5 of the Best Home Improvements to Increase Its Value

Some home improvements are made to a house in Lincoln, NE before it is listed for sale.

The goal of selling your home is to get as much value out of it for as little effort or expense as possible. While for most homeowners, that means selling a house as is, for some, adding to the curb appeal or tackling internal renovations to increase the value of their real estate is worth the cost and the effort.

For homeowners looking to add value to their property, the question is, what improvements will add resale value to the home without breaking the bank?

If you want to increase your home’s value before you put it on the market, here are some suggested home improvement projects you should seriously consider.

Best Home Improvements to Increase Value

Unless you add so much of a return on investment that you can recoup the cost of a home improvement, you should stick to smaller, less intensive changes. For example, you might consider making your home more energy-efficient or installing a garage door replacement versus an entire kitchen remodel or complete home renovation.

Practically, what that means is that you should consider three factors when deciding what improvements to make to increase your property value:

  • The approximate increase in home equity a home improvement will bring to your asking price
  • Whether your improvement will place you outside of your real estate market
  • Whether what you are doing is something the future buyers will want to do themselves

Before you endeavor any home improvement project, you should assemble a cost vs. value report and assess if your project is worth the cost, time, or effort. If you are unfamiliar with designing that type of analysis, talk it over with your realtor.

Your realtor will have experience with that analysis and determine the best home improvement projects you can pursue. Additionally, they will know your local real estate market and will be able to tell you if a project will place you out of the market or will make it difficult to find interested buyers.

If, for example, your property is best suited for

Projects that might be worth doing because of the cost vs. value analysis include, but are not limited to:

  • Uncover hardwood floors to refinish them
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Minor kitchen remodel
  • Updating or replacing countertops
  • Window replacement (fixing old or installing new windows)

Quick Home Improvements to Make

The concept of a quick home improvement project is subjective. What is “quick” to a full-time contractor will be much different than what would be considered quick to the average homeowner. 

Even something as simple as replacing a front door or installing a faucet can become a major project that takes a lot of time if the person doing the work is not experienced or skilled.

Generally, however, quick home improvement projects do not require a third party to be involved and can be done with no or very little specialized equipment. For example, improving the functionality of a backyard by clearing out brush is a quick and inexpensive fix.

Some examples of quick home improvement projects include but are not limited to:

  • Updating to high-end bathroom fixtures
  • Replacing light fixtures
  • Cleaning up outside to increase the home’s curb appeal
  • Install new appliances
Some home improvements are made to a house in Lincoln, NE before it is listed for sale.

Cheap Home Improvements to Make

Often, the best home improvement project is mostly aesthetic that you can do yourself. A side benefit to this type of project is that they often will not cost much.

Here are a few examples:

  • Powerwashing vinyl siding
  • Putting a fresh coat of paint on daily living areas (living room, family room, bedrooms, baths, kitchen, etc.)
  • Install runner carpeting in hallways and down steps
  • Add privacy shutters to interior windows

When your goal is to improve your home as cheaply as possible, focusing on appearances rather than enhancements is important. Enhancements, such as adding new appliances or remodeling part of your home, are almost always expensive. Improvements focusing solely on the aesthetic will almost always be a less expensive option (and easier to implement.)

Adding an Extension to Your Home

Adding an extension to your home is one idea that will greatly increase your sellable living space, but it is not quick. If you are looking to sell a house fast in Papillion, for example, any home remodeling or addition project will take weeks and might not be feasible, no matter how much it improves your living area.

Additionally, there is the issue of cost. The average cost of a remodeling project can quickly get out of control, and if you do not manage it properly, it could eat up any perceived increase in home value. You must create a design, get construction permits, hire a contractor, and get materials and equipment.

A portion of your home will likely be off-limits for the project’s duration. Avoiding the construction zone can be an issue if you are trying to get the rest of your home ready for the market. You likely must view your home as off the market for the project’s duration. 

The one exception is if you receive a superb offer. Staying away from any construction is to keep everyone safe and put forth the best version of your home possible.

It is also a good idea for projects of this scope to have a dedicated project manager, even it if adds to your overall cost. Sometimes, your realtor can play this role, or you have a family member that can dedicate the time and effort necessary to manage the project effectively.

Regarding raw value, though, adding square feet to a property via an addition to a home is difficult to beat. It is a tangible selling point that will not likely run off most potential buyers. Adding a finished basement will make the house appealing and can be a valuable enhancement that can attract certain buyers.

Convert Your Loft Into a Room

Another idea that will add value and will not cost as much as an addition to your home is to convert a loft into a room. Lofts can be turned into unique rooms that add character to a home and increase the square footage of livable space, which is also a selling point.

Depending on the layout of your home, loft conversions can go in several different directions. 

Much depends on the size of your loft as well. Ideas for your loft conversion include, but are not limited to:

  • Family room
  • Play area
  • Home office
  • Reading and study space
  • Craft space
  • Bedroom
  • Extra storage space

What you decide to do with the loft will set your budget and determine how complex of a project you are facing.

If, for instance, you decide to create a playroom for your children, you will want to add paint and wall decorations, furniture, etc. An office can only require you to add furniture into the space to make it look like a work-from-home space. If you use the loft as a storage space, you only have to make room for whatever you think would be stored there.

Landscape Your Garden

If you are looking for a very inexpensive way to improve the overall appeal of your property, adding to or improving your landscaping can completely remake the look of a home at a minimal cost comparatively. While not the most value you can add to a home, landscaping modifications cover a wide range of improvements, ranging from simple to complex.

On the simple end, adding a few bushes or cleaning your drive, sidewalks, and yard can greatly improve your property’s aesthetic. Complex (and much more expensive) projects can include adding structures like gazebos or intricate hedging.

Whatever you choose to do, you must keep in mind your future buyers. Do not undertake a project requiring them to expend a lot of time or money to keep your landscaping up or remove any aspect of your plan. For example, mitigating a swimming pool can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the pool’s layout.

Likewise, removing a gazebo or swingsets might entail costs such as hauling unused structures to the dump. If you use chemicals on your landscaping, give the new buyers the option of keeping whatever you have left over and dispose of the chemicals if they do not plan on using them. 

As much as some landscaping can help with a sale, you do not want it to be a source of aggravation.

Simple Improvements Add Home Value

There is no doubt about it, home improvement projects can add value to your home and also can lure in potential buyers by creating a great first impression. The keys are to balance the cost to sell a house in Nebraska with the value a home improvement project brings your property.

However, taking on a large home improvement project is not for everyone. For some cash home buyers in Nebraska would be a preferred option due to lack of time, expertise, or funds. For those, remember that we buy houses Lincoln residents appreciate and enjoy once we finish the improvement project.

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