7 Home Selling Tips

Dollar-Smart Upgrades: 6 Affordable Renovations To Instantly Boost Home Value

Monday Jul 16th, 2018


Considering your home is likely the most substantial investment you've ever made, it's essential to maximize its potential. While the initial purchase price is just the beginning, Dollar-Smart Upgrades become a pivotal factor in enhancing your home's value.

In the realm of home improvements, strategic planning and a focus on return on investment are key. According to the 2018 Cost Vs. Value report by trade publication Remodeling Magazine, the average remodeling project only recoups a fraction of its cost upon sale. However, it's possible to make smart choices that significantly impact your home's resale value.

Here, are six budget-friendly projects that can essentially pay for themselves when it comes to increasing your home's value:

  1. Update your colour scheme

More than two-thirds of real estate agents recommend repainting the inside of your home before listing it, especially if the current colors aren't neutral. Studies have demonstrated that a fresh coat of paint in the right shade can significantly increase your selling price. In recent years, neutral tones like grey, beige, and the trendy 'greige' (a blend of the two) have gained popularity.

If you're up for the task, and there's no reason not to be, repainting can be one of the most cost-effective ways to enhance your living space for potential buyers or your own satisfaction. If you're new to painting, start with a smaller, less frequently used room to hone your skills.

For instance, a 10-by-12-foot room with eight-foot ceilings typically requires just one gallon of paint (which can cost between $30 and $60 at Home Depot) per coat, as indicated by Glidden's online calculator. When factoring in additional essentials such as brushes, tarps, and painter's tape, and assuming you'll apply two coats of paint, you should budget between $200 and $300 per room if you decide to take on the painting project yourself. If you opt for a professional painter, the cost would be considerably higher, so it's a good idea to obtain a few quotes.

  1. Landscape

A little investment in lawn care can yield significant returns. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, implementing six applications of fertilizer throughout the year and weed control, a project that typically costs around $300 for an average lawn, can result in a five-fold increase in value at the time of sale.

If you're willing to allocate a bit more budget, consider the addition of a stone walkway adorned with greenery. This upgrade not only returns an average of double its initial cost upon sale but also contributes to the overall curb appeal of your property.

Curb appeal is crucial, as it forms the first impression of your home. Capture some photos and seek advice from your local garden center to enhance your landscaping. However, it's essential to keep it simple. While maintaining a well-groomed lawn is generally a wise choice, elaborate designs or fountains may not hold their value as they cater to diverse tastes and can be perceived as overly extravagant.

  1. Reduce your energy costs

It's quite astonishing that up to 90% of homes suffer from inadequate insulation, according to findings from the Energy Star program. But have you ever wondered about your own home's insulation situation? Well, there's a good chance it's lacking, especially if your house was constructed before 1980 or if you're noticing that your winter heating bills consistently outstrip those of your neighbors.

To determine your insulation status for certain, pay a visit to your attic. You'll want to see at least 11 inches of fiberglass insulation or a minimum of 8 inches of cellulose insulation.

While shopping for something you won't even see might not be as enjoyable as selecting the perfect color for a brand-new kitchen, the potential monthly savings are substantial, particularly when you factor in the relatively modest project cost. Moreover, topping up your insulation can be a valuable selling point for your home.

  1. Replace old windows

Replacing your old windows with newer, energy-efficient models offers more than just annual savings of $50 to $500 in heating and cooling costs—it also brings about a remarkable transformation to your home. The impact goes beyond mere financial benefits.

New windows have the power to rejuvenate your home's overall aesthetic, making it more appealing and welcoming. Simultaneously, they put an end to those pesky drafts that can be a major turn-off for potential buyers when you eventually decide to sell your property.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, a mid-range window replacement project, typically priced around $5,000, tends to offer the best value. The most expensive options often prioritize aesthetics over insulation. A complete window replacement may not always be necessary; look out for signs like rotting wood frames or condensation between window panes, as these are clear indicators that it's time for an upgrade.

Furthermore, much like landscaping, new windows significantly enhance your home's curb appeal, leaving a lasting impression that can make a world of difference.

  1. Install hardwood flooring

Hardwood flooring installation may come with a higher upfront cost compared to wall-to-wall carpet, but it offers an enduring elegance and potential long-term savings.

For instance, the total investment for installing a mid-range red oak floor in a 900-square-foot area typically ranges from $5,000 to approximately $10,000, depending on the quality of materials and installation.

To ensure the longevity of your hardwood floors, it's essential to maintain them with regular sweeping and vacuuming. Applying a protective coating every three to five years and, if necessary, sanding and refinishing the floors "every few decades" will help keep them in excellent condition. Whether you're installing new hardwood floors or refinishing the existing ones, the transformation can truly elevate the overall appeal of your home.

  1. Kick up your curb appeal

When it comes to home renovations, a golden rule to remember is that simplicity often yields the most significant value. In fact, if you're looking for a renovation project with a high return on investment, you need not look further than your garage door.

According to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report, the comprehensive cost of replacing an outdated garage door with a high-end steel model is notably lower than the increase in your home's overall value. If your garage door has seen better days, investing in an upscale $3,000 replacement can substantially enhance your home's curb appeal and its overall market value.  And if your budget allows, you might also want to consider a new entrance door if your current one is showing signs of aging.

In summary, 'Dollar-Smart Upgrades and Renovations to Instantly Boost Your Home's Value' is the name of the game. These budget-friendly tips, from better insulation to energy-efficient windows, stunning hardwood floors, and a fancy garage door, aren't just about sprucing things up – they're also about making your home worth more in the long run. With these upgrades, you get a cozier space to live in and a fatter wallet when it's time to sell. So whether you're getting ready to put your house on the market or just want to enjoy a better living environment, remember, sometimes, less really is more. Get the most out of your investment and enjoy the rewards.