In most cases, Buyers in today’s market are purchasing homes near or over market value, while many Sellers are reaping the rewards of buying in a down market over the last 5 years. Think about this, not only did some buyers purchase homes with considerable equity over the last 5 years, but if you were a first time home buyer in 2009 or 2010, the government gave you up to $8,000 to purchase a home! This is separate from the interest free “rebate” requiring repayment in 2008.

Today’s Buyer is purchasing in a market with rising home prices and multiple offer scenarios, in many cases. Buyers in today’s market can still enjoy “built-in” equity on their home purchase though. Here are a few ways to invest back into your home:

  • Make your home aesthetically pleasing. Taking down a non-load bearing wall can create the concept of more space. Kitchens, dining areas, and living areas are usually perfect rooms to create conceptual space. Do you have a Galley Kitchen? Creating an access point between the kitchen and the living room can give a more inviting feeling and entertaining floor plan. If you can create large enough counter space in your newly open wall space, you can turn the area into a nice breakfast bar. Consider how much cabinet space you’ll be sacrificing though before taking on such a project. Are your windows small or non-existent? Install more/bigger windows to allow more light in or bring your beautiful yard inside your home. Energy efficient bulbs are nice while living in your home, but can make your home seem dark when you’re selling your home. On the first visit to your home, buyers are rarely in a room long enough for these bulbs to warm up. Consider replacing these bulbs or having all lights on before showings.
  • Repurpose your rooms. Do you have an unused formal living room? Consider how you might be able to concert this into dedicated study. Some homeowners have an isolated formal living area that may only require a small amount of new walls installed and some double doors. If you have a formal dining/formal living great room, consider walling off the formal areas, to create dedicated rooms, but make sure you still can have access into your formal dining room. Consider also casing you’re doorways and make sure you have the appropriate data ports and electric outlets. The fact is, fewer and fewer people use a formal living area, but have a real need for a study. Meeting Needs=Value.
  • First impressions are everything. Fresh mulch, bright colors, and well-manicured flower beds can go a long way. If you don’t have any flower beds around the front of your house, simple landscaping walls or stones are an inexpensive way for the everyday DIY’er to create. If you feel real ambitious, try creating an enjoyable outdoor living area with a simple pergola and chiminea. Don’t forget to touch up any chipping or faded paint on the outside of the home. In fact, a freshly painted front door can be a very cost effective way to transform your home.
  • Address your bathrooms. Whether you’re considering the master bath or a secondary bath, there is a large array of improvements you can make to attract more buyers. Consider changing a single sink into a double sink, if room allows, replace your countertops with granite, or change a countertop sink to a stand-alone with modern fixtures. Are you surrounded by brass? Switching out a shower insert with a shower kit, new lighting, or framed mirrors can really update this space. Are you on a tight budget? Recaulking, painting, cleaning grout, and putting out fresh linens can transform your bathroom from feeling old or unkempt to fresh or new.

If you feel real ambitious, consult a plumber on adding a new bathroom completely. Changing a 4 bed 2 bath to a 3 bath home can provide a complete return of investment, and in many cases, give additional value. If you have extra closet space, dead wall space, or have a room that is larger than needed, these can sometimes provide perfect areas to add a bathroom. You’ll rarely find a buyer who feels you have too many baths.

  • Paint…..And don’t be afraid of color!! Neutralize your colors and walls covered in paper, but don’t create a sterile, uninviting, or cold atmosphere. Neutralizing walls with all white can create an opposite effect than what you were hoping. Pick neutral eye appealing colors that accent your home. Put your tastes aside, after all, your trying to sell your home.
  • The Kitchen. If you have a kitchen made for entertaining – this is your focal point of the house. This room can make or break a home sale. Granite can be expensive, but ask your Realtor what the difference in home sale prices are for homes with or without granite. You don’t have to have stainless steel everywhere, but don’t mix and match your colors. Keep appliance colors the same. Add subway tile backsplash or glass tile if the walls under cabinet feel a little bare. Add cabinet space with organizer inserts. A lazy susan insert in a corner cabinet or a pot and pan roll out insert can double the amount of room inside a cabinet that you’re able to use. Do you have fluorescent lighting? Consider adding pendant or canned lighting.

Whether major or minor, big budget or I’m eating Raman noodles for the next month;), their are several ways to add value back to your home. If you’re thinking of selling your home, give me a call and let me guide you through making some of these decisions.