Trying to get your home ready for the real estate market? Whether you’re anticipating a big sale or just simply want to make your home a little bit cozier, we’ll explore some of the top ways that you can not only improve the overall livability of your home but boost your home’s resale value in the process.
How to Increase the Value of Your Home
Adding Storage Space
Your home is your castle, and its appearance is important. Too often though, that castle really lacks the proper space for storage and desperately needs some serious decluttering. Cluttered cabinets and closets that are spilling over will leave a formerly clean house looking cramped and unsightly. For a small cost, you can add storage spaces to your home and increase your home’s value as a result. Whether you’re selling the house or expanding your family, added interior storage is always a bonus and will give those potential buyers even more reason to sign on the dotted line.
If your home has an attic, you have storage space to spare. Attics are generally overlooked when it comes to organizing. Building simple shelves and cabinets into your attic can dramatically increase the storage space that you have available. Your attic doesn’t have to just look like a giant warehouse – add some shelves and compartments for a fantastic storage solution.
If your attic is difficult to access, change that factor immediately. A drop-down staircase or a ladder that retracts will make getting into the attic much easier and will also be more impressive for prospective buyers. Or you can simply downsize on some belongings that you no longer use. I know, I know. There are just some things of sentimental value that cannot be sold or disposed of. However, as the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new.”
When you can gain access to the attic area without a hassle, you will make better use of the storage area available within the attic and it will no longer be a dumping ground for junk – it will be a valid storage space.
One appealing aspect of your home would be a properly insulated attic. If your attic currently isn’t insulated, this should be a priority renovation project. Many homeowners will want to use their attic as a mini extra living room or reading room, and temperature regulation will be important depending on the season.
Oh, and if you choose to have the attic double as a living space (or for when you have out-of-town immediate family, relatives, or friends visiting) you’ll obviously want to make sure it’s clean, especially the walls and the floors. Another important factor for a successful makeover is checking if anything needs updating.
Aside from insulation, it’s also a good idea to see if the foundation needs an interior tune-up (installing new and improved flooring, for example). From there, maybe you’d like to install some carpeting, paint the walls a different color. Nothing says “real estate potential” like a room makeover, am I right?
As far as cleaning the floors, well, it depends on the flooring type that’s already available. Is it wood flooring? Is the flooring engineered hardwood? Sweeping would work with pretty much any flooring type. A Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop can also work well with any floors…maybe more so than regular brooms. With cleaners, you can never go wrong with the kind that has plant-based and non-toxic ingredients. A cleaner that’s an all-purpose one like the Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser is even better!
The basement can be treated in the same way that you treat your attic. Spruce up your basement with cabinets and shelving and you’ll significantly increase your storage space.
While you’re in the basement, it’s important to make sure that there aren’t any bad odors. This can definitely be a make or break point for many prospective homebuyers. Also, ensure that the furnace/heater and thermostat are functioning properly. Your electrical fuse box is most likely located in the basement, and this is obviously a major asset that needs to be in top condition at all times.
You may want to consider updating any old washing machines, dryers, and other appliances to stainless steel models. This will give a modern look to your basement.
Open Wall Space
The open space that is above wall cabinets is another over-looked storage opportunity. Most new homes have nice high ceilings, but those cabinets do not go all the way to the top.
The foot or more of space that you have above your cabinets can be used for an extra shelf or to store larger items like baskets. If you’re remodeling your home, make sure the bookshelves and other built-in storage cabinets utilize that wasted space. Take the bookshelf all the way to the ceiling and you’ll add at least one or two extra shelves!
Add Shelves to Closets
Take the time to add shelves to your closets. Shelving is an inexpensive way to increase storage space quickly. Shelves can be placed over the clothing rod in your bedroom closet to store winter clothes or shoes. You can also add shoe racks and under-the-bed storage with very little cost. Many home supply stores sell ready-made kits for slide-out boxes that are placed under any bed. These boxes can be used to hold linens and will free the linen closet for other items. Shelving in the bathrooms and over windows also adds plenty of storage, giving you space to place flowers, plants, or knickknacks.
