“What can I do to increase my home’s value?” It’s a common question we get, not just from clients interested in selling a home, but also from those who want to build equity in their property. The answer is slightly different for those selling now and those planning on selling later, but the driving factor in choosing projects is to always focus on those improvements with the biggest return on investment.
Regardless of your time frame, we are going to look at five major home improvements that will give you the biggest “bang for the buck” and add the most to your bottom line. It’s important to note that each geographical area has its unique market factors and quirks. We believe the key areas mentioned here are the best place for a homeowner to focus if the objective is to increase your home’s value. After being involved in the local real estate market for so many years, we also have a team of consummate professionals to turn to when the heavy lifting is needed.
As numerous HGTV shows and design blogs will attest, the biggest spot in your home where you can reap a huge return is the kitchen. Potential buyers will appreciate that you have done the updating for them. Everyone loves walking into a modern and freshly equipped kitchen! The central hub of most homes is still the kitchen, so when showing property, the kitchen makes a big impact, either positively or negatively.
The quickest and easiest upgrades you can make are new appliances and new counter tops. Buyers today almost always expect granite counter tops and with so many choices and varieties, granite is more affordable than ever. Additionally, nothing gives a modern feel like a new suite of stainless steel appliances. Both of these items can give a luxurious feel and exude quality in any kitchen setting, and their impact is felt immediately.
The second spot in your home to focus on is the bathroom. Nothing can make a house feel more outdated than to walk into a dark master bathroom clothed in mauve tiles. Remember, after the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most essential rooms in the house and can instantly improve the sale-ability and stylishness of your home.
However, bathroom renovations are also one of the things that can quickly get out of hand and over budget. Miriam Cotter with Plantation Cabinetry has offered her go to solution, “You can quickly change the entire feel of a bathroom by simply changing the vanity, sink, and faucet. If finances are tight, this is one spot that your dollars can go far. A modern sink and faucet combo can change the dynamic of the bathroom.
The Attic & Lower Storage Areas
This may seem like an odd place to focus, but today’s many buyers are focused not only on living space, but storage space. A clean, organized, and accessible attic is almost as enticing as a pool. In the Lowcountry, we have many clients who are moving here to start their retirement or begin the downsizing process. It’s easy to get rid of an extra room of furniture, or not move that pool table to Hilton Head from Ohio, but it’s quite another to think about getting rid of seasonal decorations, bulky items like luggage, or family heirlooms, especially because you have no storage space.
A few simple tweaks to your attic will spark a lot of interest from home shoppers. First, make sure every square inch of your attic has a solid floor. This will increase and maximize the usable area, in addition to helping with insulation and soundproofing. Next, add additional lighting. You need to make the attic less scary and more inviting. The same goes for crawl spaces, which are common on Hilton Head. Be sure to make the area as bright as possible and think about adding a few secure areas with simple lattice framing. Don’t be daunted by the upgrades, we know a few handyman contractors who specialize in this area.
If you really want to make an upgrade to your attic that will have a huge impact and long term benefits, consider getting spray foam insulation. It’s hard to add spray foam to an existing house for obvious reasons, but the attic is a prime location. The spray foam can drop the interior temp of an attic on a hot day by as much as 20 degrees and helps stop heat loss during the winter. Besides energy efficiency, you are lessening the damaging effect of heat on items stored. It’s the next best thing to a climate controlled environment.
We can not stress enough how new floors can take away the worn look of a house. As soon as you enter the home, a beautiful floor will catch your eye and give a sense of value. Changing the floor can also give a modern and clean feel especially if you have an older home. Getting rid of the old dingy carpet for any number of wood or tile options will do your home wonders.
Today, there are so many options that cover the budget spectrum, that it would be crazy to overlook doing at least a few rooms. The new varieties of vinyl tiles and laminate flooring have evolved recently to be more cost effective and easier to install. If your floors are still structurally sound, but just worn, you may have the option of adding a new floor right on top. This can save you time, labor, and money. We recently have been seeing beautiful pattern vinyl tile that when installed gives the look of inlaid wood. This can make a big impact in an entryway, foyer or great room.
Raise The I.Q. Of Your Home-
The latest “here to stay” trend is the new generation of smart home technology available to the average homeowner. Remote thermostats, motorized shades, smart lighting and more have become easier to install and use, but for a reliable system we still recommend a professional. Many clients already have some type of home automation, and when looking for a new home, they don’t want to start the process over. Begin with swapping out your thermostats for WiFi enabled ones. You will be amazed at the convenience they offer you, all while making your home more energy efficient. The same goes for lighting. You can easily change wall switches for radio controlled ones that work just like the original toggle, but now have multiple dimming options, wireless control, and a sleeker look.
“You don’t have to have a full blown automation system, just focus on the areas of comfort & convenience”, says Ron Angner with Play Home Technology a local Hilton Head expert of Home Automation. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the new technologies, but we caution clients to stick to the basics”. A recent visit to his showroom wowed us with all the possibilities. Even your stove can have WiFi now!
Along with a few key pieces, changing some of your traditional light fixtures for LED versions will save money on energy, but allow you to tailor the temperature of the light they emit. This can help a dark room feel bright and airy, or add visual warmth to your decor. The shelves at your local home center are stuffed with LED products, but all of them are not created equal. Picking the wrong one can actually make your home feel dim and uninviting. It’s best to test a fixture before you jump in and buy several.
Lastly, think about upgrading your WiFi system to make it a permanent fixture of the home. This can be a big selling point and working with the right company can get you the badge of a “Certified WiFi Building”. Modern technology is fantastic, but most of it relies on your home network to operate efficiently and effectively. Offering buyers the ability to move in and have internet and streaming services ready to go can be a big plus!
Work With A Pro-
As our last tidbit of advice we can’t stress enough is the importance of working with a Realtor who is successful in your market. Besides the ease of finding property and the safety of having an experienced pro guide you through the process, an experienced local realtor will have their finger on the pulse of the local market. They will know exactly what is popular, which things are falling out of favor, and which trends are on the horizons. Even if you are not planning on listing your home in the immediate future, it’s still a great time to develop a long term relationship with a realtor whom that you can bounce ideas off of and use as a resource. After all, they have a vested interest in your sale and always put your needs first.
Sometimes you do not have the time for all these steps! If you need to sell your house fast we can give you a fair offer and pay cash. We can come take a look at your property and give you a fair offer, regardless of the condition of your house. Even if it’s already in foreclosure or there are renters inside. We will take care of all those details and get you money fast. We don’t rely on bank financing so you get your money in a few days, not weeks. Sell “As Is” today!