4 Ways to Make or Break Your Home’s Value


There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Upgrading your home is no exception, whether you’re doing so to get more enjoyment from a house you plan on staying in for a while or to get a higher sale price for something you’ll be leaving soon.

Before we get to the big ticket items, there are several inexpensive ways to add incremental value to your home without going overboard. Assuming you don’t take your design cues from Liberace, you can’t go wrong with any of the following aesthetic enhancements:

  • Fresh paint and grout
  • New light fixtures and dimmer switches
  • Replaced wall plates for light switches and electrical sockets
  • Added ceiling fans
  • New interior and exterior door knobs

Now if you’re looking to really kick up the value of your home, here are 4 ways to do it (just be careful not to overdo it):

Add a room
Increasing square footage by adding a den or a bedroom is a sure-fire way to add value, but it can backfire on you. If the addition doesn’t blend in with the overall design of the home, if it takes up too much yard space or if it makes your house stand out in a bad way compared to others on your block, you may have done more harm than good.

Build a porch or deck
A (slightly) opposite approach to adding a room is in order if you’re looking to create or upgrade these exterior amenities. Buyers and appraisers will compare them to others in your area, so take a look around your neighborhood. While you don’t want to blow away everyone else’s porch or deck, nicer and slightly bigger will give you a favorable bump in value.

Renovate your kitchen and bathrooms
You hear it all the time on some home improvement shows: “Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.” But they can have the opposite effect if you get too ambitious with renovations. For example, if you go with a Sub-Zero fridge and granite countertops but most of your neighbors have Frigidaire and formica, suddenly you have the most expensive house on the block. Not a big deal if you plan on staying in your home for the long haul, but unnecessary and possibly counterproductive if your goal is a quick flip.

Upgrade your heating and cooling systems
If you are running window air conditioning units in the summer and space heaters in the winter, installing central air and heat is a serious value booster. But this is an area where you don’t want to underdo it. If the new system has an insufficient heating or cooling capacity related to the size of your home, it’ll make things uncomfortable if you decide to stay and problematic if you decide to sell.

Investing in your home can be tricky, and if you’re not careful, you can end up losing money. Don’t let this happen to you!

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