Recessed cabinets are another idea for additional storage space. These cabinets are specially designed to fit between the studs in your walls. They can be added with some simple carpentry skills and since they don’t stick out into the room, they add storage without taking up room space. Medicine cabinets and even china cabinets can be recessed right into your walls. Increasing the storage space of your home definitely adds value, plus you will find it much easier to keep your house looking tidy!
Focusing on the Master Bedroom
Your master bedroom is probably the room in your home that you use the most. Sleeping takes up plenty of time, so if you are going to spend all of this time in one room, why not make it as perfect as possible? The master bedroom is also a great selling point for many people, so it makes sense to put a little extra effort into updating its style, furniture, and structure.
What’s great is that a master bedroom remodel is easier than you might imagine. Focusing on this room will not only add value to your home but it will also give you an oasis for a restful night’s sleep.
Beginning with the walls, remodeling the master bedroom is a matter of color choice. You can pick your favorite color or go with a soothing palette to promote good sleep.
New paint and new window treatments can dramatically change the look of a bedroom. It’s best to go for something fairly neutral so that prospective buyers won’t be too put off by your tastes in style. What’s important though, is that you don’t make it look too bland. A style can still be neutral and bold at the same time.
A lot of the time, simply removing the old-fashioned wallpaper will modernize a home very quickly.
Once you’ve decided on your colors, choose some crown molding for the bedroom as well. Crown molding adds a graceful flow to the room without costing a fortune.
New curtains or blinds can also change the look of the room. Go with soft colors to create an inviting, yet restful bedroom.
Now onto another important subject: cleaning! Whether you’re getting ready to prepare the house for selling or doing a regular cleaning (which is always a good idea, anyway), you’ll need a good cleaner that won’t damage the paint job or structure of the walls. Why not go for a cleaner that has plant-based and non-toxic ingredients? The Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser is the perfect cleaner for the job.
Flooring is another remodeling mainstay. Take out the old carpet and replace it with wood or laminate flooring and you’ve changed the entire look of the room. While that’s not to say that hard flooring is any more appropriate or comfortable than carpet, it does mean, however, that your prospective buyers can see the room as more of a blank canvas. Also, it’s very common for buyers of a home to replace the carpets as soon as they move in – especially in the bedroom.
Keeping your floors clean is vital to maintaining the value of your home. Regular floor maintenance with a high-quality dust mop and high-quality wet mop will ensure that your floors maintain their original shine and luster over the years. Of course, you have to keep in mind the type of flooring that’s installed. For instance, which type of flooring can withstand moisture? Which type is waterproof or water-resistant? Which flooring makes it easy to dry mop or sweep with a broom?
For hardwood and laminate floors, wet mopping with a high-performance hardwood/laminate floor cleaner, followed by a hardwood/laminate floor shining solution, will result in the ideal finish. Prime examples of these cleaning product types are the Champion Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner and Floor Finish. Here’s the kicker: you don’t need to use much water when using either cleaner. Therefore, little to no chances of lessening the quality of the floor.
Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? For all other types of floors, wet mopping with a premium multi-surface floor cleaning concentrate, followed by a multi-surface floor shining solution, will produce the ideal look.
Don’t forget that throw rugs can add a splash of color without adding much cost and they can make a room look more comfortable in an instant. They’re even better for the bathrooms, especially whenever you step out of a shower or anytime during the Fall and Winter months when it gets colder (depending on your geographical location, though). Once you step onto those rugs? You’ll be so comfortable you won’t want your feet to even touch the hardwood floors. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. You get the idea, though.
Adding a Suite Bathroom
Adding a master bathroom is another option for master bedroom remodels. This bathroom is a must-have for home value and more and more people want one directly in their bedrooms. Most real estate agents will agree that it’s a great selling point for a home – people will love the convenience of having a bathroom in their bedroom and it ticks another box on their checklist of why they should buy your house.
A Large Closet
A large closet is a bonus for value in your home. Walk-in closets are standard for most master bedrooms, so if yours doesn’t have one, think about adding one. The addition of a large closet or new bathroom can add more value to the home than almost any other changes that you make because, these days, people have more clothes than ever. If you decide to add a large closet, ask yourself the following question: Self-install or hire a professional?
