Owning a home isn’t only an emotional experience. It’s also a financial decision that can pay dividends as you build up equity in your home and see your property value increase over time.
The rate of this property value increase can depend on a number of different factors, including the community where your home is located, local demand for housing, and the economy as a whole. But homeowners can also affect their home’s value over time by making upgrades and changes that increase its appeal and merit a higher selling price.
Whether you’re planning to sell in the near future or you simply want to continue to grow the value of your home investment, there are many steps you can take to increase the value of your home. Here are five proven strategies that can pay dividends when it finally comes time to sell.
- Remodel your kitchen
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more than half of home buyers (57%) prefer granite or natural stone countertops and about a fifth (21%) seek quartz or engineered stone. Only 8% prefer laminate. The other most desired features in the kitchen are a double kitchen sink (81%), a walk-in pantry (81%), and ENERGY-STAR-rated appliances (81%). When it comes to the color of the cabinets, home buyers prefer white (32%) or medium brown (26%). Black cabinets are at the bottom with 5%.
- Update your Bathroom
There can be nothing more off-putting to a potential buyer than an outdated bathroom with a tap that won’t stop leaking no matter how much you tighten it. A freshly updated bathroom can add a significant 3-5% value to your property, and whilst an entire revamp can be an expensive process, there are ways to update on a budget. Tips and tricks include buying a new toilet seat, shower unit, or taps, or even simply adding an exposed shower with a glass screen. As long as you keep the existing layout, as moving pipes and water inlets can dramatically increase costs, you can efficiently increase your bathroom’s value.
- Turn your garage into a living space
If you currently have a garage that isn’t in use, converting this into a living space could be an ideal option. When done correctly, this can add up to 15% value to your home. Whilst this may be a more expensive tip for your home, it is also one of the more cost-effective methods.
- Replace light fixtures
Adding or updating your light fixtures is a relatively inexpensive way to add value to your home. However, the amount your home value will increase after a lighting fixture update is hard to determine. It depends partly on the quality of both your existing and upgraded lighting. For example, if you have very dated lighting and replace it with premium fixtures, you could see a significant return on that investment.
- Improve energy efficiency
Buyers like the idea of saving money over the long term, so they will pay more for a house that is energy efficient. You can find ways to do this regardless of your budget. Install new appliances that require less energy to run. Replace old windows with new ones that are better sealed to prevent air leaks. You can ask for an audit of your home from your local utility company to find out where you can make improvements. They will show you areas that need to be repaired, enabling you to make changes before you list your property.