The sale has closed, you’ve moved in all your stuff, and you’re settled in. Now it’s time to get to work. Think about 5, 10, 20 years down the road when you want to sell the house. There’s a host of repairs and improvements you’ll need to complete to maintain and increase the value of the house. The smarter you are and the more you do now, the better the chances of seeing a nice profit when you sell.
But you’ve got to start planning now:
- Look over the recent home inspection and note the age of the appliances and which will need to be replaced soon.
- Highlight systems the inspector thought needed improvements.
- Research the cost, time, and labor required for the major projects.
- Draft a maintenance schedule and stick to it.
- Create an improvement plan for value-increasing improvements you want to tackle over the next few years.
- Schedule each task and budget the funds needed.
When you’re planning these improvements, consider these factors:
Curb appeal is the first impression. If buyers aren’t attracted to the front of the house, why would they walk inside? Strong curb appeal makes people want to see more. Add a welcoming front porch. Spruce up the front door with a working door bell, new door color, and an overhang or awning. Siding replacement scores high on the cost vs. value reports and it’s low maintenance.
Snip, Trim, and Prune
Great landscaping is a big return on investment. Bushy vegetation blocks views and makes a house seem badly maintained, and fallen limbs, mold, and pests can cause damage. In photos, big messy bushes and trees can dwarf the house.
Clean up unkempt trees and bushes. Pruning the landscaping, especially in the front, can reveal attractive features of the house. Invest $400 in landscaping and see a significant price increase.
More light makes rooms seem bigger, warmer, and brighter. Dimmer switches allow you to adjust the mood for the occasion, and sky lights or sun tubes let in natural light. Don’t forget to fix window frames and panes.
Buyers are wary of having to shell out thousands of dollars for repairs on a house they just bought. A leaky roof, peeling paint, and an outdated furnace will turn away buyers before they consider other trendy improvements. Basic maintenance preserves and increases your home’s value. Replacing siding, roofs, or windows will recoup 80 to 90% of the cost, more than a major kitchen remodel.
The first priority for homeowners and prospective buyers is the structural integrity of the house. Repair investments aren’t as fun and flashy as your dream upgrades, but they should be tackled first.
Before heading to the home improvement store to max out your credit card, stop and think and do a little research. Consider how the desired upgrade fits in with the value of your house and the houses in the neighborhood, when you plan to sell, and how your house compares with others in the area.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive construction wise, and they’re the areas where it’s easier to see if money is invested wisely. If buyers won’t have to replace lots of dated appliances and counters, they’ll find the house more attractive.
When planning improvements, go with:
- Wood cabinets
- Stainless steel appliances
- Wood floors
- Stone countertops
- Walk-in showers
Also, knock out a few small easy bathroom improvements: replace frosted glass, clean the grout, and get a new toilet seat.
Another good bet for upgrades: go green. As buyers become increasing concerned about energy costs and conservation, energy efficient treatments and appliances like HVAC systems are growing in popularity.
Create More Space
The sale price can be increased 30% with the addition of 1,000 square feet, according the National Association of REALTORS. Remove a kitchen island or a useless, non-structural wall to create space and facilitate a sense of flow through the house. Bathrooms have the most return on investment. If you only have one bathroom, it may be smart to add a second bathroom, which can increase the sale price by almost 9%.
With more people working from home, adding a space that could be used as a home office could be a great investment. Sunrooms, family rooms, and crafts room will also stand out on the market and increase your enjoyment. But as with other improvements, keep an eye on the neighborhood trends; you don’t want yours to be the most expensive house in the neighborhood.
Keep these things in mind when you’re planning your improvement strategy. Why not boost the resale value as you improve and transform a house into your home over the years?
This is some of the advice real estate agents provide to their clients. Want to train to become an agent? The first step is completing a real estate prelicense course. 360training.com should be your first stop for convenient online real estate training. Enroll today.