Let’s face it, whichever one you choose there’s going to be some financial investment involved. It’s up to you to decide which choice is the more affordable one in the long run. Research as much as you can and then choose wisely!
Make Sure You Have the Best Sized Bed for Your Room
Your bed should fit your room. If you have the space for a king-sized bed, but choose a queen bed, the bedroom actually looks larger. In fact, it’s better to have a room that looks larger than trying to squeeze a king-sized bed into a relatively small room. Doing this will make your room look cramped and uneven and it’s important for a bedroom to feel light and airy to prospective buyers. Plus, you’ll also need enough room for other large furniture pieces like drawers and nightstands. Another point is to apply this same logic for other rooms you plan to make for someone else (like children or visitors).
A long chest that sits at the foot of your bed is great for storing extra linens or throw pillows. The chest can free space in your linen closet for storing something that is used more often, and buyers are always looking for as much storage space as possible. Another great idea for storage: large storage bins.
Designing a master bedroom should include consideration of both function and beauty. Make sure your bed linens complement your window treatments and flooring and you will have a comfortable and valuable room in your home.
Get a New Bathroom or Get a Second Bathroom
Other than the kitchen, bathrooms are probably the most important rooms in the house. Whether you are trying to increase the value of your home for sale or just remodeling, the bathroom is a great place to start. Bathroom remodels are not as expensive as you might imagine, and you can even create a new bathroom with existing space in your home to add tremendous value. It is vitally important to make sure that any water pipes are in top condition, and if they’re not, make sure to get on top of any repairs that need to be done.
Faucets for the sink and the tub can be pricey, but it is important to choose the highest quality fixtures that fit your budget. In the long run, quality will pay off.
Beginning with the sink area, you can often change out the entire sink. Plastic sink models tend to scratch and peel, so look for sinks with porcelain or ceramic finishes. If you have the counter space, add a second sink for a “his and hers” bathroom. Those double sinks are an excellent trending selling point if you ever place your house on the market. People love them.
Showers and Bathtubs
Showers and tubs are also replaceable. Often, the entire shower area can be removed in just a few steps. Of course, you’d have to know how to do it. Never go into a DIY project without precautions or knowledge. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, duh!” Replacing that old tub with a new shower and tub combination can add value to your home.
The tiles that surround the bathtub are another easy fix. Replace those old tiles with bright new colors and re-grout the area for a totally new look to an existing bathroom. Don’t forget to apply that sealant periodically, though. Not sure if it’s as tedious as applying the sealant to tile floors, but I’m sure it’s just as important. The type of tiles chosen for the job is entirely up to you.
Flooring is another consideration. Worn linoleum can make your bathroom look tired and outdated. Consider removing the linoleum and adding a tiled floor to the room. Black and white tiles are a traditional favorite for bathrooms and can fit any décor – a great selling point.
An Extra Bathroom
Creating a new bathroom from the existing space in your home takes a little more effort. A large closet or small bedroom can be converted into a half-bathroom or full bathroom in almost any home. It’s a good idea to contact a plumber regarding the pipe placement for the bathroom fixtures. Once you have the bathroom concept in mind, you can begin by hunting for new cabinets.
Bathroom cabinets are often sold in sections, similar to kitchen cabinets. You can expand the size of your sink area by adding more sections to the cabinets.
Storage is important in the bathroom, as well. Remember that towels and other bathroom supplies take up plenty of space, especially if you store them in the bathroom itself. The more storage space that you can provide in your new bathroom, the more prospective buyers will fall in love with your new home.
Whether you design your own bathroom remodel or add a completely new bathroom to your home, the added value will definitely pay off in the future. Homes with several bathrooms are much more desirable than a house with a single bathroom. However, if you have no choice to remain with the one bathroom, there’s no reason why your bathroom can’t be the best on the block.
Getting a New Kitchen
Kitchen remodeling can be one of the most expensive and extensive projects when improving your home, and yet a modern and elegant kitchen is one of the first things that buyers notice when they check out a new home. Your tired old kitchen is the best place to start when home improvement is on the agenda. A new kitchen with glistening countertops and appliances brings the whole house together and creates a more valuable home that prospective buyers will love.
