popcorn ceiling is messy but definitely worthwhile. You can either scrape or sand the texture off, patch up any dents or holes and give the ceiling a fresh coat of paint and you’re done. You need to be careful though. Some older houses have asbestos in their roof insulation so you will need to check for this before you start anything else.
7. Keep Up With Regular Maintenance
Putting your home on the market is not the time to start neglecting your regular maintenance schedule. It’s the little things like doors coming off hinges or making creaking noises, dripping taps, toilets that don’t flush and flickering lights are all signs of neglect and yet are so simple to take care of. Make sure all your door hinges are lubricated to prevent unnecessary noise, tighten those taps, fix the toilet and have those lights attended to. Check your home regularly and take care of any problems immediately.
The maintenance also needs to be extended to the exterior of your home. We’ve already mentioned the yard and the front of the house, but don’t neglect the backyard areas or the roof. The roof needs to be checked for chipped or missing tiles and the guttering needs to be tightly in place and free of leaves and other organic matter. If any tree branches are getting too close for comfort, trim them off or cut down the tree completely.
8. Clear Any Clutter
No matter how clean your house is, clutter can be your downfall. Clutter looks messy and can make a room look small, dingy and uninviting. Start with the garage or the garden shed where most of your old stuff goes to die. Go through these storage areas and throw out anything you haven’t used in the last year. Then do the same in every room of the house. If you’ve got kids in the house with lots of toys, keep the toys in a box in a corner somewhere. There is nothing wrong with them being visible, but that doesn’t mean they should be all over the house. Clothes, toys and books should be put away and your kitchen and bathroom countertops should only have the essentials on them. Once you’ve de-cluttered your home, don’t leave all those bags and boxes of discarded items lying around. Throw them out or if you think they may still be useful, donate them to a local charity.
9. Create Some Flow
Take a look at how your furniture is positioned around your home. If you have to go through an obstacle course to get from one side of the room to the other, a potential buyer will too. This may give the impression that the area is too small and not very comfortable. Try rearranging your furniture until you have created a natural flow that makes it easier to pass through.
Don’t overlook the positions of your plants, pictures and other decorations. Make sure that they too are strategically placed around your home in such a way that your home looks cozy and in symmetry. Vases should go along the walls or under windows, pictures should be in the middle of a wall or right above a larger piece of furniture.
10. Revamp Your Kitchen
Many people often refer to the kitchen as the heart of the home and rightfully so. Many special meals are prepared and shared in this room and it is often the only room in the house that sees the whole family together at the same time. The kitchen itself needs to look user friendly and clean. If your kitchen is old, you don’t necessarily need to renovate the entire thing and you may not want to fork out a whole lot of cash for a new kitchen you may never use.
You can revamp your kitchen by doing a few things that will be just enough to make it look a little more modern and pleasing to the eye. One of the simplest tasks is to repaint the cabinet doors. A nice, glossy finish not only looks good, but is also very easy to maintain. A good splash back behind the kitchen sink will also make the kitchen look a lot nicer and will also be easier to keep clean.
When you purchase your home, you are investing your money to secure a better future. When you want to sell your home you need to invest your time and efforts to get top dollar for your investment. You can make life easier for yourself by keeping your home neat, clean and well maintained long before you put it up for sale.
You don’t necessarily have to devote your time and resources to every room or area of your house to impress potential buyers but you will most likely have to do quite a few of the DIY projects on the list. A word of warning though. Once you finish getting your home perfect enough to put on the market, you may very well fall in love with your home all over again and not want to sell it. That’s fine too. You don’t need to increase the value of your home just to see it. You can continue enjoying living there yourself.