11 Best Home Improvements to Quickly and Inexpensively Increase Home Value

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Lattas Felton & Minkus give their top tips and advice for making a home more valuable from de-cluttering to participating in neighborhood watches. Read on to learn how to sell for more.

Lattas, Felton and Minkus, LLC

11. Neighborhood Improvement: Location is the most influential aspect of a home’s value. While one cannot literally relocated the home, there are many ways to improve the neighborhood to improve home values for the entire block. Participating in a neighborhood association and neighborhood watch is a great start. Neighborhood associations organize events that increase interactions between neighbors and provide a group to better voice neighborhood concerns as a group to the local municipality. Neighborhood watch groups provide an additional deterrent against crime and act as an extra pair of eyes for law enforcement in general. Often, a home owner could participate for no more than an hour a week to significantly improve the efficacy of these groups.

10. Cut the Clutter: It goes without saying that a clean home is a more appealing home. However, clutter refers to the extraneous “stuff” that commonly lies around in plain sight. Examples include keys, tools, briefcases, backpacks, notepads, magazines, toys and any other every day item sitting in plain view. Simply find a temporary storage place for these things before a viewing or appraisal.

9. Paint and Plaster: Nearly every home has a few walls with dings or scrapes. Although seemingly insignificant, such spots may tarnish the whole room in the eyes of a prospective house buyer. Luckily paint, rollers, paint brushes, plaster, and a putty knife are all cheap. Painting and plaster repair are very basic for even the newest do-it-yourselfer.

8. Opening New Doors: There are one or two doors for every room in a home and every time someone opens a door they will touch the doorknob. Therefore new and matching door knobs are a clever way to subtly improve every room in the home. It is unlikely, though, that a complete door replacement is necessary as doors may just need a new finish or coat of paint. However, the front door is an exception. A nice front door improves the entire face of the home.

7. Slick Siding: Whether it’s siding, brick, stone or even the hallway outside of a condominium unit, the outside of the home looks much better if it is clean. Simply spraying the outside down with a hose is another quick way to improve the home that many home owners often forget. Home owners willing to spend a bit extra will see a great return on new siding as well.

6. The Bright Side: Upgrading light fixtures will quickly and easily brighten up a room. Replacing lights is a relatively easy project for do-it-yourselfers, as many complete such a project in less than two hours and only pay for the light itself. However, installing additional light fixtures often requires a licensed electrician.

5. Appliances Applicable: There are two different directions that a home owner may go when deciding the role appliances will play in improving their home’s value. The most obvious choice is to buy all new appliances, although this may be rather timely. It is important to give sufficient consideration to how new appliances will affect a price assessment and whether new appliances is the right investment for you. While replacing appliances will certainly raise a property’s value, relatively new appliances can easily be improved with some appliance paint and a good cleaning.

4. Counters and Cabinets: Most real estate professionals agree that the kitchen is the most important room in determining home value and making the sale. One easy way to improve the kitchen is to improve the cabinets. However, replacements are not always necessary. Refinishing existing cabinets and installing new pulls are a quick and easy way to improve the whole kitchen, while leaving the cabinets in place.

3. Better Bathroom: After the kitchen, bathrooms are next in line for determining home value. New tile, showers and tubs can be costly, but there are other ways to improve the bathroom. A new sink and toilet are quick and cheap projects that can add value to a bathroom. Paying the extra $20 to $60 on the new faucet and paying $15 for a nicer seat cover can greatly improve the room’s appearance, especially given the low cost.

2. Through the Roof: It is a well-known fact that roofs require replacement every twenty to thirty years depending on the material. Replacing a roof generates a great return considering the cost and an experienced do-it-yourselfer can save even more. Getting the job done right is paramount for this improvement because one shingle left out of place or one section of poorly set flashing could lead to a new yet leaky roof. This is why most leave roof installation to the insured professionals.

1. Hit the Ground: Improving floors can be cheap or very expensive. Although most home buyers would prefer newly finished wood floors, not all are capable of paying the price for such luxuries. Replacing carpet is a cheap way to improve rooms with existing carpet or to cover and protect wood floors that are not newly finished. Additionally, for the ambitious and experienced do-it-yourselfer, refinishing a floor can be a difficult yet rewarding project. However, improper sanding or finish application could ruin a floor; this is why many leave such a project to insured contractors as well.

Lattas, Felton & Minkus, LLC is a full service real estate law firm. To find out more about Bob Lattas and the services his law firm offers, visit their website at http://www.lfmlawgroup.com.

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Robert Lattas
Lattas, Felton and Minkus, LLC
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