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Best Ways to Improve the Value of your Home

Why do you need to increase your home value? Well, there are several possible reasons, but the most obvious one is because you wish to sell it in the immediate future and by improving it aesthetically, you will be able to sell it for a price that’s well within your expectations. Simply put, selling a home or property that’s not in its best condition possible means the prospective buyer will find several reasons to low-ball the price.

In this article, we’ll teach you some of the best ways to improve the value of your home without really the need to spend a lot of money doing it.

In the article “Brokers Tell All: 10 Ways to Boost House Value” from ThisOldHouse.com, there are secrets that realtors and brokers wouldn’t normally tell you when it comes to increasing a home’s value. Fortunately for you, here are some of them given for free:

1. Create Space
Knock out a non-structural wall, or even remove that kitchen island. Anything that opens the space and creates a sense of flow in the house is generating a response from buyers who can afford to be choosy. For the price of a few hundred dollars, you’ll transform the feel of the house. “Right now buyers want a wide open floor plan, the living room right off the kitchen. They are into big spaces,” says Kristin Wellins, Senior Manager of Program Development for ERA Real Estate.

Seattle broker Reba Haas says a kitchen island can be an asset, creating needed storage space. But if the kitchen has enough cabinets, it could pay to haul the island away. Haas says homeowners might want to consider a moveable island. “You can adjust them to you needs,” she explains.

2. Prune, Limb, and Landscape
Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views, darken interiors, promote mold, and block a good look at the house.

“People forget about their trees more than almost anything,” says Roger Voisinet, a thirty-year veteran of the Charlottesville, Virginia real estate market. Yet, landscaping is one of the top three investments that bring the biggest return. According to a 2007 survey of 2,000 brokers conducted by HomeGain, an online real estate marketing site, an investment of around $400 or $500 dollars in landscaping, can bring a return of four times that. “It could really make a significant difference in the price. Nobody likes to spend money, but landscaping might even be the most important thing, even if owners have kept up the house,” says Voisinet.

Reba Haas agrees, “Overgrown landscaping is a problem at all price points.” Haas says it hurts with marketing too. “People say, ‘Where’s the house?” If buyers can’t see what they are getting, they just move right on.”

And if neglected, mother nature may go wild at considerable cost. Voisinet looked at one house recently where a fallen limb from a poorly cared for tree caused $2,000 in damage.

3. Let in the Light
The number one item on the 2007 HomeGain survey, lighting—everything from a dimmer switch to the increasingly popular sun tubes—noticeably enhances a home’s appeal. California broker Robert Bailey says, “Dimmers allow you to create a mood.”

He’s a booster of sun tubes, too. Less expensive than framing in a skylight, sun tubes—also known as light pipes, sunscoops, and tubular skylights—use reflective material to funnel natural light from a globe-capped hole cut in a rooftop down through a ceiling fixture and into a room. Bailey says, with tubular skylights, sunlight is nice, and moonlight is even nicer. “I’m putting six of them in my house. I don’t need a skylight, but I do want the natural light.”

A few other ways to light things up: Fix broken panes, make sure windows open, and consider lights that use motion detectors to turn themselves off. Remember high wattage bulbs make small spaces feel larger, and soft lighting brings warmth to empty spaces.

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We totally agree with those three tips above. Putting more light inside the living space, adding space, and fixing the yard are three of the most essential things you need to be doing if you want your home to look better than it previously was. Although you might not give that much value to lighting, the garden, and space, remember that every buyer out there wants those three.

Next up, let’s see what BankRate.com, in the article “10 cheap fixes to boost the value of your home” could offer us:

1. Make your kitchen really cook. The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. Potential home buyers make a beeline for this room when they first view a home for sale, so make sure your kitchen looks clean and reasonably updated.

For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.

If you’ve got a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. “Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into hiring a refacing company,” says serial remodeler Gwen Moran, co-author of “Build Your Own Home on a Shoestring.”

“Many companies can remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes, then add brand-new doors and drawers. With a fresh coat of paint over the whole set, your cabinets will look like new.”

If you’re handy, you can order your own replacement cabinet doors and door fronts from retailers like Lowe’s Home Improvement or The Home Depot and install them yourself.

2. Give appliances a facelift. If your kitchen appliances don’t match, order new doors or face panels for them. When Nicole Persley, a Realtor in Boca Raton, Fla., was sprucing up her own home to sell, her mix-and-match kitchen bothered her. The room had a white dishwasher, microwave and wall oven mixed with other pieces that were stainless steel with black trim.

When Persley called the dishwasher manufacturer to see about ordering a new, black face panel, the customer service representative clued her in on a big secret: Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other.

“All I had to do was unscrew two screws, slide out the panel and flip it around. Sure enough — it was black on the other side!”

Persley, who has remodeled numerous homes for resale, says that a more cohesive-looking kitchen makes a big difference in the buyer’s mind — and in the home’s resale price.

3. Buff up the bath. Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. “Even simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference in the look of the bath,” says Moran.

Moran also suggests replacing an old, discolored bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or a small piece of sheet vinyl. “You may not even need to take up the old floor. You can install the new floor right over the old one,” she says.

If your tub and shower are looking dingy, consider re-grouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround. These one-piece units may require professional installation but can still be cheaper than paying to re-tile walls and refinish a worn tub.

Read the original article by clicking here.

It’s no easy task if you’re faced with the necessity to do some fixes to improve your home’s value. But one thing you do have to understand is that you don’t have to do it on your own. You can either ask for help from a willing friend, from your family, or maybe tap the services of a contractor. You just have to be reminded that although you’re likely going to spend money on fixes, you end up getting more in return since you’d be able to sell your home at a very good price.

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