The holidays are quickly approaching, and, for the productive planners among us, that means it’s time to put the final touches on Christmas lists. But while you juggle who to include, how much money to spend, and where to do your shopping, there’s something else you should keep in mind. Consider doing a little gifting for yourself; more specifically, consider doing a little gifting for your home. Giving the right presents to the house you live in won’t just make you a happier homeowner, it’ll raise your home’s value which makes it a smart long term investment. That’s why you should consider becoming your home’s own Secret Santa with one of these great ideas.
According to Consumer Reports, spending $2,220 on kitchen improvements can add up to $6,000 to a house’s asking price. Any real estate agent will tell you that your kitchen can sell your home, so if yours looks like it could use a little love, spending some money on a few upgrades is the right thing to do. Yet, contrary to the popular impulse, you don’t have to splurge on high end appliances to make it happen. Well maintained, new mid range items like a $600-$700 gas range do just fine. But more important than the appliances is the look and feel to the kitchen. Consider the cabinets, the counters, and the floor. A new, stainless steel sink with a nice faucet is the kind of thing that really impresses, but doesn’t have to be terribly expensive.
The bathroom is the perfect place to make improvements because, as a relatively small space, a little money will go a long way. Consider minor maintenance such as caulking around the tub, or making the room feel brighter and more airy with a fresh coat of paint. Re-grout tiles to give them a newer/cleaner appearance. Follow the old realtor trick, and replace any metal handles and faucets if you have them which likely grew worn and dull over time. Get a new mirror, and match it with your new faucets for a great unified look. Don’t forget to consider the lighting, and install small under cabinet lights to add some appeal. If you have an older toilet, you should absolutely invest in an efficient low-flow model. It’ll look great, and pay for itself as it saves you money in the long term. If you can’t afford a new tub or shower area, at least invest in a new, powerful, multi-function shower head.
There are plenty of improvements you can make to your house that aren’t specific to any individual room, but can still raise the value of your home considerably. Some improvements are absolute must haves such as energy efficient windows. Doing this will dramatically reduce your energy bills during the peaks of the hot and cold months because you won’t be needlessly leaking as much heat or AC. It’s also a great selling bullet point for buyers. While you’re at it, consider the furnace/HVAC unit. Replacing your system would definitely be a huge expense, and probably not one you should consider unless you intend to be sticking around for awhile, but it will boost your home’s value substantially. It’s the kind of thing buyers notice and appreciate; particularly the newer energy efficient units that are designed to save money. In the same vein, if your home has old, rusty, shaky plumbing, you should start thinking about addressing it. The good news is that upgrading your pipes is no longer an enormous project that requires gutting your house. These days, re-piping is normally done with PEX which is reliable, far less expensive, and much less labor intensive. Improvements like these will not only make your life better, but they’ll give future buyers some much deserved peace of mind.
Attic/ Basement Improvements
Though it certainly shouldn’t be a priority, if you’ve already made the major improvements to your house over the years in the important rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom, finishing your attic or basement is a great way to make the most of your space while adding a ton of value to your home. You could create a new study, den, entertainment space, or even another bedroom depending on your local building codes. A three bedroom/ two bathroom suddenly becomes much more appealing when you add an extra room that can have multiple uses.