Easy ways to add function and aesthetic appeal to the interior and exterior
Whether you plan on selling an investment property or simply want to improve your home’s interior or exterior so you can charge higher monthly rental costs, there are quick home improvement projects that can go a long way in helping to increase the value of your home.
Remember, most people don’t look at a house simply as a house…it’s a home that they will live in, create memories in, and perhaps raise a family in. So when it comes to making your investment property an attractive place to call home, you might consider the following easy renovations to make your home more functional and more aesthetically pleasing.
In this tough economic market housing prices are dropping. That means getting the worth (and perhaps a decent profit) from your investment will depend on its marketability—a modern kitchen, energy efficient appliances, new windows, a back deck, secure doors, a exterior with curb appeal, and so on. Here are seven quick renovations that will increase the value of your home…
1. A new coat of paint
A new coat of paint can go a long way when you consider the cost of paint compared to the new look it provides. If your property’s exterior is dull or outdated or if you’re kitchen is stuck in the 1970s, use a fresh coat of paint to make a rather inexpensive yet drastic change. After all, you can spend upwards of $10,000 to $60,000, but simply changing the walls to a modern color can update your kitchen on the cheap.
2. Update the appliances
Replace old appliances with a modern, energy-efficient stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave at a cheaper cost than redoing the whole kitchen. Energy Star-rated appliances really update the equity in your home (if you’re planning to sell) and provide a great incentive for tenants (if you are planning to hike the rent), especially if they will be paying the utility costs. Energy efficient appliances look nice (many come in stainless steel), plus they are also better for the environment because they use less energy.
3. Extend your house to the backyard
The addition of a wooden deck on the back of your house (or even on the front) literally extends the square footage of the living space—especially if you live in a warmer climate. Building a deck is a relatively low-cost renovation (between $5,000 and $15,000 depending on size and materials used) and a deck increases your resale value by approximately $10,000.
4. Finish the basement
Another easy way to extend the living space in your home is by finishing the basement. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Simply concentrate on insulating, carpeting, and dry wall. You can instantly transform a cob-web ridden basement into an extra bedroom or recreation space for a family.
5. New windows and doors
Security is a big bonus for homebuyers and renters. Plus, new vinyl windows and doors greatly help reduce the home’s energy efficiency because they prevent drafts and leaks (and the inevitable increase of the thermostat during winter). The installation of new windows and doors also translates to the outside of the home as well—adding greatly to the property’s overall curb appeal.
6. Addition of a sunroom
Sunrooms are not only a beautiful way to let natural light into your home, but they add to the value of your home by increasing the square footage that is considered living space. A pre-fabricated sunroom addition is much lighter on the wallet and faster on the construction front compared to traditional addition build or even a backyard deck addition. Plus, if your home is small, they literally add an extra recreation room to the home—extending its area of use. Sunrooms also drench your home with warming natural light, cutting down electricity costs during the day time and giving the illusion of a larger, more open concept home. Also, if you decide to connect your sunroom to the central heating and air conditioning system of your home, the value increases even more and the room is ready for use all season long.
7. Easy kitchen and bathroom upgrades
Upgrading the kitchens and bathrooms can be a serious cash cow—and most people have to take out a huge home equity loan or remortgage their house in order to do so. However, you can increase the market value of your home with some less strenuous kitchen and bathroom improvements such as a new coat of paint, the addition of energy efficiency fixtures and appliances, and replacing sinks and countertops with new, updated materials.
Paula C. Hester is a freelance writer who loves to write about trends in the real estate, with an eye to cutting through the jargon and presenting the facts in plain English. Ever since purchasing her first home she has been fascinated with the industry and this led her to getting involved in a few house flips. Today she owns a number of rental properties and is committed to helping others get involved with real estate investing in Dallas.