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Five Easy Fixes to Increase Your Home’s Value

Think Like a Home Buyer to Increase Your Home Equity and Maintain Your Real Estate Investment

© 2011 by Micah Moon all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.

Typical blueprint of a residential floor plan; photo courtesy Boereck

When trying to sell your home or boost your home’s value when looking to use home equity, it’s not only the big things that make a difference. Sometimes the small things can make just as much of an impact on potential buyers, realtors and appraisers.

Find the following five easy fixes to help you get the most “bang” for your home value “buck,” whether you’re thinking about securing a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, or looking to sell your home for as much as you can.

  1. Curb Appeal — No matter how lovely the interior of your home, if your home has no curb appeal, you’re risking potential buyers simply driving by and passing up your place in lieu of another home with more curb appeal. For a quick spruce up of the front of your house and yard, why not:
    • Mow the lawn regularly
    • Manicure bushes/shrubs
    • Plant seasonal flowers
    • Keep trash out of view
    • Hang a decorative wreath on the front door

  2. Color — Some families feel most at home in a house filled with vibrant wall colors. However, when it’s time to put your home on the market, it’s not a good idea to have too many bright colors on the walls.

    Neutral tones and muted colors tend to attract buyers, as they tend to see a fresh, clean slate if they were to move in themselves.

    There is also a popular color psychology for homes for painting rooms certain colors, as explained in the book, Joy to the Home: Secrets of Interior Design Psychology by Jeanette Joy Fisher.

    For example, she recommends painting the kitchen a light color reminiscent of food (i.e. coffee brown, celery green, scrambled egg yellow), and the bedroom something more rich and intimate, like a muted shade of rose.

  3. Clutter (or De-Clutter) — The last thing potential buyers want when they walk through your house is to be bombarded with an over-abundance of personal items and excessive clutter.

    From family photos to random knick-knacks on the shelves, a buyer wants to walk into your home and be able to visualize it as their own space.

    This is hard to do when your home is full of objects that others may perceive as clutter. No matter how sentimental the items, strangers won’t see it as sweetly nostalgic, but instead as junk. To ensure that your home isn’t a culprit of this common mistake, start with the following:

    • Store photos of family and friends out of eyesight
    • Limit decorative items and knick-knacks from all surfaces (i.e. mantle, coffee tables, etc.)
    • Remove all magnets, notes and photos from fridge door

  4. Closets — Part of de-cluttering is making sure that closets are being properly utilized — especially if you don’t have a lot of closet space in your home to begin with. You want to make it look like the closet space available in the home offers ample space — even if it does not.

    For example, if you have a small bedroom closet, make sure that it isn’t jam-packed with clothing, making it look too small for the room.

    Keep your closets organized and even looking sparse (if possible) to give the appearance that there is plenty of room for storage.

  5. Crucial spaces — Lastly, the kitchen and the bathrooms of every home are crucial spaces to focus when trying to increase home value. Even if you can’t afford outfitting your home with new appliances, flooring or major renovations, there are small things you can do to make a big difference:

    • Kitchen — The first step to giving your kitchen the added boost it needs is to keep it clean, uncluttered, and looking simple. Something as simple as a new coat of paint may go a long way.

      And while you may not want to splurge on new appliances, new fixtures will give the kitchen a fresh new look. Also minimize the art on the walls, remove excess magnets on the fridge and unused appliances on the counter that aren’t being regularly used.

    • Bathroom — Consider new caulk, grout and a fresh coat of paint to start. Then, if you can, the additions of shiny new fixtures on the sink and in the shower are always a great upgrade. A high-powered, luxury showerhead is also a great selling point for any bathroom.

      Then consider a crisp, new shower curtain, new towels and a thoughtful touch of fresh flowers or a slightly scented candle for ambiance.

If you’re not trying to increase your home’s value in order to sell it at a reasonable price within a reasonable timeframe, you may be trying to do it in order to get your home appraised at a higher price.

Whatever reason you’re trying to increase your home value, these five fixes may be just what you need to give your property value the boost it needs.

Do you have any tips or suggestions to add to this topic? Why not share them with our readers in the comment section below?

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Article © 2011 Micah Moon all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission.