10 Cheap Ways To Increase Home Value


By Bethany Lyttle | Forbes

 

Selling your home this summer? Cheap tweaks can pay off big-time. "And even when these don't equate to big

dollars, they may help sell your property faster," says Adam Hade, an associate broker with Houlihan Lawrence in

southeastern New York state.

 

But choosing which improvements to make is where many homeowners go wrong, according to Hade. "They over-

improve or improve in ways that don't really matter to the buyers in their particular area," he says. Exactly the

reason you should consult with a qualified realtor in your neighborhood before investing in any improvement

projects. They can tell you if buyers are looking for nurseries or extra bedrooms and can actually save you money

by preventing well-intended but unnecessary upgrades.

 

One such superfluous improvement is splurging on high-end kitchen appliances. "While a buyer may appreciate

chef-quality ranges or top-of-the-line fixtures, a well-kept lower-price brand will rarely break a deal," says Hade.

"On the other hand, worn carpet, dirty grout and clutter will give the impression that the house is not well-

maintained and lacks sufficient storage," he adds. Details like these make it difficult—and even impossible—for

many prospective buyers to envision themselves living there.

 

A home's layout is another adjustable feature sellers should take advantage of. Dina Landi of Rebecca Riskin &

Associates in Montecito, California, suggests reconfiguring your home's layout to meet market demands.

Substituting one room's use for another is a cheap way to transform a three-bedroom home with a den to a four-

bedroom home. Or a home that has a dining room with doors can be reconfigured for use as a main floor master

bedroom.

 

Landi also recommends pausing to inventory all the things you've collected over time and reassessing what to

keep. As life unfolds, as children grow up, as careers take off, things accumulate. "Taking rooms back to their

basics can make a huge difference, allowing a room's millwork, architectural details, and distinctive details to

shine," she says. The price? Almost zero. All you have to do to make your rooms look bigger is remove pictures,

souvenirs, all those stacks of books and magazines.

 

The best way to improve home values on the cheap is to do what needs doing—and nothing more. Why buy a new

ceiling fan when replacing the blades will do? Why paint the entire exterior of your home when touching up any

peeling paint will suffice?  Taking this approach allows you to make several small improvements instead of taking

on just one or two bigger ones. In short: Know your buyers. Choose projects carefully. Know when to quit.

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