For the money, nothing adds more value to a property than a complete paint job, inside and out. And I don’t mean “slapping on a fresh coat of paint” either. A proper paint job will take an inordinate amount of prep work prior to any actual painting. It’s not cheap, but if you work with one good, reliable painter over and over, you’ll be getting breaks on pricing. Since the exterior is the first thing any prospective buyer will see, that outside paint job takes on even more importance than the interior painting.
This improvement comes in a very close second to painting. Again, the curb appeal of the property is the first thing a buyer will see – it’s the key determinant as to whether they will make an offer. Make sure you choose a creative landscaper – one that you can give a budget to, stay on budget, and then trust to make the optimum changes and additions to the landscaping. Whether it’s a new front walkway, repairs to steps, new railings, or a full shrub arrangement that frames the front of the house, and is coordinated to bloom in concert with each other, these changes will ensure a really positive vibe when anyone pulls up to the property.
#3: Refinishing hardwood floors
In general, hardwood floors are truly “in” of late. Most buyers greatly value gleaming hardwood. If your property already has old, dingy, damaged, or stained hardwood floors – then absolutely invest in refinishing them. Your refinisher will help you determine the best finish for your space.
#4: Basic bathroom rehab
If your property has bathrooms that are old, or haven’t been redone within the last 10 years, absolutely consider rehabbing them. There’s no need to go overboard with the re-do – keep it clean, simple, and without frills. However, keep in mind that the master bathroom is the most important re-do in the house – so it’s OK to use more expensive materials and treatments there.
#5: Basic kitchen rehab
At the very least, simply replacing older appliances with all new ones will be well worth the cost. But if a kitchen is totally run down, or hasn’t been renovated in many years, then you must consider a full rehab project. Make sure your materials budget is in line with the style of the house, as well as the relative value of the property. (For example, spending lavishly for a new kitchen on a low end house would be a waste of money…But so would spending frugally for a kitchen on a high end property.)
#6: Adding a deck (or repairing an existing one)
Decks are another “in” feature that most buyers absolutely love. An inviting deck is a major selling device. If you’re going to add one however, just remember that you’ll definitely need enough legal space to do so – and a building permit to proceed.
#7: Changing an unfinished area to finished space (for example, an unfinished basement)
Adding interior finished space without creating an addition is one way to really maximize the value of a property at a fraction of the cost. Whether it’s an unfinished basement or an attic space, most buyers love to have an extra room – as a rec room, kids play area or office. Here to, you’ll need a building permit to be able to make this conversion possible.
Buyers are very conscious of energy costs nowadays, so any upgrade to new, energy-efficient windows will be duly noted by potential buyers, and will increase the value of any property greatly.
#9: New roof/boiler/heating system/correcting a basement water problem
These are considered more nuts and bolts, un-sexy upgrades for any property. But if any of these features is in very poor shape, it will psychologically “leak” over to the perception of any buyer that you, the seller, just hasn’t really kept the house up. Basically, the buyers will think, “what else is wrong with this house?”
If you already have a garage, great. But if the property has none, adding one can greatly increase the value of the house. Likewise, if you only have a driveway for parking, can it be expanded to accommodate more cars? Or, if it’s already in rough shape, consider re-paving it for a fresh look.
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