Whether you’re currently considering a sale of your first house, or just thinking about your next move, chances are the value of your property is never too far off your mind. And if it is, well, maybe it shouldn’t be.
A home is an investment. The better you care for that investment, the more it will pay off when you decide to upgrade to your dream house (or cash out and buy that dream RV). The point is, don’t assume that your home will automatically get more valuable as you live there. It needs some upkeep!
Below are seven simple, cost-effective ways of making certain that your home maintains its value over time.
Give It A New Coat Of Paint
Potentially, the cheapest option on the list, a livelier hue for your living room or an accent wall in your kitchen can be a cheap and moderately easy way of adding a modern update to the current look of your home. Additionally, strategic use of bright colors can add a greater sense of space to your home without needing to add any actual square footage to the property.
While your carpet and windows may get their weekly once-over, scheduling a few visits a year from the pros can be a great way of hitting the refresh button on your entire home. You could invest in your own carpet cleaner, or an annual visit from a carpet steamer will generally cost about $50 per-room. Hiring a home cleaning service for some seasonal maintenance will generally set you back about $30 an hour. While these measures alone won’t add $20K to your home’s value overnight, a long-term commitment to the cleanliness of your home will add up over time.
Invest In Functionality
Another low-cost measure for boosting the market value of your home, installing shelving and and all-around functional storage space doesn’t require much more than some simple tools, a few affordable pieces of furniture and maybe a stud detector. The minimal amount sweat equity to properly install a corner bookshelf or some additional kitchen cabinets will help cut down on clutter.
Cultivate The Lawn
Even if you weren’t born with a green thumb, dedicating a few weekends to get your lawn into shape is one of the best ways of increasing the so-called “curb appeal” of your home. Some well-organized shrubbery and a bed of flowers will not only be a nice visual addition to your front- and backyard, but will also signal that you are a dedicated and fastidious homeowner. If you are a novice gardener, take a cue from a few landscaping books, pay a visit to a local greenhouse, steel your nerves and get digging.
Contract A Plumber And Electrician
It might not be fun to think about, but the critical systems of your home deserve more attention than you have probably given them. If you are having persistent issues with electrical dead-spots or leaking pipes, you would do well not to ignore them. While it may seem like inviting a contractor into your home is a surefire way of losing money, making sure your home’s foundation (the wiring, plumbing, etc.) are up to snuff will save you from having to address those issues down the line.
Become Energy Efficient
Replacing leaky windows and door frames will not only make your home look nicer, but it can also really cut down on energy costs. Nobody wants their windows and doors letting precious warm air out in the winter (or cool air in the summer). Also the federal Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit offers those who install new windows, doors, insulation or roofing up to a $500 credit for the cost qualifying upgrades.
Update Your Appliances
Finally, while it may seem like a big investment, there are good options for upgrading your large appliances, which can tip the scales in a big way when it comes to upping the market value of your home. If your dishwasher saw better days in the 80’s, or your fridge’s motor sometimes drowns out the television, it might be time to consider a reasonable modern replacement. It’s a quick, practical, and aesthetic fix that will keep your home attractive to prospective buyers when the time comes to sell or take out a home equity line of credit..