With home values still relatively low, it can be frustrating to try and increase the value of your home. You might not have the financial means to remodel, and the chances of recovering the costs associated with such a move are slim at best. However, if you have a little extra cash coming, say due to a tax refund for example, you might increase the value of your home, and your enjoyment in it by considering some spring simple touch-ups:
You’d be amazed at what a new coat of paint can do to a home. A home looks cleaner, and more welcoming when it has been freshly painted. The colors you choose can also create an atmosphere that can improve your ability to sell your home. Some colors contribute to a feeling of openness, making your home feel bigger, even if it isn’t. If you plan to sell soon, choose relatively neutral colors that could conceivably match a wide range of decor.
2. Replace Old Windows
You can save money on energy costs, and add a selling point for your home at the same time if you replace old windows with new energy efficient windows. If you do it this year, you can get a federal tax credit to help offset some of the cost. Check with your state and city governments as well, since some states are offering additional credits, and some cities offer interest-free loans to help you more easily afford the cost.
3. New Flooring
Check the carpet. Is it starting to look worn? Is the linoleum scratched or gouged? If so, it might be time to replace some of the flooring. You don’t have to re-do the whole house either. Just replacing the flooring in high traffic areas can go a long way toward sprucing up your home. It will look nicer, cleaner, and be more attractive to prospective buyers.
It’s called “spring cleaning” for a reason. Go through your home and get rid of items that are cluttering up the space. Give your stuff away to friends and family, or hold a yard sale. You can even donate it to charity for a tax deduction (just get a receipt showing the value of the items). Consider the arrangement of your furniture, and see if you can upgrade the look of your home by moving some of it to new locations. If you are planning to sell your home, understand that cleanliness is a huge help, as is the way the home is staged. A well-arranged home looks larger, and is more likely to sell at a price closer to what you are asking.
5. Clean Out the Yard
Take an inventory of your yard — especially the front yard. Curb appeal is a big deal, and you can boost your home’s value just by keeping the yard in good shape. Keep the lawn properly cut, and trim any bushes or hedges that you have. Plant attractive flowers, and consider adding one or two decorations. Simple decorations like benches, well-placed stepping stones and small fountains can enhance the appearance of the yard. Avoid getting too carried away, though; a cluttered yard is just as off-putting as a cluttered house. And stay away from those weird garden gnomes.
It’s Not Always Price
Take stock of how much you can do to realistically improve your home. If you can do two or three things on the above list, you will see your home’s appearance and value improved. Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home, why not do a couple of the above if it means a more enjoyable time living in it?