Things To Do At Home With A 5 Year Old Dollars & Sense – How to Increase the Value of Your Home

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Dollars & Sense – How to Increase the Value of Your Home

It’s no secret that a complete remodel, even if it’s just one room, can cost thousands of dollars. While the cost may be justifiable if you plan to stay in the home for a long time, most remodeling projects increase your home’s value by no more than 80 or 90 cents for every dollar you invest. So if you’re looking to sell your home soon, or if you’re buying and selling a home for a profit, you want your improvements to be simple and inexpensive.

Maybe the place to start is improving the things people can see. The first thing buyers see is the outside of your home. In rural or suburban areas, home sellers need to make sure the bushes are trimmed, the lawn is mowed, and the landscape is neatly trimmed. Improving these areas and eliminating these highly visible eyesores will add the most value for your home dollar. Consider these ideas:

Clean up the yard. Remove litter and waste from the garden. Mow your lawn and keep it in good condition by watering properly and using seasonally appropriate fertilizers. Use a weed puller to get into tight corners and along sidewalk edges

and the house. Trim the hedges, remove weeds and mulch the lower beds.

Remove clutter and clutter from your home. Chances are you’ll be showing the house to potential buyers, so you’ll want to organize and declutter the house or put it in storage. The goal is to make the home as least emotional or impersonal as possible so potential buyers can imagine living there. Your house is much more marketable the less stuff it has, plus a nice, tidy house will seem bigger and more elegant.

Clean, clean and clean some more. Nothing will improve the value of your home more – and for such a small investment – than a good cleaning. Mold, mildew, leaks, stains or any sign of dirt is unattractive and will do little to whet the appetites of home buyers. Homes that look and smell clean have a lot of appeal in the market. Even an older house with older appliances will thrive if everything is sparkling clean.

It is much cheaper to wash walls or tiles than to repaint or replace tiles, and a good cleaning will often make your home look like new. Pressure washing the exterior of your home and washing the interior walls. Clean your windows so it’s hard to tell they’re even there.

What about odors and pets? You may adore your dog, but that doesn’t mean potential future owners need to be reminded of their presence. Keep in mind that pet, cigarette, and food odors tend to linger, so clean carpets, floors, and furniture and do what you can to remove these odors.

Add a new coat of interior paint. Sometimes you just really need to repaint, but you can do it yourself relatively cheaply on interior walls.

First, patch all the holes, no matter how small. For a silky smooth finish, apply a coat of primer. After the primer has dried, lightly sand it with fine sandpaper (grit 220). Apply the first layer of latex paint and then lightly sand that layer as well. After each sanding, wipe the walls with a damp cloth. Then apply a final coat of latex paint.

Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars on good rollers. These $10 rollers will make your walls look mottled. Also, paint with a neutral color like beige. This will make the house appear larger and will not be offensive to buyers. In addition, a semi-gloss coating will make your walls brighter. If your walls have imperfections such as dents in the drywall or cracks in the plaster, consider using a flat paint to hide the imperfections. Keep in mind that flat paint shows dirt easily and is difficult to clean, so leave it until just before the open house.

Consider the kitchen and bathroom. Realtors say kitchens and bathrooms often sell a house. When it comes to the kitchen, the most important thing for buyers is that it looks spacious. For example, if your kitchen is full of appliances, you may decide to keep one or two appliances there, but the rest should go.

Outdated or worn cabinets can bring down an entire kitchen, but they are relatively cheap and easy to fix. If you have a dark or small kitchen, make it look bigger and brighter with a lighter cabinet surface.

When it comes to bathrooms, studies show that homeowners who do major bathroom remodels recoup 88% to 91% of their costs. Apart from major renovations, estate agents say that simply replacing towel rails, toilet seats, light fixtures, drawer/cabinet handles or a sink can make all the difference to potential buyers. Freshly seal and redo grout on countertops, sinks, tubs and showers.

What about the roof? According to realtors, the biggest concern of most home buyers is the roof. Usually, if your roof is 5 to 10 years old, you’ll probably be fine. But a roof that is 17 to 20 years old or more can be a problem. Buyers tend to run away from maintenance issues that haven’t been addressed, and the more issues they find, the more they’ll want to negotiate a lower price.

Carpet and floor cleaning options. You can shampoo or steam clean your carpets, or you can use a dry cleaning system that doesn’t require borrowing water or a steamer, and it dries instantly and kills virtually all mold and bacteria. Apply according to manufacturer’s instructions and then vacuum. If all else fails, get carpeting done by a professional. You’d be surprised how much better your carpet will look after a good cleaning.

