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9 DIY Improvements to Add Value to Your Home

Monday, July 6, 2020   /   by Troy Schlicker

9 DIY Improvements to Add Value to Your Home

Whether you are looking for ways to maximize your homes long-term value or prepping it to go on the market, these nine home improvement projects are a great way to add function, beauty and real value to your home.

Best of all, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed over the course of a single weekend plus specialized skills and experience are not required. Grab your toolbox and get ready to boost your home’s appeal AND investment potential!

Spruce Up Your Landscaping

Improvements to your homes landscaping can increase the value by 10-12%, but it’s important to understand which outdoor features buyers care about the most. In a recent survey of Realtors, having a healthy lawn was the most important landscaping factor. If your lawn is lacking consider overseeding or laying new sod. These investments are extremely worthwhile as they respectively net an expected return of 417% and 143% on your investment in your home.

Flowers are also a great way to highlight your homes curb appeal. Planting a variety of perennials will allow your blooms to return each year. Planting a tree can bring an even longer-term impact and a mature tree can add up to $10,000 in value to your home.

Clean the Exterior

When it comes to making your house shine, a façade that sparkles can be every bit as important as a clean interior. Real estate professionals estimate that washing the outside of a house can increase the homes sales price by as much as $15,000.

Renting a pressure washer can help remove all the built-up dirt, grime and pollen from the walkways, driveway and exterior of your home. Make sure to read the instructions carefully though and only use it on surfaces that can withstand the intensity. If you have any doubt a scrub brush and some soapy water can generally get the job done while being more delicate on any sensitive surfaces.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Paint can have a significant impact on the appearance as well as the value of a property. Old and worn or outdated paint is not very welcoming; however, a new paint job is one of the most effective ways to revitalize a home’s exterior and update the interior. The best part? Painting is relatively simple and an inexpensive project.

Getting the maximum return on the investment requires you to stick with a modern but neutral color palette that appeals to the broadest range of buyers. Home design experts recommend cool neutrals for interior paint colors and white and grey as the top exterior paint colors to use when selling a home. It is important to factor in a property’s architecture, existing fixtures and regional design preferences as well to ensure your choices fit the home and area.

Install Smart Home Technology

A recent survey of real estate professionals showed that 78% of buyers were willing to pay more for a home that had smart technology features installed. What were the most requested devices? Smart thermostats (77%), smoke detectors (75%), home security cameras (66%), and locks (63%).

Many of these gadgets are fairly easy to install and the best news is some of them, including smart thermostats and light bulbs, will actually pay for themselves over time through energy efficiency as well as add home value. In fact, many manufactures of smart thermostats report that cooling and heating costs can be cut by 10-20%.

Do you already own a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Make sure to purchase devices that will pair with these existing technologies. This enables you to create a truly integrated and potentially voice-activated smart home experience.

Modernize Your Window Treatments

Smart – or ­­motorized – blinds are also growing in popularity. There are several manufactures that make models you can order and install on your own but this isn’t the only way to modernize your window treatments.

If you currently have old aluminum blinds, consider replacing them with plantation shutters which are durable, energy efficient, and have strong appeal to buyers. Roman and roller shades are another stylish option. They come in a multitude of fabrics and colors that you can personalize to meet your individual design and privacy preferences.

There are a number of retailers that specialize in window coverings that are affordable and relatively simple to measure and hang yourself. This has made upgrading you blinds easier and less expensive in recent years.

Replace Outdated Fixtures

Transforming the look and feel of your home by finding contemporary fixtures and replacing your dingy and dates ones can have a drastic effect. First assess your current light fixtures, faucets, cabinets hardware, door knobs, and even switch plates. Then prioritize replacing any that are particularly outdated or in highly-visible areas, such as your entryway or kitchen.

Even a fairly new home might be finished out with builder-grade fixtures and trading this out for higher-end options will give the home an upscale appearance and feel custom built. You can forget about the old rule of only sticking to one metal tone throughout the entire home. According to designers, mixing the finish of metals can add interest and character to a space.

Customize Your Closet

Real estate professionals estimate that a remodeled closet can add $2500 to a home’s selling price. While a professional renovation could cost as much as $6000 there are alternatives for high-quality DIY closest systems to customize your closet that you can install yourself.

Start by taking a thorough inventory of your wardrobe and accessories to make sure any frequently-worn pieces are within easy reach. Use the higher shelves to store seasonal or seldom-used items. Place shoe racks near the closet entrance so they are easy to access. By taking a little bit of time to plan it will help go a long way toward building a closet that you and future homeowners will love.

Upgrade Your Bathroom Mirror

Minor bathroom remodels offer one of the best returns on your investment. For every $1 you spend you can increase your home value 171%. We’ve already detailed several improvements you can make to your bathroom: new paint, fixtures, and hardware. To complete the look consider upgrading your mirror.

Before you go out and purchase a new mirror, examine your current on to see how it is attached to the wall. Some vanity mirrors are glued to the wall and difficult to remove without damaging the sheetrock behind it and potentially shattering the glass.

If you prefer to keep your existing mirror you could paint the frame – or add one if it’s currently frameless. Several different online retailers will send you frame components cut to your specifications, which you can assemble and mount yourself. Much like a work of art, your vanity mirror serves as a focal point for your bathroom so don’t be afraid to let your creativity shine through.

Shampoo Your Carpet

Carpet is notorious for trapping dust, dirt, and allergens. It’s one reason most buyers prefer hard surface flooring, but if you prefer carpet or are not prepared to invest in alternatives, make every effort to keep your carpet clean and odor-free.

Properly maintaining your carpet requires you to vacuum it weekly. Experts also recommend deep shampooing at least every other year. Fortunately, this is an inexpensive and simple DIY project you can knock our yourself. Consumer Reports stats you can rent a machine for around $90 which includes the cleaning supplies and fluids you’ll need as well. An average return of 169% on your investment make the expense and effort well worth it.

We’ve been talking about averages but the truth is every home is unique and the actual impact you’ll get from a specific home improvement will depend upon your specific home and neighborhood. Before you start investing too much money consider contacting a real estate professional to get a free evaluation of your home. As well as help determining which upgrades will offer the greatest return on both your investment and effort.
Reserve Realty
Troy Schlicker
11203 Ranch Road 2222 #2406
Austin, TX 78730

Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 2022.® IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use. It may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. The Austin Board of REALTORS®, ACTRIS and their affiliates provide the MLS and all content therein "AS IS" and without any warranty, express or implied. Data last updated: June 29, 2022 Texas law requires all real estate licensees to provide this link to Information About Brokerage Services:www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/contracts/op-k.pdf
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