To remodel your kitchen, start with the simple chores. Many kitchens have walls covered in outdated wallpaper. Remove that wallpaper, put some fresh paint on your kitchen walls, and you’ve completed the first step.
Just paint alone can change the whole look of a kitchen; brightening dark corners and creating a happy space in the house. Choose colors that complement the flooring and bring attention to windows as this will help create a light and airy feel.
Cabinets and Surfaces
If you are unhappy with your dark wooden cabinets, rough them and paint them. Painted cabinets can bring light to a drab kitchen.
Traditional white cabinets with black hardware will look good in almost any home. If you don’t want to paint the entire cabinet area because of time or cost constraints, try replacing cabinet doors.
Whether you’re talking about cabinets, appliances, or any other hard surface throughout your home, maintaining a polished, shiny look is key for maximizing the appeal of your home. Many homeowners will waste a ton of money over the years by buying gallons upon gallons of polishes to keep their various items looking new. Thankfully, there’s a better and more efficient way forward. With one Champion Polishing Cloth, you can easily polish any hard surface throughout your home with the power of an entire gallon of polish in one single cloth!
Pretty glass doors or etched glass insets can add beauty and value to any kitchen. On a smaller scale, new hardware is also a boost for an aging kitchen. Replacing cabinet hinges and pulls with modern or colorful versions can be a quick fix for a tired kitchen.
Flooring is another relatively inexpensive way to change the entire look of a kitchen to impress buyers. A kitchen with linoleum or carpet can become dingy and drab quickly. Rip out that old flooring and add some new ceramic tile and you have a brand new room.
Light-colored tile and grout can brighten even a kitchen with dark wood cabinets. The combination of new paint and new flooring is one that is sure to please any prospective home-buyer, so if you plan to sell your home, invest in the flooring!
Adding new lighting or a ceiling fan to the kitchen can also change the look drastically. Florescent lights are harsh and can make a home look institutional. Take out those old fluorescent lights and replace them with pretty pendant lights or globe lights.
If you have the budget, new appliances can definitely increase the value and beauty of your kitchen. Switching that drab eggshell-colored stove for a stainless-steel version gives the kitchen a modern look immediately.
Stainless steel appliances tend to be easy to clean as well as trendy, so the benefits are pretty easy to see. A new refrigerator and dishwasher can also be more energy-efficient, cutting down on those big electric bills each month. Stylish makeovers for your kitchen do not have to cost a fortune and definitely add value to your home and make it more likely to sell in a tough market.
Your stove, utensils, pots & pans, and other kitchen items are constantly being exposed to cooking greases, and you’ll need to maintain their cleanliness with a robust and highly concentrated degreasing agent. The most effective and efficient product for this task would be the Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser. You will not be able to find another degreaser that matches the value of this product, since one 32 oz. bottle can make 256 gallons (4.5 55 gallons drums) of grease destroying cleaner!
Upgrading Windows and Doors
Selling your house takes effort but simple remodeling tricks can add value to your home and increase the selling price. One of the most important issues to resolve before selling a house is whether or not the windows need replacing.
Today, more than at any point in history, new windows and fittings are important to home buyers looking to create a more energy-efficient home (solar panels are becoming increasingly popular for eco-minded home buyers, and installing some on the roof of your home may be a worthwhile consideration.) The emphasis that is placed on “green” living and saving energy can work for you when you sell your house. That’s not only because people want to save the planet – they also want to save their money. The promise of lower energy costs will be a big plus for your home when it’s placed on the market.
If you can offer new windows that are durable and keep the heat in effectively, it’s a definite selling point for anyone looking to buy a home.
Technology changes rapidly and some of that technology includes changes in window materials. From the old wooden-framed windows to new aluminum and composite frames, windows are definitely keeping up with the changes. When you replace the windows in your home, take the time to check the sills and frames for rot or wear.
Soft sills and rotting frames will need to be replaced when you take the old windows out of the home. Replacing wooden frames with metal frames adds plenty of value to your home as it means they are more durable and will last into the future.
