Whether you’re looking for more enjoyment from your home, or thinking about selling, the following recommendations will help you get the most value:
1. Update your kitchen
It’s estimated that nearly 90 cents of every dollar spent in a kitchen or bath remodel is directly translated into increased home value.
2. Rethink your space
What are your home’s living space ratios? 50% bedroom, 40% living room, 10% kitchen? Achieve a better balance by knocking out a wall, removing a small closet, or combining two smaller rooms to make a master suite.
3. Dress up a bathroom
Giving your bathroom an update not only increases the value of your home, it increases your overall enjoyment of your home.
4. Finish that basement
The value of a home increases with the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. If you've got unusued space downstairs, why not transform it? If you don't need a new bedroom or bathroom, consider a separate family room, home theater room, exercise rooms, game or play rooms for the kids. Custom touches like a wine cellar or personal sauna can often set your home apart from others when it's time to resell.
5. Improve your home’s envelope
Whether it's new energy-efficient windows, installing a storm door, or hard-wiring in a basement dehumidifier, making your home more impervious to the elements can save you money in energy bills while increasing its value.
6. Freshen up the interior
New paint in today's colors, new tile or hardwood flooring, sometimes just a new vanity or re-tiling of your shower is all it takes to give your home an updated look.
7. Add outdoor living space
If there's ample room in your back yard to do it, consider adding a deck, covered porch, or screened-in patio to provide an extra room during the summer, or a haven for outdoor entertainment.
8. Improve landscape
The best way to freshen up the look of your home from the outside is to trim back overgrown hedges and trees. If you've got a fence, does it need a fresh coat of paint? Or would planting low shrubbery in front of a wire fence add a more attractive, softened look? Sometimes a variety pack of flowers can go a long way towards giving your home that extra added curb appeal.
9. Update utilities
If you're already planning to do a kitchen or bath remodel, that's the perfect time to consider upgrading your plumbing or electrical. If you don't have remodeling plans in mind, take heart, many electrical and plumbing updates can be done with very minimal impact to your walls.
10. Add extra storage
If your home doesn't have a garage, adding one could help raise its value in the neighborhood. If you have a separate garage, is it possible to build a connected sunroom or mudroom for storage and transition space?
Remember, some home improvements can be financed using the value of your home for little to no up-front cost!