8 Ways to Increase Your Home Value (Part 1)

Homeowners often underestimate how much worth they can add to their property by way of a few upgrades and changes. From easy, inexpensive alterations to more costly, complex renovations and additions - there are a considerable number of methods by which the value of nearly ANY home can be increased significantly. In 'Part 1' we focus on 8 relatively cheap and simple ways to help you improve your home’s price assessment:

1. Plant Trees & Landscape

The exterior of the home always makes the first impression, so make sure it’s a good one. Homes with a high degree of ‘curb appeal’ are valued higher and tend to sell faster, and we identify several ways to achieve this throughout the article. Begin with all the space surrounding the home. Tidy up the yard and keep up with lawn care. Consider planting trees; they add beauty, they are beneficial to the environment, and they provide shade and shelter for the home in the summer, cutting cooling costs. In some cases, allowing large trees to grow over time can add almost as much value as a new bathroom! Well-tended gardens, flowerbeds, shrubs, and colourful plants can absolutely increase the value of the home, but opt for native species to lower maintenance.

2. A Fresh Front Door

The look and hardware of the front door does affect the value of the home. Not only should it have curb appeal but it should also be in good working order. If it’s time for a new front door, consider installing one with a modern design. Take the opportunity to showcase your home’s individuality, but make sure it’s complimentary to the overall look of the house. A paint job, perhaps with a bold new colour, can also give an old door that ‘pop’ you’re looking for.

3. Paint, Paint, Paint!

While we’re on the subject - yes - a few fresh coats of paint will drive the home’s value up. A newly painted home will always look better, and you can essentially reinvent entire spaces with updated colours; this applies to both the exterior and the interior. Not every room needs to be painted, but bright colours tend to evoke a greater sense of space, making these styles best-suited for bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. If you feel that curb appeal could be improved with paint, be sure to thoroughly wash exterior walls and windows before doing so, and follow all instructions on paint containers. Don’t neglect outside porches and decks, trim, or the garage door (and choose a different colour of paint for these areas).

4. Create Strategic Storage & Declutter

Homes with open concepts tend to be assessed at a greater value, so you’ll want to take some steps to make it appear roomier and more spacious. To cut down on clutter and maximize space, create designated storage areas or units to keep the home neat and organized. Utilize closests, cabinets, totes, bins, and storage rooms; non-essential appliances and items should be kept neatly in these places. Leave lots of space to move about within the kitchen and living room in particular, and keep curtains or drapes drawn when possible to allow natural light to brighten the interior.

5. Thoroughly Wash & Clean the Interior

All homes will collect dirt and grime over the years, even those that have managed to maintain higher than average cleanliness. Again, give particular attention to the kitchen, living room, and bathroom(s); these areas tend to see the most traffic and activity, so they will likely be most in need of regular cleaning. Prepare to thoroughly wash floors, countertops, doors, trim, ceilings, fixtures, windows, and walls (especially if you plan to paint). Carpet washers are excellent at cleaning carpets and rugs and can be purchased or rented at reasonable prices at most harware stores. Remove grime, soap scum, and stains from tiles, showers, sinks, tubs, and toilets. Additionally, you’ll be exploring areas of your home during this time that you likely don’t see at other times, so take note of anything that might need repairing as you go.

6. Small Bathroom Updates

Now that your bathroom has been deep-cleaned and perhaps evenly freshly painted, you can make fairly inexpensive renovations that will boost value. New hardware like fixtures and tile will create instant improvements. Adding more than just aesthetic value, energy efficient faucets, shower heads, and light bulbs can be purchased at competitive prices through most home improvement outlets. Always research the warranty on these items to ensure your purchase remains cost-effective in the long run. Don’t forget to replace old or damaged mirrors to add an extra facelift to the bathroom.

7. No Textured Ceilings

At one time, textured ceilings, or ‘popcorn’ ceilings, were widely popularized and found in many homes and buildings. While they haven’t completely gone out of style, there are many reasons why they have decreased in popularity over the decades. These types of ceilings can more easily hide imperfections, were associated with asbestos in the past, but most pertinent of all they are not considered modern in 2019. You can instantly increase the value of your home by removing the texture and smoothing out the ceiling. First, cover all furniture that you cannot remove from the room, then use a spray bottle to wet the textured paint (wait 10-20 minutes). Long strokes with a putty knife will scrape large pieces off at a time. Once you’ve completed scraping, wash the ceiling with a damp cloth and then paint it at a later date.

8. Add Trim

Plain window/door casing never looks quite as sharp as windows/doors with trim. Anything that gives a home more style, more elegance, or more character will add value. White trim or crown molding is a popular choice that stands out particularly well in most kitchens and bathrooms, where you can concentrate your efforts. If the trim you have is already sleek and in good shape, wash it regularly and give a new coat of paint every now and then (especially if it’s lightly coloured).