Ten Great Ways to Improve Your Home Value

by Lauren Cugliotta | Nov 1, 2005
Ten Great Ways to Improve Your Home Value …From the pages of Suburban Home and Garden…

There is a delicate balance. You want to make your home more sellable to increase profit, but you do not want to remodel so extravagantly as to lose money in the process. If you are thinking of selling your home, being smart about home improvements can help you to boost your home value but not your budget.

1. Maintain the Maintenance.
Don’t get behind on maintenance improvements. Keeping your house tidy and presentable not only increases its overall appeal, it also keeps your home value from going down. Unlike remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, maintenance improvements will not greatly raise the value of the home, but they are necessary to ensure your home value stays where it is. Failure to maintain your house will decrease its value by at least as much as the cost of the improvements.

2. Do Some Homework!
Find out what the home values are for similar homes in your neighborhood. Perhaps the O’Reilly house sold for $500,000 after building a new kitchen. Find out how much different home improvements raised the value of these homes.

“Get the Most Bang for your Buck”
…Says Brad Pacella, of the Essex Group, in Cherry Hill, who specializes in landscape, contracting, additions, new construction, and remodeling. “Do as much as you can to most of the house,” he advises. This means attending to the less-expensive, but all-encompassing cosmetic projects, like adding new fixtures to sinks, replacing cracked windows, cleaning up the yard, and of course, painting.

4. To Paint, or Not to Paint.
…Is not the question. “Stretch your dollar with coats of paint and trim work to increase the allure of your house. It’s like providing a facelift to a dated home,” says Pacella If you plan on living in the house for a while, experimenting with colors and textures can be exciting. However, skip the excitement if you are trying to sell your house in the near future, and stick to neutral colors, which sell better. Painting will not raise the value of your home, but it’ll certainly help you to sell it.

5. Head to the Bathroom.
Lifestyle improvements, usually in the form of remodeling the bathroom, always increase the home value, so it is wise to start remodeling there. Pacella says, “If you want to increase home value, adding a bathroom or converting an existing half bathroom into a full one, is an effective way to do it. Two and a half baths is worth a lot more than one and a half.” Adding a second full bathroom to a house has been shown to make the greatest home value increase.

6. Increase Your Numbers.
“Add a bedroom,” suggests Pacella. “A four bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home is worth significantly more than a three bedroom, one-and-half bathroom home.”

7. Start Cooking.
Kitchen remodeling greatly helps raise home value, especially if your kitchen is old. Whether you decide to build an addition, remodel the countertops, or merely paint the cabinets, no buyer wants to find himself standing in his grandma’s 1970-style kitchen. (Unless her meatballs are also cooking on the stove!)

8. Don’t Show Off.
If no other houses in your neighborhood have an in-ground pool or a garage, it is not wise to add these to your house if you plan on selling. You do not want your house to stand out too much from the rest of the neighborhood, especially in square footage. Odd houses that do not fit into their surroundings do not sell as well, and do not increase in value.

Figure on Reconfiguring
While it is unwise to raise the square footage of your home to drastically above that of your neighborhood’s homes, redesigning the interior layout of your home can give it an edge over other homes in your neighborhood. “Reconfiguring the existing layout, in the form of taking down interior walls and opening up spaces is beneficial,” says Pacella. “Certain models in neighborhoods have identical layouts. This is a way of making yours unique.”

10. Take It Easy on Yourself
Remodeling a house is a huge undertaking. Doing it yourself can be tedious and time consuming. One week can become two months, as you try to fit construction into your busy schedule. Hiring a professional contractor can be a huge load off your shoulders. In addition, the level of expertise offered by a contractor ensures you get exactly the job you want. “A do-it-yourself person can envision a room but it doesn’t always turn out,” says Pacella. “A contractor can recreate the pictures and visions,” building your dreams into a reality. “[After the proposal process], there really is nothing unexpected once a job is contracted. Our level of detail ensures this,” says Pacella. “[Clients] feel comfortable their needs will be addressed. It’s emotionally stressful and a great undertaking. The Essex Group takes this under consideration and makes it as easy and exciting as possible for our clients,” says Pacella. “The relationship with the client is important.”

If you value your house value, these tips are sure to do the trick in raising your home’s potential!

Find Out More

Essex Group
(856) 988-6912

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Home and Garden, November 2005.
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Author: Lauren Cugliotta

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