Tackle These Cheap Ways to Boost Your Home Value.

Before planning to spend over $50,000 on a kitchen remodel or other home improvement project of that scope, make sure you are going to get your money back. Otherwise my advise is to focus on small DIY projects which will make your house looks way better and gives you better return without spending a lot of money. 

These cheap ways to increase home values are easy, cost effective, and will have your home in stunning, show-ready shape in no time.

I have packed this post chock-full of easy value-increasing DIY tips that are also easy on your budget. By the end you should be able to pick up a hammer and a paintbrush and get straight to work.

DIY Ways to Increase Your Home Value

As you start implementing these tricks to get your home ready for sale, think Ikea, not Restoration Hardware. You're not putting in these upgrades for you, you're putting them in to make the home look fabulous for potential buyers. Of course everything should be functional, but remember: you don't need to go overboard and put in high-end finishes that you'll never get to use.

You also need to make sure you get your money out of any projects you do. Need to refresh kitchen appliances, swap out flooring or countertops? Before your contractor team breaks ground, Check with me to make sure that you will get your money back out the investment, and that it will really increase the value of your home.

You can also check on the value of your home at any time.

1. Get Deep Into that Clean

If you're jonesing to add value to your home right now, then you should put down the laptop and clean and declutter the entier house. Aside from the expense of new cleaning supplies, these tasks don't cost anything and are the first steps to getting the house ready to sell.

A cluttered house will not sell for what you want it to. Period. Buyers will not be able to see beyond your collection of refrigerator magnets, surfboards and road bikes in the living room, and clothes sticking out of overstuffed dresser drawers. They won't even be able to see passed an over-crowded nightstand, even if your items are nice. In fact, on the extreme end, a cluttered house could signal greater problems that haven't been attended to, just like the mess.

To declutter your house:

First, put everything you own back into its proper place

Then, make a “to sell” pile, a “to donate” pile, and a “to rehome to friends/family” pile

Take the donations out of the equation: drop them off at your local, Goodwill, etc. or schedule for a pick up 

Do your best to sell what you want to sell ASAP.

Now, survey the situation. Doesn't your house feel better already?

For staging purposes, I recommend getting rid of two-thirds of your belongings. Not to worry, though—you don't have to say goodbye forever. Consider renting a small storage unit or, if you've already bought another house, storing what you don't need there. This is the perfect moment to consult your real estate agent about what they think you should put into storage.

Now, get into the cleaning! Vacuum, mop, dust, and scrub down every single surface in your home. It should be as clean as a model home. Once the grout in the bathroom sparkles, you're ready to start making small changes that will make a big impact.

2. Update Dated or Damaged Floors

If you refinish existing wood floors you'll get back 100% on the investement you made. If you put in brand new wood flooring, you'll recoup 91%. For around $3,000, you can either switch out old floors or redo faded or damaged wood. New or beautifully restored floors make a big impact on buyers and look fantastic in listing photos.

If you can't afford to put in hardwood or laminate throughout the entire house, then you can compromise. I advise hardwood or laminate in living areas like the dining and living rooms at a minimum. You can leave carpet in the bedrooms. Just make sure that you stick with the same laminate or hardwood floors throughout the entire home. Two different types or stains of wood will send buyers running for the hills, it looks tacky and feels cheap and unfinished.

Laminate or Vynil planks are a low-cost option that looks just as stunning as real hardwood.  The cost will range between $2 -$7 per square feet, making it the most affordable “wood” option over real hardwood and engineered hardwood.

3. Get a New Paint Job

According to a study, painting the interior of the home can yield a 2-4% increase in value and painting the exterior can bring a 2-5% increase in value.

It's not just about the numbers here, though. Painting a house is the best way to make it feel fresh and new. It hides imperfections, covers up any old marks, and makes your home's best features pop. It also solves any issues with peeling exterior paint that will show up in a home inspection.

More often than not a pressure wash will be more than enough to clean up the exterior of your home and get it ready for sale. The only reason you would need to get a new exterior paint job before selling would be based on the current color of your house or the condition of the paint.

The paint is peeling and will not pass in a home inspection.

There is major touch-up work to be done or different touch-up jobs over the years have created odd discrepancies in paint color.

Painting the exterior of your home is not cheap, and it's a job you should call in a professional for. The cost to paint the average home exterior is between$2000-$3500. Plus, even after the huge expense and time commitment of painting the exterior, the buyers might come in and change the paint job to better suit their taste anyway.

You're better off hiring someone to power wash your house instead of committing to the cost of an exterior paint job. 

You can paint the interior of the house yourself, so long as you prep the room properly and choose the right paint. An interior DIY paint job will cost about $400-$800.  You can also divide your square footage by the amount of square feet a gallon of paint covers to get a more accurate cost for your home.

The calculation will tell you how many gallons of primer and paint you need. You can then multiply that number by the cost of the paint you choose, and add in any additional expenses like drop cloths, paint brushes, painter's tape, etc.

4. Switch Out Old Light Fixtures and Hardware

If your kitchen or bathroom is in dire need of a refresh, switch outdated hardware like cabinet knobs and drawer pulls to give your home the boost it needs.

For me one of [the best affordable ways to increase home value] is fixtures, door hardware, and cabinet hardware. You can take a basic cabinet, put some hardware on it—knobs and pulls—and really dress it up. Door hardware…oil brushed and satin nickel for example. That stuff can be changed out very cheaply…People are surprised when you can do a full house…

If you want to go the extra mile, swap out old faucets in the kitchen and in the bathroom for simple, modern pieces.

Kitchen cabinets in bad shape can also get a quick makeover. Use a polish to bring natural wood cabinets back to life. If you need to repaint.

Take the cabinet doors off the hinges, label where each door goes, and bag up any hardware.

Then, scrub down each door.

Use a primer to prime the doors and let it fully dry.

Then, with an angled brush and mini foam roller, paint the cabinets with a semi or high gloss paint. 

In terms of Light fixtures, they are usually affordable, and if it's already wired you can change them out yourself.

Pick a plain, modern light fixture and keep the cost low on each fixture.

5. Leverage the Landscaping

Your first shot at a first impression is, as always, your house's curb appeal. In fact, do an amazing job landscaping your front yard and you could get 4%-10% more on your home value.

First, take out any dead grass and weeds and replace them with bark, gravel or decomposed granite. Then, add pops of plants throughout your yard.

Succulents and short shrubs are both low cost and low maintenance, and they're in style right now for a landscaping redo. If you scatter them throughout the front yard and fill the rest of the space in with one of the fillers mentioned above, you'll have a front yard ready for sale in no time.

You can also paint the front door for an extra pop of charm. You can try a light turqoise, sunny yellow or even bright pumpkin orange. The best part is that you'll only have to pay for the materials, paint, brush and sand paper for less than $50 you front door will look like a brand new. 

Though the return on investment will vary for these home improvement projects, all of them will drastically improve the look of your house and will prepare it for sale. 


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