Don’t let your home just take money from you! These 10 Easy Tips will help you to Add Value to Your home and make the most of your investment!
We’ve moved more times than I care to count, but through all our moving we’ve bought 4 houses and sold 3. I wouldn’t necessarily call us experts but all that buying and selling has taught us a few things. Our very first house we lost big! Embarrassingly big. As mad as I was when it happened, it taught us a very good lesson and prepared us for the future. Now that we’ve passed that point in our life I’m kind of grateful for the experience because my husband and I can both be hard headed and we needed that lesson to help us actually profit from selling our homes. Let’s talk about how to add value to your home.
Buy Low Sell High
This really isn’t a way to add value to your home directly, but this was the first lesson we learned, and it’s worth talking about. We first bought in a really high market right before the economy crashed back around 2008. We were very young. In fact I was only 19 when we bought our first house. While this might not be something completely in your control, if you know you won’t be in a house long I highly suggest you consider the real estate market. Even if you aren’t investing, do your research!
When housing is low, buy baby buy! Because when the market comes back, and it always does, you’ll have equity you didn’t even have to work for (other than living there of course). Shopping for your dream/forever home is very different and not what I’m talking about here today. If that’s your goal it’s really a personal decision you need to make. Investing is a little different than just buying smart.
Making an Investment
The house we are remodeling right now was a big investment. It was also a big risk and we are working hard to make sure it pays off. I’ll let ya know how all that works out in the end. One word of advice, if you are going to make a risky investment and you don’t have so much money you can’t keep track of what day of the week it is (anyone pick up on that Jim Gaffigan quote??), make sure it’s a house that you’re ok getting stuck in!
If you guys are ever interested in real estate investing, like I said, I’m by no means an expert, but I’m happy to share what I do know, but that’s a whole different post. Let’s move on to adding value to the home you’re in!
Add Value To Your Home with these Tips
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Fix Anything You Hate About Your House
Chances are if you just absolutely hate it, others will too. There is however a difference between not liking something and hating it. You might not like a small bathroom, but you would HATE not having a 2nd bathroom. Be very careful not to over improve or spend more than what you will get back. In our first Wisconsin house I HATED a cabinet by the back door. It was awkward and weird so I chopped it in half. This was a project that didn’t add a lot of cost, but made the kitchen look SO much better, thus allowing you to add value to your home! See the difference below.
Update Flooring in Your Home
A good rule of thumb is to think about what you would think walking through your house if you were a potential buyer. If you look down at your old carpet and you want to immediately put shoes on, it’s better to take care of that yourself then hope a buyer doesn’t mind. If you have old vinyl floors that are physically in good condition, but are butt ugly consider painting them. Granted ours weren’t UGLY per se, but they weren’t my style and it greatly improved the look of the space and elevated it. The goal is to elevate your spaces without spending a fortune!
Update Bathrooms to Add Value to Your Home
Bathrooms and Kitchens are a HUGE deal in a home. Let’s talk about bathrooms. You can do a full bathroom remodel, or just do some upgrades, but you almost always get your money out of a bathroom renovation. Just make sure you don’t overspend for the value of your home. You can’t put a $30,000 bathroom in a house that’s worth $100,000 and come out on top. Make sure you are staying in line with the area your home is in. However if you want nicer things and are afraid of over improving, DIY it and save on the cost of hiring it out. This gives you higher quality without spending more.
Create a Functional Kitchen
A kitchen is probably the number 1 thing a woman considers when walking through a house. It’s also one of the most expensive things to take care of in a house. So when adding value to your home, obviously a lot of that value takes place in this room. There are several different options when attacking a kitchen remodel. You can do an entire gut job, you can refresh everything, or you can make some minor changes, but regardless the kitchen needs to be addressed. Something you’ll keep hearing me say is don’t over improve our house, and I can’t stress this enough. Unless you are in your forever home, only do what’s necessary for the price point you’re hoping to achieve. Here are a few things I’d suggest doing in a kitchen all the way from simple paint jobs to completely redoing your kitchen:
- Paint Kitchen Cabinets
- Install New Hardware
- Update Existing Kitchen Cabinets
- Install New Countertops (we also have done concrete countertops, tutorial coming soon)
- Install all NEW Kitchen Cabinets
- Build an Island
You can see all our Kitchen Renovation below. We’ve done one of each. The 1st one we did some DIY projects to improve what was already there. Our 2nd Kitchen was only 4 years old so we just added backsplash and new countertops. And the kitchen in our current house was a complete gut job!
