Increase the Value of Your Home with These Five Tips

If you’re planning on selling your home in the coming years, now is the perfect time to start making home improvements that will increase the value and demand of your home once it’s on the market. Increasing the market value of your home, however, isn’t just a matter of replacing old appliances or dressing up rooms to look more luxurious. Follow these five expert tips on how to increase your home value without wasting time or money on projects that won’t pay off.

Paint everything

One basic improvement that will almost always pay off is a fresh coat of paint in each room of your home. It isn’t a very costly improvement, and it can both clean up and modernize rooms that are in need of an update.

Remember that your walls make up the majority of what buyers see when they walk through your home. The wall paint makes up the big picture that all of the small details of your home fit in, therefore your paint colors should be chosen to fit the style of the home and the time that we live in.

Avoid colors that are too dark or too blindingly white. If you’re at a loss for which colors you want to use, try out a free color palette creator online to experiment with different schemes.

Door replacement

As a new home buyer approaches your home for the first time their eyes are going to be locked on the door. Take advantage of good first impressions with a quality door. One that compliments the exterior color of your home will do wonders to improve the overall appearance of your home.

Aside from their aesthetic value, doors also provide insulation and security. Choose a door that is EnergyStar certified to keep the heat in, but also make sure it has top rate locking mechanisms so the next family to live in your home feels safe.

Increase storage space

Storage capacity is highly sought after in the house market. No one wants to drive to a storage container just to get their belongings. Having all of your property in one place makes things less complicated. Increasing storage space can seem difficult or impossible, but there are a few tricks that will help convince potential home buyers that they won’t run out of room. Here are four of our favorites:

  • Install storage beds in the bedrooms
  • Buy a kitchen table with a storage cabinet
  • Put a bench in the mudroom that has storage inside
  • Install cabinets in your garage or shed to take advantage of unused vertical space

Kitchen and bathroom makeover

Two rooms in your home that will attract the most attention are the kitchen and bathroom(s). The kitchen has endless opportunity for upgrades. Installing a new sink, cabinets, and a hanging pot rack can all give your kitchen a modern makeover.

In the bathroom, surface level upgrades like a new toilet seat and shower curtain and bathroom mirror go a long way. Upgrading an old bathtub, shower head, and toilet are also great ways to increase the value of the room. Keep in mind energy efficiency when purchasing any of these items.

Know the neighborhood

Determining which home improvements will most increase the value of your home is dependent on many factors, including the neighborhood you live in. It is possible to “over-improve” your home to the point where it looks too luxurious next to your neighbors’ homes. Ask the experts–real estate agents and contractors–for advice about improving homes in your neighborhood.

How to Avoid a Low Home Appraisal

A house needs to be sold three times when it is on the market. First it needs to be sold to other agents so they will want to show and sell the home. Second it needs to be sold to buyers and lastly to the appraiser. Even if the buyer is willing to pay a certain price for a home they usually need a mortgage. That means it is actually the bank who is buying the home. The bank wants to protect their investment so they do an appraisal. When the appraisal comes back low or as an under-appraisal deals can fall apart.

If you are a seller or a buyer you need to know how to protect yourself from short appraisals? Here are some suggestions from Bankrate.com for buyers and sellers.

If you’re a buyer:

— Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county.

— Request that the appraiser have a residential appraiser certification and a professional designation. Examples include the Appraisal Institute’s senior residential appraiser, or SRA, or member of the Appraisal Institute, or MAI, designations.

— Meet the appraiser when he or she inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps.

“Many appraisers are just pulling up data out of MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or off the deed at the courthouse and not checking it out,” Sellers says. “Most good appraisers will appreciate the information.”

And yes, you can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition only applies to your lender.

If you’re a seller:

–·Get an appraisal before you list a home. Search for a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute website.

— Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home.

— Give a copy of your pre-listing appraisal to the buyer’s appraiser. The more professional appraisers will understand that you’re just trying to add more data and another perspective.

— Question a low appraisal. There’s always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.

Kitchen Remodel for Every Budget

Kitchens are often the hub of the home and when it comes time to put your home on the market it is often said that kitchens and baths sell homes. A kitchen remodel can be expensive and time consuming. There are things you can do to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money or time. Here are some inexpensive tips to get your kitchen in tip top shape in no time.

-Upgrade your appliances
Updating or upgrading your appliances will give your kitchen a fresh new look. You can start by ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. If new appliances are in order you can find great deals at at discount stores. Many stores have scratch and dent appliances that may only have a small imperfection on the back of the appliance or in a place where no one would see it. This is a great way to save lots of money for more expensive appliances.

-Pretty it up with paint
New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. Choose a semigloss latex paint, which is easier to clean and holds up better in kitchens. Don’t forget to paint the trim too. Clean and wash all the walls and trim before painting. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surfaces properly.

-Get organized
Even if you have the newest cabinets and appliances a messy kitchen is never attractive. Keep clutter at bay with drawer organizer for utensils, pot racks and pull out trays for cabinets. If you need more room in your kitchen, utilize empty walls. Add open shelves with some neatly placed bowls for a great decorative and storage alternative

-Use the right lighting
Replace flood lights with a brighter and cleaner looking halogen bulbs. Install under cabinet lighting for a new look. Use decorative lights over the kitchen table or island to set the mood.
Older chandeliers can get an easy upgrade by placing small shades over the bulbs.

-Refurbish the cabinets
If your cabinets need a new look consider either refinishing them or giving them a lot of elbow grease. Cabinets easily build up with grease and dust. Use a cleaner with orange oil to get rid of the grime. Test a spot first before cleaning the whole kitchen. If the cabinets are worn, consider refinishing or repainting the doors and frames. Adding new drawer pulls, hinges and handles can also make a big impact.

-Fix the floor
An affordable way to have a do it yourself new floor is to install vinyl tiles. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and durable. At less than $2 per square foot, you can put a vinyl floor in just about any kitchen for $500.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to achieve big results. Most minor kitchen renovations will recoup at least 83% of the cost and may even add value to your home.

What Buyers Say They Want in a Home

What do buyers want in a home? Is it location? Is it size? Could it be an endless list of amenities ? According to a survey done by The National Association of Homebuilders, they want all of the above.

According to the survey, buyers say they want a home that is approximately 2,000 square feet. Unfortunately, only one-third of the current homes on the market have 2,000 or more square feet of livable space. Most homes are nearly 40 years old and don’t have many of the amenities buyers want.

So what is a seller to do? If your home is smaller than what most buyers want, play up on your homes good points. Here are some other features buyers want that could help overcome the objection to the homes smaller square footage.

Location: Buyers may consider a smaller home if it’s located in the best school district or in a great commuter location.

Possibilities: A smaller home may have potential for expansion, making the home suddenly more appealing.

Great space: The home may not have the square footage buyers want, so show off the space it does have. Remove any furniture that doesn’t complement the home, making the home seem spacious and uncluttered.

If your home is smaller than what many buyers want, emphasize the amenities that it does have. Help buyers see the potential in your home. Don’t let them rule it out just because its current condition doesn’t meet all of their needs.