Plan your remodel. Whether you just bought a house or you have lived there for a while, the fastest way to increase your home’s value is having a logical plan and budget that you stick too.
“Sometimes people dive into a project with plenty of enthusiasm but no real plan,” said Jason Pipkorn, owner of Pipkorn Construction in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “What often happens in the home owner finds the idea they had in their head or photo they clipped out of a magazine is not easily adapted to their space. These kind of issues can lead to additional expenses and frustration for the homeowner”.
Having a solid plan can save both time, money and nerves! Home improvement projects cost about 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 to 80 cents spent go directly back into the home through increased value.
Start slowly. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If your home is new, get to know it. If you have already been there a while, get started. List the things you want to change and the updates you would like to make. Don’t worry about organization, just write it all down. Take a guess on how long you may want to live in the house. If you’re planning on selling, talk to your realtor and make a selling plan.
Take the list and categorize by how much it may cost, including your time and money. Be realistic. It’s OK to list an outdoor pool with a waterfall, but keep your financial picture in mind.
Once you have a categorized list, take a look and prioritize what is a real “must have” and what is more of a dream. See if you can come away with a reasonable balance.
Once you have made a plan, do research or talk to a realtor to see what sort of return those improvements may bring. Some improvements will add considerably more value to your home than others.
Tackle one room at a time. How can you harness the energy that comes from new ideas and still be smart when you make those improvements? Make the commitment to tackle one room at a time. Whether it’s a simple coat of paint or knocking down a wall, by tackling one room at a time you keep projects achievable.
Make a list of all the things you dream about doing, break your list down into categories based on cost and write down how much time each project may take. What this does is help you get results. If you only have a day or a weekend, choose a project that fits within your timeframe, comfort level and financial commitment.
Small improvements can really pay off. Are you torn between improving your home’s decor, versus making upgrades you know will increase your home’s resale value? Many homeowners are surprised to hear that doing a little bit of both will actually pay off.
Start by making two lists — upgrades for your home value and upgrades just for you. Upgrades for your home may consist of replacing old faucets, permanent lighting and doors. Upgrades for you are furniture, artwork and window treatments. Gone is the dartboard approach to picking projects and wondering if what you are doing is really making a difference. With this plan, you will see real progress.
Clean your house now for profits later. If your house is on the market, a bright and sparkly home can attract buyers like a magnet. A house can never be too clean. If you were a buyer, would you choose the house that is slightly dingy or the home down the street that is clean and welcoming?
Remember, de-cluttering is a form of cleaning. Just as dirt builds up, so does clutter. Don’t waste money moving your junk around. Get rid of it now. When it’s time to sell you will feel confident about what you are presenting to the buyer.
Curb appeal counts. Want a fresh perspective on the value of your home? Walk across the street, turn around and ask yourself, “Does my house have curb appeal?” Does your home look attractive, welcoming and structurally sound at first glance?
Make a list of ways to enhance the positive and eliminate the negative. If you have a nice curvy walkway, accentuate it with flowers or lanterns. If the first thing a visitor sees is your big wide garage, try to guide their eyes into a beautiful front yard, or paint your front door red to guide the eye there. These things add value.
Upgrade the kitchen. Ask any real estate expert what the No. 1 upgrade with the greatest return is, and the answer will be the kitchen. - Add a splash of color with a new backsplash. - Stainless steel is a hot item for buyers. - Transition your appliances as they wear out and go with a similar metallic look in your light switches.
Beautify your bathroom. Of all the rooms in your house, the bathroom is the workhorse. There is lots of wear and tear, so you want to keep it functioning well and make good looking upgrades along the way..
Go granite or marble with your countertops. If you are toying with the granite idea, your bathroom counter is most likely smaller than your kitchen counter and less expensive. This is a great place to start your first granite project.
Upgrade your bath area. With an 85 percent return, install a shower with body sprays and stone surround tile. If you are not selling right away, you will feel like you are in a Zen garden every time you step into your bathroom.
Weigh the benefits of upgrading versus selling. Should I stay or should I go? It’s a question staring many homeowners in the face. Look at what it would cost to move, then what it would cost to remodel. Add in the X-factors such as friends, schools and neighbors. When all is said and done, you may find you get more equity by staying in your home and remodeling
Hire a certified home inspector. You go to the doctor for physical exams and take your car in for checkups. Why not do the same for your house? A home inspection can be a valuable thing, whether you are selling or not.
Pay down the principal on your loan. As you make all those home improvements, don’t forget the cash. Your financial strategy can boost your home value in a big way. Many different loan features can be added together to give someone a loan that is comfortable for them; give them an opportunity to do home improvements and to invest in their future