When you want to build equity or increase your home’s selling price, sometimes it takes money to make money. Investing in your property by doing renovations or making design changes can really pay off, both in the long and short run. As a rule of thumb, if you can update your property so that buyers can picture themselves hosting a cocktail party on the same weekend they move in, that’s a good indication that you’ve maximized your value. You will attract more offers and higher prices if your property is perceived to be move-in ready.
In that spirit, here are five investments you can make that will increase your property value this fall.
1. Design a Clean and Cohesive Kitchen
When you’re trying to up your property value, never forget that the kitchen is the big-ticket item. If you only have the budget to focus on one of these five projects, we’d strongly consider investing your time and money into updating your kitchen.
There are endless possibilities when renovating your space, but a few key upgrades will go a long way. Updating cabinets is a great starting point. Whether you’re installing entirely new cabinets or just updating their doors and handles, an investment here will go a long way to adding value to your home. Flooring is another way you can add value, and while its a hotly debated topic, adding hardwood or laminate flooring throughout your kitchen looks great and won’t cause any major problems if you have a solution for moisture.
The final investment we’d recommend making in your kitchen would be countertops and appliances. For counters, a nice quartz countertop is a great option. Quartz is slowly becoming as popular as marble and granite in high-end kitchens, as it looks great and is extremely durable. Stainless steel countertops are another great investment, as their sharp finish communicates cleanliness to any potential buyers.
2. You Guessed It: Paint
This is an absolute must if you’re getting ready to sell, as it can hide regular wear and tear and really brighten things up. If you can afford it you can get busy painting the entire house (the outside too), but if not we’d at least suggest covering the inside. Pick a neutral colour throughout, and be sure to add a few extra coats of paint if you’re using white so that it finishes properly. If you haven’t painted in a long time, you should also consider looking up and seeing how the ceilings look. Adding a fresh coat of white paint to the ceilings can really go a long way in freshening your space up.
Painting is a DIY home improvement that almost anyone can do, though you’ll still need to invest in some materials if you’re doing the job yourself. One of the best tips you can get when you’re having your home painted is to not skimp on the paint itself. Use high-quality paint and apply multiple layers. It shouldn’t drip or run and after a few coats should cover the original colours completely. If you’re doing the job yourself, remember that you’re already saving money on labour, so invest some extra money into your materials and do the job right.
3. Make Your Layout Standout
Layout updates are some of the larger investments you can make on your property, and if you’re really trying to maximize your value they should not be overlooked.
First up is the basement. If you have an unfinished basement, putting in a rental suite is a great project to tackle this fall if you want to up your property value. Buyers and investors love rental suites, as they look to offset mortgage costs with rental income. Work with a contractor and be sure to keep in mind what you’ll need the suite to include to maximize your investment. Most renters are interested in units with laundry provided, and a separate entrance is a must.
Another major layout change that can up your property value is investing in an open floorplan. If you’ve ever turned on HGTV you’ve likely seen this suggestion made, and it’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere. Most unrenovated 30+-year-old homes have closed in kitchens that cut off space in the living room and removing a wall will really open things up - you’ll be amazed at how much bigger your space feels. Check with a contractor to see if walls are load-bearing and if they are you can still remove them and install a beam for support.
4. Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency won’t just save you money while you’re in your home, it’s also becoming a major selling point. There are many energy-efficient features that buyers love and want to see already installed in a home they’re considering living in long term.
Programmable and smart thermostats are a great place to start. They’re often connected to wifi which makes it easy to control or program directly from your smartphone. Low and high-end systems are available, but even simply adding in one of the cheaper options is a good idea when it comes time to sell.
Another home-efficiency investment you should look into is installing double-pane windows. Heat can escape through thin windows, and buyers want to make sure that any home they’re living in is air-tight. Tackling this project is a great way to up your property value and relieve concerns over energy-efficiency.
5. Upgrade Your Flooring
We discussed this earlier when referencing the kitchen, but you should really be looking at the flooring throughout your home if you want to maximize your property value. Start by assessing any rooms with carpeting. Should you have any stains or old carpet, now is a great time to replace it or upgrade to hardwood or laminate flooring. Ugly carpets are a top project to tackle, as they’re going to immediately turn off potential buyers.
On the flip side, one of the types of flooring that is most likely to impress buyers is heated floors in your bathroom. Just as sure as old carpets will elicit a negative comment from potential buyers, heated floors will evoke positive sentiments.
There are great options for laminate flooring if you’re looking for entirely new floors. Prices vary, but there are plenty of styles that range from $3 to $6 a square foot. Tackling a project like this won’t take too long, and can dramatically change the look and feel of your home.
With many homeowners staying close to home this fall, home improvement investments will be as popular as ever. Try taking on one of these five projects to up your property value.