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How to Add Value When You're Thinking About Selling Your Home

Home sales are slowly on the rise, so if you’re thinking about putting your home on the market in the near future, now may be the time to make some changes. Sometimes just some minor fix-ups can make all the difference in how fast your home sells.

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Here are Fourteen Ways to Add Value to Your Home:

1. Remodel your kitchen

Simply put, kitchens sell houses. If yours still looks like a movie set from the 1970s, it may be time to spruce it up. Think of putting in new granite or Corian countertops, hardwood flooring, recessed or pendant lighting, and rich cherry or hickory cabinetry. Small changes can reap big rewards.

2. Install new windows

With everyone trying to save money on heating, replacing windows may be the place to start. 30% of energy is lost through windows, and today’s newest models with Lo E glass block 95% of UV rays. New windows are more attractive, easier to maintain, and are usually eligible for a tax credit.

3. Add a Family Room

If you only have a living room, with no other place for people to gather, you may want to consider adding a family room. Get creative and think about eliminating a wall, or use the unused space in your basement. This is especially important if you have teenagers, as they usually want a space of their own where they feel comfortable when friends are over.

4. Create a home office

More and more people are working out of their homes, so having a space dedicated to a home office is essential. It doesn’t have to be elaborate–a corner of a room, space under the stairs–any small area will do. All that’s needed is a desk, filing cabinets, shelves, computer, phone, and good lighting.

5. Renovate the Master Bedroom Suite

To many people, the master bedroom is one of the most important rooms of the house. They’re looking for adequate storage, a walk-in closet, lots of light, and an attached master bath. It should be comfortable, soothing, and clutter-free. Whatever changes you can make to your existing bedroom will increase the value of your home.

6. Increase curb appeal with landscaping

Overgrown weeds and lack of color are not conducive to selling your home. Proper lawn care, planting of hardy and pretty flowers, mulch, and/or landscape stone can beautify the area surrounding your home. If you don’t have a green thumb, or don’t have the time, go for low-maintenance items that continue to look good year after year. First impressions are important, and your yard is the first place people see.

7. Brighten with paint

It sounds simple, but a fresh coat of paint can totally transform a room. Think about a wild splash of color on only one wall, or use some of the texturing methods now available, such as sponge-painting. If you’re not particularly good at this job, consider hiring a professional. Or try wallpapering–two people can master this task without too much effort.

8. Build a 2nd floor

Adding more space to your home increases the square footage, so if possible, build a 2nd floor. Perhaps your garage has a flat roof–this is the perfect place to add on. It could serve as a spare bedroom, a home office, or a private sanctuary. This job is better left to the professionals, as the work can be quite intensive.

9. Remodel the bathroom

Bathrooms have become more like home spas, and having some of the newest fixtures adds much value to your home. All-in-one sink and countertop units make cleanup a breeze, and efficient toilets use less water. True relaxation comes with a built-in jacuzzi or a shower with multiple spray heads.

10. Install a new roof

A leaky roof causes multiple problems, and quick fixes last only so long. Consider re-roofing with today’s more attractive shingles, which can last up to 40 years. It’s an investment that is well worth the money, and a job that you only have to worry about once (unless you plan to stay in your home a LONG time!)

11. Refurbish your basement or attic

Instead of being “junk collectors,” basements and attics have great potential as spare rooms. With just a little fixing up, they can become game rooms, extra bedrooms, or offices. Plus, it’s a good excuse for cleaning them out and ridding your house of unwanted items.

12. Add new siding

New siding can give your house a real face-lift. With all the colors and options available, you can get the look you want, at an affordable price. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, and requires periodic cleaning to keep it looking new. That means no more painting!

13. Build a sunroom

If you’ve never considered a sunroom, now may be the time. Adding one on to the back of your house is not only attractive, but it’s a room you’ll use time and time again. Letting in natural sunlight helps heat your home in the winter, and during the warmer months, you can enjoy the feeling of being outside, minus the insects.

14. Add a new deck

Decks are very popular for today’s homes, and it’s been shown that homes with decks recoup a 76% return on their investment. It should be large enough for your family and guests, but not too big so that it doesn’t fit with the scheme of your home. New materials now make decks almost maintenance-free, and it’s something which potential home buyers look for when house hunting.


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