10 Inexpensive Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

homes for sale, real estate listing

House for sale | iStock.com

If you’re planning to sell your home, you’re likely looking for ways to boost its value. The more money you can make from your home’s sale, the better. However, you may have been hesitant to perform some much-needed upgrades due to the cost. Fortunately, there are some adjustments you can make to your home that won’t break the bank. Here are 10 money-saving tips that will bolster your home’s value in no time.

1. Break out the paint

A quick, inexpensive way to increase the value of your house is to paint. A fresh coat of paint can make rooms look like new. But don’t get too wild when choosing paint colors. Your best bet is to stick to neutral shades because they will appeal to a greater number of potential buyers. However, not just any neutral shade will do. A Zillow study found that it’s best to steer away from colors such as dark brown and terracotta when it comes to interior paint colors. If you do choose to use these colors for the interior, your home’s price might sell for $469 (when using dark brown) or $793 less (when using terracotta) than Zillow’s price estimate. Homebuyers generally don’t care for these colors.

2. Upgrade appliances

Remodeled kitchen

Remodeled kitchen | iStock.com

One place where you’ll reap the benefits of upgrading your home is the kitchen. If you can’t afford a full kitchen remodel, an alternative is to spruce up or replace a few items. You can start with your appliances. Noticeably mismatched or clashing appliances are a problem. For example, if your microwave and refrigerator clash (maybe you have a stainless steel refrigerator and a bright orange microwave), start small by purchasing a microwave that matches or complements the rest of the appliances in your kitchen. One small change can make a big difference.

Know that you don’t have to go out and buy all new appliances that match exactly (and if you’re working with a tight budget, this isn’t a great idea, anyway). The experts at Kitchen.com say it’s OK if your appliances don’t perfectly match, as long as they don’t compete:

If you’re up for bucking the norm, white and stainless steel are both neutral colors, so you don’t have to worry about them clashing. What you should keep in mind is that when one appliance doesn’t match the others, it stands out. You can use this to your advantage and create a strong focal point: Designers often do this with the cooking area by choosing a gourmet range or artistic hood with a different style, color or finish.

3. Change door knobs

Cabinets in kitchen

Cabinets | iStock.com

When it’s time to put your home on the market, details matter. One detail that often goes unnoticed is door knobs. You can add a bit of flair by replacing old doorknobs around your home and on kitchen cabinets. The best part is, a simple door knob upgrade doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Home renovation expert Brittany Cramer said one thing you should keep in mind when updating door knobs is the home’s era. “One of my favorite pieces of advice to give folks is to consider the era of the home before purchasing and installing accessories. You might be a lover of that wrought iron, Tuscan look, but will that style suit your home?” said Cramer. 

4. Replace light fixtures

lighting in a room

Lighting | iStock.com

Another inexpensive DIY project is to replace home lighting. Updated light fixtures can give any home a lift. The right light fixture can make your home look not only brighter but also modern. In addition, consider replacing outlet switch plates.

5. Upgrade landscaping

upper middle class houses in Louisville, KY

Houses in Louisville, KY | iStock.com/jnatkin

Curb appeal matters when it comes to selling your home. It’s one of the first details potential homebuyers will see. Weeds and brown shrubbery just won’t cut it if you want your abode to attract buyers. You may be hesitant to spruce up your landscaping due to the cost, but this small upgrade doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of hiring a pricey landscaping company, do it yourself by purchasing a few plants and placing them around your home. Attractive landscaping can add up to 28% to your home’s overall value, according to John Harris, a landscape economist. The experts at HGTV advise sellers not to buy just any old plant, however. “Purchase plants that are native to your region or plants that are drought-tolerant; these require less water and maintenance, which means more savings to you and more green in your wallet,” said an expert on the HGTV website.

6. Jazz up outdoor lighting

outdoor lights

Outdoor lights | iStock.com

You can also turbocharge your home’s value when you spend a little cash on outdoor lighting. Roughly 41% of homebuyers say this is an essential feature according to the National Association of Home Builder’s “What Home Buyers Really Want” survey. Another added benefit: Good lighting will also deter thieves.

7. Change your front door

House with red door

Red door | iStock.com

A quick change to your front door can do wonders for your home’s overall appeal. Why not increase your chances of a sale by making sure your potential buyers’ first experience is a welcoming one? An inexpensive way to give your front door new life is to paint it. If you have more cash in your budget, you can also spring for a total door replacement. A brand-new steel door costs up to $2,000. What’s even better is you can recover up to 75% of the cost when you sell your home, according to the National Association of Realtor’s Remodeling Impact Report.

8. Take care of your lawn

green lawn

Lawn | iStock.com

Simple lawn maintenance can reap great results. Roughly 75% of realtors say sellers should do standard lawn care before they put their homes on the market. Buyers are not happy when they see a poorly maintained lawn. The cost of maintaining your lawn is only about $330. In exchange, you can recover a value of 303% or $1,000 from this basic fix, according to the National Association of Realtors report.

9. Install vanity cabinets and toilets

Beautiful master bathroom with shower

Beautiful master bathroom with shower | iStock.com/hikesterson

Don’t forget your bathroom. You can add a lot of value by giving your bathrooms a mini makeover. Even small updates can earn a return on investment of 66%, according to HomeGain.com’s National Home Improvement survey.

10. Add crown molding

living room

Living room | iStock.com

Crown molding can add a bit of wow factor to your home. It’s a memorable detail and impresses buyers since it brings an air of luxury to just about any room. Real estate expert Elizabeth Gatlin said it’s a quick, inexpensive way to catch a buyer’s eye. Said Gatlin on her website:

It isn’t that expensive … this small element will add infinite amounts of value to your home while you are living there plus you will see your money back ten-fold. If you want to go a step further, consider adding a tray ceiling (however, it’s not cheap or easy) or other types of wall trim. Many new homes are incorporating different architectural details such as molding to increase sales. These new homes are using this appeal to stand out against the competition, and you can too. Adding subtle and inexpensive architectural details can have a huge impact by making a boring space stand out.

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