Keeping your windows clean is a must, especially when you have prospective buyers inspecting your home. Regular window cleaning with a high-performance all-purpose cleaner like Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser will guarantee that your windows remain blemish-free and “show-ready” at all times. It will also ensure that the views of the exterior landscaping projects around your property, such as your gardens, lawn, trees, hedges, shrubs, and other backyard outdoor decorations, will be as clear and defined as possible from every room.
Break the Mold
Keep in mind that you do not have to fit your new windows into that old window space. There are plenty of options for bowed windows and bay windows for your home. Window frames and sills can be modified to fit these new styles of windows and the beautiful view will pay for itself.
You can even choose specialty windows that come in odd shapes but fit into a standard frame. These windows add a fun look to the outside of your home, keeping it modern and exciting, and is a great way to give your house a little more personality.
Etched glass and colored glass are also great additions to your windows and doors. A few colored panels in your windows bring elegant light into the home for a very little additional cost.
Doors are another easy fix when adding value to your home. Doors can be purchased at most home stores and are simple to install. Along with your new doors and windows, you might add a security system. The addition of the system can be another selling point for your home and, since you are installing windows anyway, the work is not as difficult.
Windows and doors are some of the areas of the house that lose the most heat. Ensure that you invest in double-paned glass as these new windows are energy-efficient and can save you 20% or more on each month’s electric bill. If you have a heated garage, you want to make sure that your garage doors are of high quality for this reason.
Replacing those old sliding glass doors with French doors can also increase the value of your home. French doors add a modern and stylish look to the patio entrance or pool area. The addition of new windows and doors not only adds value to your home but also makes it safer and more energy-efficient – something that buyers are desperate for.
The Outdoor Makeover Experience
Whenever you’re about to see a home (whether you’re in the market for one or just visiting someone else’s home), the first thing you see is always the front yard. After you’ve seen the inside of a house, you’re curious about what the backyard looks like. Even though it’s been said that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, the outer appearance can either make or break a home buyer’s first impressions. Whether making an addition or a renovation, you are increasing value for the home and creating a fine outdoor experience.
Installing an outdoor deck
Before you break out your tools, you need to observe the outdoor space surrounding your backyard. If your backyard is small enough for just a nice flower or vegetable garden, then an outdoor deck is obviously out of the question. Yes, an outdoor deck looks luxurious, breath-taking, and very inviting, but don’t forget that you need enough space for yourself and your family. What if you want to get into landscaping or creating a flower/vegetable garden?
Now, if you’re lucky to find a home with a sizable backyard, then go ahead and get that deck of your dreams! If the home with the sizable backyard already has a deck, even better! Hey, you may observe that the deck could use some remodeling or expansion. If you see that it’s in need of a touch-up, repairing, repainting, and refinishing (think of the Champion Hardwood & Laminate Floor Finish for the job), these can all prove to be a smart financial investment.
There are two types of decks: wood and composite. For wooden decks, typical costs for repair can average approximately $1500. That turns into a more than 600% chance of costs recovered compared to the average resale increase. The addition of a wood deck (whether as a DIY project or a professional project) has an average cost of approximately $13,000 with an average resale value of approximately $10,000. When it’s time to sell, homeowners could recoup around 75.6% of the cost. Talk about a bonus!
The cost for a composite deck addition averages to a cost around $19,000 with an average resale value of around $13,000 and a recoup of 69.1% during sale time. As far as the upkeep of wood decks, expect to pay an average of $700 to re-stain wood every 2 to 3 years. If costly upkeeps are your thing, then an installation of a composite deck can be a better selling point/advantage for future homeowners of those looking for another house.
This probably looks like a lot of confusing information. Or maybe it’s not enough information. Whichever the case may be, research as much as you can. Before you even choose the deck of your dreams, excess research (and second, third, fourth, and beyond opinions) is a must to ensure which financial investment is the best one for you in the long run.
