How to Add Value to Your Home

Sure, we all know that general remodeling can improve your home’s value. But what are some specific measures you can take that have an impact? Instead of doing a massive house overhaul, what individual steps and investments will up your home’s sellability (and benefit you in the process)?

Projects to Increase Home Value

Update paint.

While the painting part itself isn’t exactly easy, updating paint is one of the simplest tasks to up your home’s worth. Everything from adding an accent wall to updating trim to swapping out 1980’s wallpaper for a modern paint color — all are valuable ideas.

Embrace the eco-friendly.

Light fixtures, low-flow shower heads, window treatments, smart thermostats — the small (but mighty) ways you can update your home to be more eco-friendly are infinite. Becoming eco-friendly is no longer a fad, it’s growing into an expectation. The greener your house, the greener your finances — both now and when you eventually decide to sell.

Going solar is another great idea, though the idea might feel daunting. Look into rebates and see how solar could work for you — this is an absolute game-changer when it comes to adding home value.

Say “peace” to the popcorn ceiling.

Ahh, popcorn ceilings. Everyone’s favorite home cringe. If your popcorn ceiling is from 1979 or earlier, you should have a professional check for asbestos. Any ceilings after 1980 should be fine to remove yourself, you just need a weekend to dedicate to this wonderful task. It’s not fun, but it’s worth the increased home value.

Build a beautiful yard.

Creating a paved cement or brick patio gives potential buyers the opportunity to imagine themselves living at your house. They’ll think about what kind of backyard shindigs they’ll throw or how they’ll read outside in the summertime. Landscaping in general is a great home value increaser; a patio is a necessity.

Store it up.

Ask most Realtors and they’ll agree: built-in storage tends to make the top of a buyer’s wish list. Whether adding this to a closet or garage is up to you, but it will make a difference in both your home’s clutter and overall worth.

Aesthetic Ways to Increase Home Value

Make rooms look bigger.

Blinds that let in more light and — you guessed it — a mirror can do wonders for a room. More light gives a sense of more space and these additions create a valuable illusion.

Bathtub? Bring it on!

Many potential buyers won’t use it, many will swear they’ll use it all the time but regardless, everyone appreciates the idea of a nice tub. When you have a home feature that makes interested buyers go, “Oooh!” you know you’ve hit the jackpot. A bathtub does just that.

Fix the flooring.

That old, worn down carpet needs to go, but if you’re not ready to get rid of it just yet, you have options. Consider adding a gorgeous rug (preferably one that will still work without carpet) to spruce up your space, and schedule yearly floor treatments to ensure things last.

Swap out some sinks.

A stained kitchen sink or an outdated vanity are drab, and you deserve something fab. Switching to stainless steel in the kitchen (if it matches the rest of your home’s aesthetic) or opting for a modern vanity do aesthetic wonders for your home and overall value.

Dial up a designer.

Not sure where to start or what the latest trends are? Interior designers (or even real estate agents) are great resources to help you add value to your home. Contact someone local for a consultation — you’ll likely pay $100 or so, but it’s well worth their expert advice and insights.

These changes might seem small or inconsequential, but they can truly pack a punch. Potential buyers, whether in a time-limited event or traditional listing, can tell when effort was put into maintaining and improving a house, as well as when it wasn’t. When you eventually decide to sell, every little thing counts.

Home Improvement List: Order of Operations

A leaking roof, a sinking foundation — these issues are about as urgent as a house fire. Hopefully you never have to encounter such problems as a homeowner. But when it comes to the smaller things, where should your priorities lie? What fixes should happen first? Where should you focus your attention when nothing is *that* wrong?

The answers lie straight ahead. We’ve got the rundown, renovation order of operations that you’re looking for.

Know Before You Buy

Before buying a house, a home inspection should tell you exactly where some of the problem areas lie.

Keep a running record or write in a calendar when you’ll need to fix these issues. Make sure you address the issues before they truly become a problem. For example, if the water heater is 6 years old, know that you have between 2 to 6 years left before you’ll need to replace it. You can start budgeting for these fixes now instead of getting slammed with financial surprises later.

General Replacement Timeline

Wondering how often you need to repaint the walls or when to repoint your brick? Let this renovation table serve as a guide:

Home TaskRedo or Replace Every…
Painting walls5-7 years
Painting home exterior5-10 years
Tuckpoint or repoint brick25-50 years, more often in wetter climates
Repipe plumbingCopper pipes: 70-80 years
Brass & steel pipes: 80-100 years
Redo insulation80 years
Replace vinyl siding40 years
Replace roof20-30 years

Here’s another guide on when to replace basic appliances (assuming that your appliance doesn’t die and need replacing sooner).

Home ApplianceLife Expectancy
Water heater10-15 years, 15-20 years if tankless
Dishwasher7-12 years
Oven15 years
Refrigerator14-20 years
Washer and dryer12-18 years (dryers usually last longer)

Aesthetic Changes

What if you just want to redo some things around your house, solely for aesthetic purposes?

While you can technically replace certain things whenever, you should try to time things around other changes. For the sake of color coordinating, for example, you might want to hold off on updating kitchen fixtures until you need new appliances.

That being said, if you’re up to date on your home improvement list, nothing major needs replacing, and you’re hankering to finally add some backsplash and update your shower, go for it! Aesthetic changes add a ton to your home’s value — sometimes they are just as important as functional changes.

How to Keep Track

Keeping track of your home’s changes and renovations is critical. Not only does it remind you of when things were replaced or renovated, but it also helps inform future buyers and get the best value for your home.

One of the best ways to keep track is to create a spreadsheet documenting changes. It’s also a good idea to keep receipts or reports as well. However, you can make tracking changes into a fun project: for those with huge renovations underway, a scrapbook is a great way to show off your hard work!

Feeling inspired to make your home the very best? Want to start buying and flipping houses? Proud of your home’s progress but feeling ready to sell and start anew? Work with RealtyHive! From buying to selling, our time-limited events can do it all.