13 Ways To Add Value To Your Home

Think of your home as an investment. Sure, you want it to be nice because you live in it, but sooner or later it’ll be on the market again. And whether that happens tomorrow or in ten years, the time to start adding value to your home is now. The more you look after your house and maintain it, the more it’ll stand out to potential buyers for all the right reasons.

Keep reading to learn some inexpensive tricks and clever renovations you can do to add value to your home.

1. Inspect it

Pick up a notepad and walk around your house on a sunny morning. Let the light guide you and reveal what artificial light often can’t, such as blemishes or wall stains. Wander through your home as if you’ve never seen it before – inspect it as if you were a prospective buyer.

Would you want to buy it? What and where are its flaws? What’s the condition of the walls, the paint, the hinges, the doors, the ceiling, the flooring, the tiles and the grout in between them? Be extra picky. Check every single corner of the house. Check for mould, cleanliness, leaks, how the spaces are distributed and how functional is that distribution.

Then, reinspect it once the sun goes down. How’s the artificial light? Is it enough? Is it cozy? Can it be improved? Write everything down on your piece of paper, and prioritise what should be renovated or improved.

2. Get some inspiration

Now that you know what your house needs or lacks, you’ll need some remodeling or decorating inspiration to make it happen. Do some research online, or read design-oriented magazines. The easiest way to narrow down your search is by trying to define the look you want in one word. Once you’ve got it, you can try collecting information, colours, textures, ideas and photographs of what that word materialises as in a house.

3. Paint, paint, paint!

Painting is the easiest way to add value to your home. Fresh wall paint will instantly add sophistication and a clean cut look to any home. As a general rule, white and light cream colours are preferable for the inside walls, as it makes the spaces look brighter, bigger and decluttered. In addition, they don’t become tiring as colours such as bright orange might. Remember, you have to look at it everyday! However, this doesn’t mean you don’t get to play around with colours. Feature walls in the right tonalities can integrate splashes of bright colour and add value and luxury to your home.

4. Check the ceiling

A mouldy, old ceiling is never a good look in any home. You might think people don’t notice it, but they do, and it oftens translates to other issues beyond just being an old ceiling.

People notice mould (which translates to poor steam exhaustion, especially in bathrooms and kitchens), grease (which indicates a low-quality exhaust fan in the kitchen), stains, old paint (which translates to owners not caring about maintaining their homes) and Daddy Long-legs hanging around (which also translates to owners not caring about cleanliness or maintaining their home). Ensure you care for and maintain your ceilings, as this will greatly improve the appearance of your home.

5. Check your doors and windows

New doors and windows can be a huge improvement for any home, especially if you’re after energy efficiency and a more environmentally-conscious property – properly sealed entrances and windows help make air conditioning and heating much more effective. In addition, there’s no such thing as too many windows. The more natural light the house can get, the better!

It doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive either. A skylight, including installation, can cost around $1,000, and it’ll add tons of natural light into any dark area of your home.

6. Say goodbye to carpet

The floor is one of the first things buyers look at when they enter your home. Nowadays, everyone wants their floors to be practical, easy to clean, minimalistic and contemporary. The best way to achieve this? Hard floors. So, perhaps now is the time to say goodbye to your carpets.

That’s right. Tear ‘em apart and never install them again! Carpets are not practical at all; they collect dust and contaminants, are hard to clean (especially if you stain them), give an older look to your home, hold odours, and are an absolute nightmare for people who suffer from allergies. It’s true that they might give off the feeling of cosiness, but you can add stylish rugs instead and achieve the same effect. This tactic also has the added benefit of enabling you to play around with different textures to bring a vibrant, updated look to your home.

Stylish tiles, floating floorboards and hardwood floorboards are some different kinds of flooring you may want to consider when getting rid of your carpet.

7. Install good lighting

Lighting is really important when selling your home, as nobody wants to live in a gloomy, dark dungeon. The trick is to always favour yellow, warmer light instead of cold, white light, and to combine high lamps or down lights with table lamps, so the lighting is coming from different angles, directions and heights.

8. Consider installing a ceiling fan

A functional ceiling fan could be a great upgrade. It provides necessary light and creates a soft, healthy breeze, reducing the need for expensive air conditioning.

9. Install mirrors in hallways or smaller rooms

The size of a home will increase its value, however sometimes this is not practical or possible. In this case, mirrors can create the illusion of a larger space, and establish a feeling of openness. If there were a book of visual tricks, this tactic would probably be on page 1.

Mirrors can be installed in entry halls, kitchens (as splashbacks), bathrooms, showers, bedrooms and other small areas.

Other tricks you can do to make your home feel bigger is to put all clutter away using clever storage solutions, for example installing drawers underneath the bed.

10. Upgrade the kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important communal areas of any home. Buyers want a functional workspace that includes good taps, cupboards, and kitchen islands.

The truth is, any type of upgrade you do in your kitchen will add value to your home, no matter how small. You don’t have to replace all bench-tops to fancy granite – just make sure they are in good condition and clean. You can start by replacing an old sink, adding nice ceramics as a splashback, or even replacing the microwave if it looks old.

11. Make sure you have a shiny bathroom

Bathrooms benefit greatly from even the smallest of upgrades. Replacing an outdated vanity, old plumbing, lighting fixtures, or even adding a new tile floor can go a long way for an updated, modern look. If you’re thinking of going all out with renovations, consider a sleek and minimalistic shower with glass doors instead of a tub. It’ll be cheaper than other shower installation options, and add a sophisticated look to your home.

12. Refresh your outside look

Would you consider buying a house that looks like it’s falling apart on the outside, even if it’s fully renovated on the inside? Maybe you would, but not without a second-thought. Properties that appear forgotten, old, or ugly just won’t make the cut in today’s competitive market.

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make your home look fresh, modern and more appealing. In addition, it’s also a good idea to examine the exterior for visible signs of damage. Maybe you have panels that need replacing, or small gaps in between the bricks that need to be filled in with fresh mortar or concrete. Small improvements like these can make any property look like new, without the need for a major renovation.

Think about the outdoor areas as well. Barbeques and outdoor living is part of Australian culture, so make sure your deck or veranda is in good condition. Think about the lighting as well, as night lighting can create a modern, chic look for your garden.

13. Do some gardening

Do you have enough greenery? Dead plants, and messy and boring gardens with minimal natural inclusions can be a turn-off for potential buyers. Invest in your garden, get new soil, and plant some trees, flowers and bushes. Always try to choose native plants which grow in the area naturally and are therefore conditioned to local weather conditions, as they will require less maintenance.

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Craig Sewell
Craig Sewell is the Foundation Director for Mint360 Property a leading real estate firm based in Sydney’s exclusive Eastern Suburbs. He holds the record for selling the most expensive house in Maroubra for $8 million and has sold shopping centres for up to $15 million. Craig’s most important connection is to his family and the community they live in. That’s why, when he is not selling property, you will see Craig and his four children getting involved in local life – he is a strong believer in the development & education of children giving time and money to Coogee Public School P&C Surf, Coogee Minnows Junior Surf Lifesaving Club, Coogee Rugby Club (The Seahorses) or simply enjoying the fabulous beach-side lifestyle on offer in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Craig Sewell

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