Installing/Buying a Fire Pit
When you see a fire pit in a backyard, what do you think of it? Intimate get-togethers with friends and family? Enjoying the night air while swapping stories? Nighttime ambiance? For the home buyers who need an excuse to enjoy some fresh night air (especially when it’s tolerable), a fire pit is a sure-fire way (so to speak) to boost the home value by 15-40% on average.
Whether toasting marshmallows (and making yummy s’mores in the process) in the Summer or Fall, cooking and grilling (why not give your grill a break for a change?), keeping mosquitoes and bugs many miles away, or if you really need a reason to cozy up to a warm soothing fire during those cold Fall and Winter days (or nights, if you’re feeling that adventurous), fire pits are appealing for potential buyers. At least, it sounds very appealing to me!
A fire pit will guarantee a recouping of 78% of house value costs for the homeowner when it’s time to sell. If you have the financial means, you could hire out for a professional project. If you prefer going the inexpensive route, you have the choice to either buy a fire pit or build one yourself as a DIY home improvement project. The inexpensive option can help homeowners increase the ROI (return on investment) of a fire pit up to more than 80%. Just don’t make the hazardous mistake of building it near any structures.
When I think more about it, maybe buying a fire pit will work out better in the long run. I mean, think about it. It’s portable, therefore you can take it with you when you’re ready to move into another house. That way, you won’t have to worry about the possible hassle of building another one. That’s not to say, though, that building one WON’T add to the value of a home. Just throwing out scenarios to think on, that’s all.
Installing A Patio
Whether in the front yard or backyard, apply the same logic as installing a deck: take into consideration the size of the surrounding outdoor space and the original size of the existing patio. From there, make the decision of how far you’d like to expand on the patio size. Maybe you’d like to have railings installed if there are stairs leading up to the patio. The financial investment of setting up a patio also depends on the materials used.
Concrete and stone patios are the most cost-effective considering they’re more durable than wood decks, therefore more affordable. Another plus is that concrete patios are more low maintenance because all they need is constant cleaning. To ensure the worth of the investment, the proper installation of a patio is a must. That’s where an experienced professional works best.
If you choose to update/renovate an existing patio, here’s what you need to know. Refinishing and repairing an existing patio can be a better option for homeowners. How, you ask? A remodel can provide a return of investment of approximately 500%.
Remember I mentioned that the outer appearance can make or break a homebuyer’s first impressions? Well, as with a well-maintained patio and deck, landscaping also proves that the outer appearance of a home matters just as much as the inner appearance, as far as buyer anticipation. Did you know that landscaped homes have the price advantage (worth from 1% to 10%) over homes with no landscaping? You don’t believe me?
Landscaping helps to increase the value of a home based on the following benefits: enticing interested buyers and the better asking price. Here’s one example: regular lawn care recovers an estimated 267% of upkeep cost during selling time. How’s that for an incentive to keep those lawns manicured and neat? Another example is that buyers associate more value to the home based on the amount of attention and maintenance put into flower beds, plant life, small trees (fruit and flower), etc.
As a result of lawn care, pruning, and gaining green thumb skills, you are being the best ambassador for your own house. It’s a lot of work, yes, but it’s the type that will pay off…literally! Hence, why landscaped homes result in a higher selling price. Does any of this make you eager to dig your hands deep into the dirt and have success grow from there?
With gardening, you might want to think about installing raised beds for your flowers, vegetables, and other plant life. That will especially attract home buyers that love to garden. Again, it depends on the amount of space in your backyard that you can spare for them. You may not have big enough space to build a raised bed. You may not have that much space to plant in the garden (crop size and space matters a lot). If you’re lucky to have a spacious backyard (or a spacious lot), then go for it!
There are some honorable mentions of increasing home value, such as building and maintaining an outdoor (or indoor, or both) pool, building a hot tub (indoor or outdoor), installing a bar, etc. It seems like the options are endless, doesn’t it? Like I mentioned within The Outdoor Makeover Experience section, it’s a lot of work in upkeep and maintenance. It’s a matter of what’s affordable and convenient for you. Oh, and (you may be tired of seeing this word, but I cannot stress this enough) research.
So, make the right choice for you, your family, and your home. You could be bringing in the right potential buyer!