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Increase your Home’s Value and Learn Some New DIY Skills
Increasing your home’s value begins with repairing and remodeling. It can be a perfect way to save money and learn new skills that will come in handy for many years as a homeowner. Not all projects are DIY-friendly, and some do not provide a good return on your investment. If you are looking to add to your home’s value, or get it to stand out from a crowded field of properties for sale, here are the fixes that will get you the most bang for your buck.
First step: Fix what’s broken
Before you turn your master bath into a luxury spa, make an objective assessment of your home. Think about what you would be looking for as a buyer. How old are the roof shingles? Does the furnace need updating or replacement? Are there any cosmetic or structural problems that bug you, like damaged siding, or badly cracked driveway surface? Before you consider making a repair, you should ensure that there are no problems that would arise in a structural inspection. Although these repairs may not get you the most dollar-for-dollar return, not remedying them may cost you in the long run. When you have solid bones to work with, you can then move on to making your house shine.
A home’s value all starts with curb appeal
Pretty houses get offers, even when the inside might not be ideal. Freshening-up the outside is inexpensive and DIY-friendly. Start with assessing the landscaping. Edge and mulch flower beds, trim bushes, and prune trees as a dirt-cheap project. Bigger elements can pay off, such as retaining walls, raised flower beds, ponds and new paver walkways, but be cautious. It’s essential to create a natural flow so that the landscaping matches your home’s architectural style. And, before you start trying to figure out how to use a vibration damper and stone saw, most large hardscaping projects are far beyond DIY skill set. Stick with new plantings and a thorough front-yard cleanup to lure buyers inside.
Fresh paint = the cheapest way to make your house shine and ad value to your home
Once you’ve hammered down curb appeal, you need to present a clean slate for buyers. People are more likely to buy a house when they can picture themselves in it, and a neutral color scheme is most welcoming. Bright, vibrant colors may look great and reflect your good taste, but studies show that “greige” interiors (a middle zone in the color palette somewhere between gray and beige) tend to sell for up to $3,500 more than those painted a different color. Avoid some colors at all costs, such as yellow kitchens, red dining rooms, or white bathrooms. And once you’ve calmed a buyer with your neutral tones, wow them with a renovation that pays off.
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Kitchens are the new living rooms
In most houses, the kitchen represents a family’s heart and soul. It’s where you enjoy your morning coffee and prepare and eat family meals. And, even minor kitchen renovations add significant resale value. In one study, kitchen remodels returned the highest percent of the project cost to the home’s value. However, make sure that your home is balanced. Spending $50k to upgrade the kitchen on your $100k house is likely overkill. Experts suggest capping kitchen remodels at 25 percent of the home’s value. So, don’t be afraid to start small with paint, some new appliances and lighting fixtures to make your kitchen more desirable. Before you pick up a paintbrush or hammer, make sure your plan includes safety and proper tool use basics.
Save time and money by learning your tools
Tool safety is crucial to a successful project. You need the right tool for the job, and injuries will just mean that you’ll have to hire a professional to finish the work. While DIY can save you money, there are considerable hazards. Every year, for example, thousands of homeowners are injured through falling off ladders. Since most DIY jobs require a ladder, make sure you invest in a good one, test it often, follow its use instructions and never step beyond the indicated height limit.
Before you fire up the power drill, make sure you know tool maintenance and safety. Wear safety glasses and proper work clothing and make sure you maintain and clean your tools as needed.
Some repairs will require the expertise of a professional and not every home benefits from a lavish kitchen, but if you are up to some simple tasks and use the right tools, you can maximize your home’s value.