- The First Kitchen – First Wisconsin House
- Kitchen #2 – Utah House
- Our Current Kitchen – Historic Wisconsin House
Add Curb Appeal
I don’t have any finished pictures for this particular category because we are still in the process of working on the exterior of our current home and our other ones didn’t need much on the exterior. I do have some of the progress I’ll share with you though.
Curb appeal is VERY important in the value of your home. Nobody really likes to tackle the exterior because of the expense involved and it just feels like a big task. Taking care of the roof, siding, paint, porches, etc will leave you with a clean inspection on the exterior and people are much more comfortable with that. Since the exterior is the very first thing people see, you don’t want someone coming to your home with a bad taste in their mouth because the outside wasn’t desirable.
A few simple and affordable ideas to add to your curb appeal:
Paint the Interior of Your Home
Paint. This is one of the easiest and most affordable things anyone can do to their home. Obviously you can hire it out if you just don’t want to do it, but it’s not cheap to hire a painter. Even if you’ve never done it before I promise you, you can do it! I’ve used sprayers as well as all your standard painting supplies. I definitely suggest a sprayer if you’re painting a big area that isn’t already filled with all your stuff. You can still spray in a furnished room, I just don’t like that risk personally (but I’m a messy creative). Here’s a few tutorials to get you started:
- Paint a Room Using a Sprayer
- Paint a Ceiling without making a mess
- How to Paint Trim
- Tips for Painting Wood Paneling
Finish a Basement (or unfinished area)
In our Utah house we ended up completely finishing the basement. Obviously this depends largely on the area you live, but taking the opportunity to create square footage in an unfinished space whenever possible. It’s a great return on your investment if done wisely. We essentially doubled our square footage allowing the value to go way up. We did hire out some of this because it was such a big project and there are certain things like sheetrock, taping, and floating that are just better left to the professionals. Texturing is 100% an art form and not something I’m very good at. Knowing your limitations is also very important when doing work on a house.
Install Upgraded Interior Doors
When we were fixing up our first Wisconsin house we ended up replacing all the interior door slabs. It’s amazing what a 6 panel door can do vs an old flat hollow door thats grungy. It totally made the house feel brand new! Little things like this also allow you to love your home more while you’re in it, which is never a negative. It’s a pretty easy fix, and I even have tutorial for you that shares all about the tools you need to replace door slabs yourself!
Update Hardware in Your Home
Hardware is another easy swap. A lot of times you don’t even need to make a mess for this project if you’re able to use the pre existing holes. This is also an easy way to elevate your furniture if you’re looking to just make a space look more high end. If you do need to create new holes for hardware, I highly suggest using this cabinet jig. There are some more affordable options at the hardware store, but this one is much easier to customize. We used it on our most recent kitchen and I LOVED it. But if you’re only planning on using it once, you could go with the more affordable option I shared in my tutorial.
Add Storage to Small Spaces
And we end this conversation on storage. Oh how we all love good storage! There are many different ways you can create little spots to keep all our things organized. I’ve got several tutorials for you below on how you can add storage to your home. The best way you can figure out where you need storage is in the spaces you are most frustrated with. If it’s your laundry room, consider adding some cabinets and shelving, if it’s your entryway, create a locker system, if it’s your pantry, sometimes just a few quick organization tips can make others see how an existing space can be more functional!
Ways to Add Storage:
- Build a Kitchen Island
- DIY some customized furniture for your space
- Add Shelves (Another shelf option – Industrial Pipe Shelves)
- Create organization
- Add Cabinets
For More Ideas, Tips, and Tutorials you can check out my Project Gallery.
And don’t forget to follow along on Instagram as we work through remodeling our historic home, I’ll be sharing all kinds of tips as I go!