10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Improve the Value of Your Home
Pretty much anyone can look around their home and see the little things that need improved, repaired and remodeled. Not all of us want to spend days and days on a single project. Some of us want to tackle the little things that can help improve the value of our home and not cost a fortune.
So, what are some cheap and easy things that just about anyone can do to improve their home’s value?
1. Paint. It’s cheap and easy. You’ll be surprised at how much different a nice, fresh coat of paint can make to a room. If you’ll be selling your home in the near future, stick with neutral tones. Some potential home buyers are scared away by bright colors on the walls, which add to the list of things that would need to be redone if they were to purchase the home. Shades of whites, tans, and other neutral earthy tones are more readily accepted by many home buyers.
Check Out: What Colors Suit Your Dwelling
Be sure to apply a nice fully covering coat of paint and always finish the job. Nothing looks worse than a half painted room or a room that has mismatched walls, that aren’t supposed to be that way. To prevent this, be sure to purchase enough paint to fully cover every wall in the room to avoid the chances of getting a new can that might not match 100%.
Check Out: Choosing the Right Paint Type
Even when you take your time, painting is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to change the overall look.
2. Replace door knobs. Many older homes have door knobs that are dated, rusted, worn or just plain ugly. Simply replacing all the door knobs in a matching updated style is a quick and inexpensive way to update the look of your home. Door knobs can be purchased for as little as $7 is some home improvement and hardware stores.
Keep the style consistent. Be sure to purchase all the knobs at the same time as there is the chance of a style being out of stock or discontinued when you’ll next need it.
3. Update light switches and outlets. This is one very inexpensive way to give your home a quick update. It’s important to take into consideration that with this project, some electrical experience is required to prevent serious injury. If there is any question or the slightest idea of being uncomfortable, an electrician should be consulted and hired to install these items.
A home with brand new electrical outlets and light switches, as opposed to old, discolored or non-matching ones, gets an instant update.
Check Out: How to Replace a Light Switch
4. Install new crown molding and case molding. This home improvement idea requires a bit of construction experience but not much. If you can measure, use power tools to cut and nail wood to the wall, then you can install molding.
Crown molding requires a little bit more experience than regular molding. However, one tip is to try putting case molding up in the place of crown molding. It gives the same effect as crown molding but is easier, and cheaper, to install.
Choose wide moldings for larger rooms and thinner moldings for very small rooms. To keep the look of the home consistent, though, it is best to use the same style throughout. If there are both very small and very large rooms, compensate. Choose a style that isn’t the thickest, but isn’t the thinnest either.
5. Update light fixtures. Again, you’ll need some electrical experience to tackle this project but even if an electrician is needed, the cost is still pretty low.
Replacing old, out of style fixtures with modern ones is a very quick way to give your home an update. Literally thousands of styles exist and depending on the ones you choose, this can be an inexpensive project as well.
Try keeping the look of the light fixtures neutral. Bright colors and funky styles may not be appreciated by some home buyers and the idea of replacing them can be too intimidating. So if selling your home is in the near future, keep the style neutral.
6. Install ceiling fans. Ceiling fans are a great way to add value to your home quickly. As with light fixtures, some electrical experience or an electrician is needed.
Installing a ceiling fan in the living room, bed room and other parts of the home provides an instant credit to the overall home value.
Keep the style neutral if you plan to sell your home soon. As with light fixtures, the idea of replacing these items can seem like a chore to some potential home buyers.
7. Paint kitchen cabinets. Give your kitchen an instant update by painting the cabinets. When a complete kitchen remodel is out of the question a fresh coat of paint on the kitchen cabinets is a quick and easy way to give it an update.
Check Out: 10 Tips for Updating Your Kitchen Cabinets
Specialized paints are available for painting kitchen cabinets. Making sure the surface is cleaned and prepped before painting will help ensure full coverage and a nice clean look.
8. De-clutter your home! While this project may not necessarily increase the actual value of your home, it will increase the perceived value. Picture yourself going to an open house. If the home is cluttered, the walls covered in posters and pictures, the floors covered with excessive furniture and other objects, it’ll be difficult to determine what the home looks like beyond these things.
Keep furniture and décor items to a minimum, especially if you are planning to show your home. Excessive furniture makes rooms feel small and confined. The bare essentials are all that is needed to give potential home buyers an idea of where to place their own furniture but still be able to appreciate the genuine look of the home.
9. Clean! This would appear to be the most obvious way to increase the perceived value of your home but apparently many people overlook it. There’s nothing more displeasing than going to an open house to find dirty dishes in the sink, laundry piled up in the utility room, beds not made or just general junk lying around.
Clean your home as thoroughly as you ever have, and then go over it again. Home buyers will be looking at every detail of the home. Closets will be opened and looked into, floors will be inspected, basements and attics will be toured, and bathrooms -fixtures and all- will be thoroughly examined.
While cleaning may not be the quickest way to improve some homes, it’s certainly the cheapest! It’s free!
10. Get the yard work done! The yard is the first thing home buyers see. Sometimes, it’s the only thing they see. If the yard is cluttered, over grown and unkempt, many people will simply drive right by without stopping to see the home. After all, if the yard is that poorly kept, what reason do they have to believe that the home is any better?
Mow the lawn, weed the garden and flower beds, get rid of sticks, pick up the kids’ toys and by all means, clean up the dog’s droppings. You don’t want home buyers and real estate agents to get that kind of mess on their shoes. It’s offensive and you won’t want it being tracked through your nice clean home!
Check Out: Clear Your Lawn of Clutter
You want the outside of the home to be representative of the inside, and in some cases even better. Some home buyers fall in love with the outside of the home before entering it. In these cases, it’s easier to make excuses for some inside flaws and to accept that some further home improvements may be in order.
Check Out: Landscaping
Getting the yard in order, in most cases, can be a free project or requiring very little money. Clean up is usually all that is needed, however adding a few flowing plants here and there for color and appeal doesn’t hurt either.
These are just a few of the things you can do to improve the actual and perceived value of your home. By using some of the very simple steps above, you may sell a home more quickly and attract a more diverse group of buyers.