If your carpet is in poor condition, you can replace it, or you can restore the original wood floor. Wood floors are very popular these days and in many cases older homes have nice wood floors under the carpet. Rip up a piece of carpet in a closet or other inconspicuous place to check the condition of the floor and compare the cost of refinishing hardwood to the cost of installing new carpet.

Lights, modern switches and sockets. Some of the new style switches can be easily installed using wires already routed to the old switches. Before doing any work, make sure you turn off the power to the room or the entire house. The new outlets look nice and give the impression that the electrical wiring in the house is newer than it actually is.

In general, older people are more sensitive to glare than younger people, and many people prefer indirect lighting to direct lighting. “People often prefer lights to be tucked away, so the light source is disguised. Nice warm colors are also appealing,” he says. Also recommended: On darker days, keep the lights on and the curtains open.

Install wood paneling and moldings. Simple ceiling wainscoting or moldings and chair rails are the easiest and most typical DIY upgrades found in newer homes and go a long way to improving the look and feel of rooms. To make an even bolder statement, paint the walls a neutral flat color and paint the trim a high-gloss white.

Hang fresh curtains and blinds. Blinds don’t cost much and curtains can be cheap too. The sun will fade the colors from your blinds and curtains over time, so the new ones will make a better impression than the old ones.

Five Fast Facts for Home Improvement

When it comes to renovating your home, it’s amazing how quickly things can snowball. Take the bathroom for example. Maybe all you want to do is remove the old, peeling wallpaper and add a new coat of paint. Then you start thinking about replacing the old linoleum floor with tile to complement the new paint, replacing the toilet and maybe adding a new countertop.

Just like creating a budget to manage your income and expenses and living within your means, it’s smart to plan your home improvements and distinguish between what really needs to be done and what you want to do. Consider these tips:

  1. First things first – take it one room at a time.
  2. Remember, when it comes to home improvement, it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. Keep your remodel manageable and affordable by tackling it one room at a time. Completing a project will give you a greater sense of accomplishment, plus you’ll discover key lessons that you can apply in the next room.

  3. The appeal counts. Take a critical look at the appearance of your home from the street.
  4. Small, inexpensive changes will go a long way to improving the look of your home. Keep personal belongings out of the front yard. Trim the weeds, maintain the yard and make sure your lawn has a healthy green appearance.

  5. Clean now and earn later.
  6. Keep your home clean and clutter-free for your own enjoyment now and for a bigger and faster return when you decide to sell.

  7. Focus on kitchens and bathrooms.
  8. You’ll hear it over and over because it makes sense. An updated kitchen is cash in the bank when selling your home. The good news is the added value, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a total remodel. And remember, bathroom updates are second only to kitchens when it comes to maximizing a homeowner’s return on investment.

  9. Pay off the principal.
  10. When you sell your house, the profit you get will be the amount left over after paying the outstanding loans. You can build more equity and put more money in your pocket at closing by paying down principal whenever possible.

Beware of over-enhancement

There are many factors that go into deciding what improvements will really add value to your property versus being an excessive cost to you. For example, adding a garage instead of a carport would definitely make your property more attractive to buyers in almost any neighborhood. However, adding a pool to the backyard would probably only be an effective improvement in a warmer area – not in a neighborhood that experiences 7 months of cold weather per year!

When it comes to your home’s resale value, the best home improvements are mostly cosmetic — a new roof, paint, carpeting, minor kitchen and bathroom repairs, and just the kind of improvements and additions that bring your home in line with others in the neighborhood. Such improvements will increase the value of your home practically dollar for dollar. To find out what might be typical in your area, do some research. Take a drive and see what the houses look like. Attend open days. Track sales prices and assortments. Improvements are generally wise as long as they don’t push your home’s value 20 to 25 percent above the current value of similar homes in the community.

Typical improvements and their approximate value:

  • Minor kitchen remodeling, 94%
  • Addition to the bathroom, 89%
  • Major kitchen remodel, 87%
  • Addition to family room, 84%
  • Two-storey addition, 84%
  • Attic bedroom, 83%
  • Main set, 82%
  • Bathroom renovation, 73%
  • Siding replacement, 71%
  • Board allowance, 70%
  • Window replacement, 68%
  • Home office, 64%

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